Sustainable shoes are all the rage in footwear innovation currently.


Adidas has their UltraBOOST Uncaged Parley, made of recycled ocean plastic. Adidas has been championing environmental awareness with its latest release, as well as hosting a midnight run in New York City for World Oceans Day on June 8


Reebok has their Corn + Cotton Initiative, where they focus on creating sustainable footwear out of things that grow. The shoes made of organic corn and cotton will decompose when treated with microbes.


“The whole bottom of the shoe is made from material derived from corn, the upper is made from organic cotton instead of petroleum products. The US has kind of lagged behind other countries in adapting recycling and bio composting.” Head of Reebok Future Bill McInnis told


“For the cotton and corn initiative, it was about raising awareness of materials that stay in landfills forever and presenting our solution for it. So far the response was really favorable,” said McInnis.


The ability to design unique footwear and create awareness at the same time has been a focus of the major manufacturers. It is about aligning with this generations values and concerns about the environment; a generation that is obsessed with shoes.


The premise behind 3D printed shoes is that, it is also a sustainable way of manufacturing products, with less waste and new materials. 3D manufacturing shoes means footwear will be customized to the consumer, allowing for more limited releases and limiting the need for extensive inventory that could potentially just sit on the shelves.


As the major players continue to adopt the technology, expect to see more releases made of sustainable materials, to create buzz and give a glimpse into what the future of footwear will look like.