adidas’ Futurecraft program is back. With the wide release of 4D finally happening, and Biofabric slowly fading from memory, the Three Stripes has announced their latest in environmentally safe footwear: the fully recyclable adidas Futurecraft Loop.

The adidas Futurecraft program was first made known to the public back in 2013, when they presented the worlds’ first 3D-printed midsole. Since then, the Futurecraft name has been attached to a variety of different innovations from the Three Stripes, including the retail-ready 4D technology and the not-so-retail-ready Biofabric from 2016. At the time, the Biofabric project was the most futuristic idea in footwear, thanks to a special liquid enzyme that would recycle your shoes from the comfort of your own home. However, it appears that adidas’ direction has changed drastically, although it isn’t all that surprising.

Since 2013, adidas has been working with Parley For The Oceans to remove plastic waste from our planet’s largest ecosystem, and turn it into to something useful, like shoes and apparel. However, the shoes are still likely to be disposed of in the same way that landed all of that plastic in the ocean in the first place. But now, adidas has come up with a new method to allow them to recycle footwear endlessly. Titled the Futurecraft Loop, adidas’ latest environmentally-friendly production method will allow them to recycle their shoes again and again and again.

While many of the details regarding the adidas Futurecraft Loop are still in the dark, there is already plenty we know about the latest in recycled footwear. First, the entire shoe, from upper to Boost midsole to outsole are made from TPU, or thermoplastic urethane. TPU is a very special substance. By altering the temperature that the material is refined at, the end result can vary drastically, creating the three distinct textures needed to create the Futurecraft Loop, a knit upper, Boost pellet midsole, and stiff rubber outsole. Additionally, because the shoe is made entirely from one recyclable material, instead of dumping them in the trash when you’re done, you can send them back to adidas to be remade into a brand new pair.

Every time that adidas announcing an innovative new technology like this, the sneaker world stands still. Blogs light up with speculation and information about the newly developed tech, long before any regular consumers will get to test it out. While this has been adidas’ standard formula in the past, we are expecting things to go a little differently this time around. With the Futurecraft Biofabric from a few years back, they simply never made it to shelves despite a projected 2019/2020 release. However, with the implementation of the new global beta program and a wider release already planned for 2021, we think that adidas did not jump the gun this time and are genuinely ready to share their latest innovation with the world, as soon as manufacturing time and costs will allow for it. To account for this time, adidas has given the Futurecraft Loop an tentative consumer release date of 2021.

adidas’ new Futurecraft Loop will first be released as part of the brand’s new global beta testing program, before receiving a wider commercial release in Spring/Summer 2021. The retail price tag for these fully recyclable running shoes will likely be equal to, if not greater than that of the Parley recycled series, due to the likely expensive process of breaking them down and re-manufacturing the same shoe. Check out adidas’ product imagery for the Futurecraft Loop below for a better look, and stay tuned to JustFreshKicks for more innovative adidas news.

Words by Ben Serleth