Nunn Bush Newton Cap Toe Monk Strap Black Leather D17j3629,
ENVIRONMENT
11/21/2016 04:21 pm ET Updated Nov 22, 2016

The Fabric On These Adidas Shoes Will Decompose In Your Sink

Puma Tazon 5 Running Shoe White/Black/Red F58w2037,
LifeStride R-Xylo Wide Calf Riding Boot Grey B2h1618
Adidas
Adidas has unveiled a running shoe that features 100% biodegradable fabric. The Futurecraft Biofabric, pictured, is currently just a prototype.

Adidas has unveiled a new shoe featuring biodegradable fabric that’s designed to break down within hours of its disposal using a water and enzyme solution.

The one catch: the current design appears to be attached to a foam sole ― suggesting that a large portion of the shoe would still end up in a landfill.

Adidas’ Futurecraft Biofabric was presented at last week’s Biofabricate conference in New York. The unique design features a synthetic spider silk called Biosteel that is 100 percent biodegradable, according to the shoemaker.

The sneaker, which touts itself as the first biodegradable shoe of its kind, is currently just a prototype but the company expects it to become a commercial product by next year, Wired reported.

Kensie Stefanie Boot Brown J63l5613
Adidas
The synthetic spider silk called Biosteel is said to be stronger and lighter than traditional fabric used in sneakers. It also requires less energy to manufacture.

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According to Gizmodo, users simply place the shoes in water and add a digestion enzyme called proteinase that will cause the protein-based yarn to decompose within 36 hours.

“This process is 100% natural,” an Adidas spokesperson told the news site. “The shoe would not dissolve if worn in rainy weather conditions, for example, as the presence of proteinase is all important to the process.”

At far as what happens to the sole, an Adidas spokesman stressed to HuffPost that different, more sustainable material “might be taken into consideration” should the shoe go into production.

“Futurecraft Biofabric is a prototype that is meant to show where the industry can go,” Vinti Bhatnagar said in an email Tuesday. “Recycling footwear can be an energy intense process and if we have an upper that doesn’t need to be recycled that helps.”

Bhatnagar also noted that Adidas debuted last December a 3D-printed midsole concept made out of recycled ocean plastic.

This article has been updated with an additional statement from Adidas.

CARLOS BY CARLOS SANTANA Claudia Wide Calf Boot Brown C13b7579
Adidas
Adidas last year announced the creation of this 3D-printed shoe midsole that's made out of recycled ocean plastic.

Today’s current Futurecraft Biofabric shoe prototype otherwise appears to feature Adidas’ Ultra Boost outsole, which according to the company’s website is composed of elastic foam particles called thermoplastic polyurethane or TPU.

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Sperry Top-Sider Duckling Waterproof Rain Shoe Brown S21h4386
BASF
Adidas' Boost running shoes feature a foam base that's made out of elastic foam particles called thermoplastic polyurethane or TPU.

Beyond this current sole, Adidas presses that this new Biosteel fabric is not just beneficial for the environment, but for athletes too.

The silk is said to be 15 percent lighter than traditional polymer shoes, as well as stronger. The fiber is further described as 100 percent vegan and offering controlled moisture management. It also takes far less energy to manufacture than regular polymer shoes.

“With this development we are setting new standards regarding the functionality of renewable textiles,” Jens Klein, CEO of AMSilk, which produced the silk, said in a statement.

Can’t wait for their release? Adidas also recently unveiled a new line of sneakers that are made from recycled plastic taken from the ocean ― again, the sole appears to be made out of foam.

BEARPAW Abigail Winter Boot Black J93b3539
Adidas
Adidas' UltraBOOST Uncaged Parley sneaker is made up of 11 plastic bottles that were retrieved from the Maldives. The design also appears to feature foam soles.

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Skechers Bobs Pureflex Chevron Memory Foam Slip On Black W33w1218,Clarks Hawkley Walk Plain Toe Oxford Tan Leather V100u9838,Aerosoles Teashop Medium/Wide Flat Black Fabric L37j9818,

Each pair of the UltraBOOST Uncaged Parley is made up of 11 plastic bottles retrieved from the Maldives by environmental group Parley for the Oceans, according to Adidas.

“The shoes’ laces, heel cap base material, heel webbing, heel lining and the sock-liner cover are also made with recycled materials,” Adidas states in a release. “Its design is inspired by ocean waves, to reflect the shoe’s unique story and adidas and Parley’s commitment to end the cycle of pollution in the oceans.”

The shoes are slated for release sometime this month.

This story has been updated with a comment from an Adidas spokesman.

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