About a month ago, I was doing some spring cleaning and ended up tossing about 15 pairs of running and hiking shoes into the dumpster. Yeah, some were pretty trashed, but others were still in pretty good shape, but the cushioning had been worked over from miles and miles on the trail. It bugged me a little to just throw them away, because I knew they would just sit and rot in the landfill.
The good news is that in the future, not only will shoes be made out of recycled materials, but they will also most likely be recyclable when you are finished with them. For summer 2010, La Sportiva will be bringing this dream one step closer to reality with the launch of their FC ECO Series line of footwear. The Italian based company will be introducing about 9 new models of shoes, for both men and women, that are built largely with recycled materials.
The models will range from low-top, light hikers with and without Gore-Tex, to mid-height meshy trekkers, to full grain leather high-top top versions for backpacking. All the models of the FC ECO Series will be made with varying levels of reused materials. Most out-soles will be comprised of the Vibram Eco-step compound, which is made with 30% recycled rubber. The EVA mid-soles are also said to have a zero-waste net effect, meaning…during production, nothing ends up in the garbage. All uppers will be made with 100% recycled nylon for the mesh, laces and uppers. A Dry-Best lining tops of the inside of the package, made with 40% post consumer materials.
In addition to being made with recycled material, the eco-friendly models will be centered around La Sportiva’s popular Flex Control system that simulates the natural movement of the foot. This technology uses a combination of support in the key areas like the instep and heel, yet providing lots of flexibility in areas like the forefoot and ankle to allow for greater freedom of movement.
While many companies out there may talk about being green, it is nice to see someone like La Sportiva actually walking the walk...as opposed to just talking the talk. It will be interesting to see how far this eco theme gets pushed throughout the entire La Sportiva line over the next few years. Who knows...maybe at some point your shoes will be edible to. Hey...it's better than dumpster diving!