Reebok has sold plant-based shoes in the past, like its NPC UK Cotton + Corns shoes which are made from cotton and corn-derived polyurethane. These sneakers are more for casual wear though, so the use of plant-based materials for a performance shoe is new.
The company is confident the Forever Floatride Grow shoe can hold its own against other performance sneakers as the design is based on the Forever Floatride Energy, a popular choice as an everyday running shoe. The new shoes have a highly cushioned midsole built from sustainably grown castor beans, which is important for supporting the foot while running.
The upper part of the Forever Floatride Grow is made from biodegradable and sustainably sourced eucalyptus tree, which Reebok says is strong and breathable. The sockliner is made from an even more unusual material, using Bloom algae foam which should make it odor resistant. Finally, the outsole is made from natural rubber from rubber trees, instead of the typical petroleum-based rubber.
The shoes will launch in fall 2020.