If you’re looking for a pair of the best eco-friendly running shoes, Swiss sportswear brand On Running has launched the Cloudprime shoe, which is the first running shoe with a carbon-emissions midsole.
Sportswear companies are increasingly aware of the impact their clothing and footwear have on the environment, and the average pair of athletic shoes is responsible for about 13 kg of carbon dioxide, taking into account production and disposal in landfills.
Companies like ASICS and Lululemon have made sustainability promises, promising to ensure that more (between 75 and 100%) of the materials used in their shoes are sustainable, but On Running seems to be leading the pack with this new shoe – but how exactly do you do it? a carbon emissions shoe?
On Running has partnered with companies such as LanzaTech, which uses its technology to capture carbon monoxide emitted by industrial sources such as steel mills or landfills. This is then turned into liquid ethanol, which is dehydrated to produce ethylene, before being polymerized to produce CleanCloud™ EVA foam – a lightweight foam material that is a sustainable version of the materials used by other athletic shoe brands.
We think the result is very eye-catching – the show white, adorned with pink and blue swirls, also have a chunky heel and lace design on the midsole, giving them a sporty yet forward-thinking design.
Currently, only the midsole is made this way, but On says he’s working on making the outsole and upper more sustainable as well. And it looks like On running won’t stop there either, with the brand saying it’s excited to “unlock the potential of alternative carbon sources” in the coming years.
Sounds great – but how will they perform?
We know what you’re thinking: they might look good and make us feel sustainably, but can these new shoes from On Running really compete with the best running shoes you can buy?
The midsole, where CleanCloud™ EVA foam is used, can be one of the most important parts of any running show. This is because the midsole provides cushioning for the foot – especially for long-distance runners – while also important for shock absorption, meaning the ground is impacted rather than your foot. It’s also a lightweight material, fundamental to the design of any running shoe.
Sustainable materials have started to be more widely used in athletic footwear, with AllBirds and ASICS being some of the top ‘runners’ of eco-friendly footwear, and feedback on their performance and durability so far has been positive.
On Running currently doesn’t have an on-sale date for the Cloudprime shoe, so we’ll have to wait and see if a show made with carbon emissions can compete with some of the top brands, but we’re excited to see where this new development takes.