Adidas enters running for eco-trainer range

Olympic sponsor Adidas has taken on Nike in the race to produce a more sustainable running shoe with the launch of its adiZero Primeknit range last week.

The launch is a direct competitor to Nike’s Flyknit range which was launched in February.

Nike claims that its Flyknit technology has reduced two thirds of the waste in the upper section of the shoe compared with typical running performance footwear.

The Adidas range, like its rival’s Flyknit trainers, uses a new seamless engineering technology. While traditional sports shoes are constructed from several different pieces, this method digitally knits the entire upper shoe section in just one.

The shoe has no lining or reinforcements – the strength comes from the fused yarn. And because it is made from one piece, the adiZero Primeknit reduces the amount of materials needed by eliminating waste from leftover trimmings.

The shoe is made from the heating of thermoplastic yarn which hardens when cooled, providing support for the heel and the front foot. This process has been described by Adidas as “effectively turning the sock into a shoe.”

Adidas head of design for sport performance, James Carnes, said: “In designing the adiZero Primeknit, our goal was to completely rethink how footwear is engineered, with a keen eye on sustainable construction”

Nike pioneered the technology through its Flyknit range. The company claims to have achieved an overall 35% reduction in grams of waste per pair of trainers in contracted footwear factories in the past 10 years and its diverted waste to landfill output rose from 54% in 2009 to 65% in 2011.

Conor McGlone

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