Reebok is doing its part to advance the sustainability movement.
For fall, the Boston-based brand will introduce a plant-based performance running shoe called the Forever Floatride Grow. This plays into the company’s commitment to reduce the use of petroleum-based plastics in footwear by creating products from plants.
Reebok has a Cotton + Corn lifestyle collection of sustainable footwear that launched in 2018, but the Forever Floatride Grow is the first performance shoe. It will launch in fall 2020 and retail for $120 to $140.
The Forever Floatride Grow is an updated version of Reebok’s Forever Floatride Energy. The most significant sustainability advancement is the shoe’s cushioned midsole, which is made from castor beans and was exclusively developed by Reebok with the Sekisui corporation in Japan. The upper is made from eucalyptus trees, the sock liner uses Bloom algae foam, which is harvested from invasive growth areas and is naturally odor resistant. And the outsole is sourced from real rubber trees, rather than the petroleum-based rubber featured in other performance products.
“With Forever Floatride Grow, we’re replacing oil-based plastic with plants,” said Bill McInnis, vice president of Reebok Future. “The biggest challenge in making a shoe like this was developing plant-based materials that could meet the high-performance needs of runners. During the three years we spent developing this product, we heard loud and clear that the idea of a plant-based running shoe resonates strongly with serious runners. But those same runners felt just as emphatically that they would never compromise on performance. The Forever Floatride Grow is the result.”
Matt O’Toole, Reebok’s president, said the Cotton + Corn collection “was the first step in making shoes from things that grow. Our consumers have told us they want more sustainable products, and the running community has been the most vocal and passionate on this issue. We want to help runners perform at their best, while also feeling good about the products they wear.”
In a recent interview, O’Toole said 40 percent of materials in all Reebok footwear and apparel are currently made from recycled polyester and the goal is to be 100 percent recycled polyester by 2025. Among the brand’s initiatives are [Ree]grow, which focuses on creating products from natural materials, and [Ree]cycled, which focuses on creating products using recycled or repurposed materials.