Adidas Reveals the First Biodegradable, Dissolvable Running Shoes

Sneaker technology usually comes with inconsistent labels that promise your new kicks will be “10 percent” more cushioning that can make your steps “30 percent” more responsive so your pickup and jumping has a “23 percent smoother transition from potential to kinetic energy transfer.” These descriptors seem a little bit exaggerated. It’s like we’re talking about science blended with a marketing strategy. However, once Adidas announced that their new Biosteel technology is 100% biodegradable, they meant it.

The Futurecraft Biofabric running shoes are made from a non-allergenic, vegan material called Biosteel that’s sourced from natural carbon and bacteria designed to imitate spider silk. The creator of Biosteel, AMSilk, enhanced the material to have impressive malleable strength—strong enough to handle your daily jogging sessions as you pound the pavement—while still allowing the fabric to be completely dissolved in a mixture of water and natural enzymes when it’s time to buy a new pair. As the Biofabric kicks require this special concoction to become compost, they can handle rainy days and puddle jumps without disintegrating on your feet.

Once you get a pair, Adidas affirmed you could expect to get about two years’ worth of high-impact wear before it’s time to safely decompose the shoes. The whole process implies the following steps: you submerge the kicks in your kitchen sink and add a digestive enzyme—kind of like Emergen-C—to the mix, and soak them for 36 hours. The protein-based yarn will liquefy, and all you have to do is dispose of the leftover foam sole.

Adidas made the biodegradable running shoe via its patented Boost technology. The Biofabric design is somewhat lighter than most running shoes, so you can feel that spring in your step during your next run. The lighter weight, alongside the breathable upper mesh and simple beige colorway, make for a top-notch trainer. These days, Adidas hasn’t announced a release date for the Futurecraft Biofabric shoes, but, rumor has it, there’s going to be a limited sale later in 2017.