Adidas has debuted a pair of biodegradable trainers, taking yet another step towards closed-loop production in the sports industry. The shoes are made from a unique bio-engineered biopolymer called Biosteel, which is created with the same proteins spiders use to make their ultra-strong silk.
Produced by German biotechnology company AMSilk, Biosteel fibres replicate the strength and performance qualities of natural spider silk, and are also durable, biodegradable and vegan-friendly. They are also 15% lighter than comparable synthetic fibres and possess natural anti-bacterial qualities that help with sweat and odour prevention in footwear.
The trainers do not simply dissolve in outdoor conditions; instead, the biodegrading process requires water and a high concentration of a digestive enzyme called proteinaise, which leads to decomposition within 36 hours.
Adidas’s Futurecraft Biofabric trainers only exist as a prototype for now, but could soon be a viable footwear solution. Other applications for Biosteel fibres outside of active sports apparel and footwear include technical textiles within the automotive, aerospace, interior and medical industries.
The announcement follows the recent release of Adidas’s groundbreaking Ultra Boost Uncaged Parley shoe – the first mass-produced footwear created using recycled ocean plastics. Read more in our blog post.