You might be thinking, “Another article about a new pair of shoes? Yawn….” We get it. There are so many shoes out on the market that it can be hard to tell you that this time it’s different. But here’s the thing, this time it really is different. The Forever Floatride Grow from Reebok really is a unique and—dare we say it? Yes, we dare—special shoe.
Here’s why. Nearly every sneaker out there uses fossil fuel-based materials. Reebok’s Forever Floatride Grow, however, is completely free of any fossil fuels. It uses only plant-based materials for its midsole. Specifically, the midsole is made of a material made from castor been oil. The sock liner is algae-based, and the upper is made from eucalyptus trees. And to top it off, the rubber outsole has no petroleum additives. In other words, if this shoe were a vegetable, it would be found in the organic section of the grocery store.
The shoe is part of Reebok’s push toward sustainability. Nike and adidas have already made their move by using recycled materials in the meshes and knits of the uppers in their shoes. But that only addresses a very small portion of the problem. Where the real impact will be felt is in the foam midsole. There, ethylene-vinal acetate (EVA), polyurethane (PU), and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) are typically found. These materials are derived from fossil fuels and are toxic to make and burn. They also aren’t biodegradable. Reebok’s move to use castor beans instead means that they’re using a renewable resource without affecting the food supply (castor beans are inedible). Insulation manufacturers are already using castor bean oil for their foam products, and now Reebok is as well.
Reebok is looking at a Fall of 2020 release for the Forever Floatride Grow shoes as a part of their GROW initiative. They haven’t released any pricing details, but you can sign up to get updates on their web site.