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In a new sustainability push, the Salomon Index.01 launches as a running shoe that you can disassemble and recycle at the end of its life.
Running shoes have a limited lifespan. Even the most durable running shoes will only last a season or so, and less if you push big miles. And until now, there was but one destination for those millions of worn-out running shoes: the landfill.
But today, Salomon introduces the Index.01, a brand-new recyclable performance road running shoe. It’s the first iteration we’ve seen of a recyclable shoe concept Salomon announced last year.
Available in spring 2021, the Index.01 is the result of 3 years of research and development at Salomon’s Annecy Design Center in the French Alps. The goal of the project is to reduce material waste and lessen the environmental impact of footwear by using circular lifecycle principles.
The result is a shoe made of two primary materials: recycled polyester and nitrogen-infused, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) foam called INFINIRIDE. At the end of its life, regional recycling programs disassemble the recycled polyester upper and the TPU bottom unit to be recycled again.
Obviously, recycling the shoe will rely on a supportive infrastructure. But it’s an interesting idea that could lead to broader recycling of the estimated 300 million shoes thrown into landfills each year.
At the end of the Index.01’s life, owners can visit Salomon’s website, print a shipping label, and send the shoes to the closest collection center free of charge. The collection centers will be located across Europe, North America, and Asia/Pacific, where they will receive the shoes, wash them, disassemble them, and ship the parts to local recycling partners.
Index.01 Running Shoe: Will It Perform?
We haven’t tested this shoe yet, but the specs point toward a versatile road running shoe. Weighing in at just 285 g with a 9mm drop and molded sock liner, Salomon designed the Index.01 as a “quiver-killing road running shoe.”
With a stack height of 19.5mm/28.5mm (9mm drop), it hits a middle-of-the-road underfoot design that should appeal to a lot of runners.
The Index.01 will retail for $200 when it hits the market in the spring. We look forward to putting some miles on this new running shoe to see if it can stand toe to toe with its non-recyclable competition.