Swiss footwear maker On thinks that it’s high time that running sneakers were lighter and better for the environment than before. That’s why the company is launching its first completely-recyclable shoe as part of a service that’ll rent, rather than sell, you a new pair of trainers. Both the shoe and the service are dubbed Cyclon, and it’s a project whereby you’ll be able to send your kicks back when they’re worn out. And, when those shoes reach the end of their life, they’ll be ground down to make new ones.
The Cyclon shoe weighs in under seven ounces and is designed to be worn in “elite level competition” with high levels of energy return and cushioning. The upper is made from a material derived from castor beans, while the sole is made from an Evonik polymer that’s part of the same family as the upper. When returned, the shoes are shredded, ground down and re-used in their entirety to make sole parts. Specifically, the recycled material will be turned into speedboards, the custom plate that sits between the midsole and upper to cushion the blow when your foot strikes the ground.
In order to grab a Cyclon, you’ll need to sign up to, er, Cyclon, putting down a deposit for $30 that’ll get you the first batch of Cyclon shoes when they land in the back half of 2021. When they arrive, you’ll be locked in paying $30 a month for a minimum commitment of six months. The general idea being that you’ll swap them every six months in order to make sure you never wear out your shoes enough to risk injury. Not to mention that you can get a new pair without the usual environmental guilt associated with buying a new pair of kicks.