Now that outdoor and sports gear made from recycled materials are becoming an increasingly widespread part of the industry, the next frontier is gear that is recyclable at the end of its lifecycle, like Salomon’s revolutionary new Index.01 road running shoe.
The French sports equipment company, renowned for its performance-oriented trail runners obsessed over by Instagram hypebeasts and world class athletes alike, is working toward producing more sustainable products through its multi-pronged sustainability and social responsibility initiative, the Play Minded Program. Made from recycled materials and featuring a fully recyclable top and midsole bottom, the Index.01 is one of the first creations to come out of the program, as well as the first running shoe ever made to be fully recyclable. Period.
First announced in late summer 2020, the Index.01 lit up the gear world with its bold sustainability and recyclability promise. Now, we finally see the product available for purchase—and it looks like the promise has been kept.
Designed for both comfort and road-ready performance with a unique unisex last, the Index.01 is made with a foamy thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)-based bottom and recycled polyester upper. Once the user is done with the shoe, they can go to Salomon’s website and print out a shipping label. The shoes will be delivered to the nearest collection center, where the upper and lower units are separated and recycled. The TPU bottom is broken down to be reused in the creation of other Salomon products, like alpine ski boots, while the upper is reused for fabric creation.
Looks-wise, the shoe delivers, too. The un-dyed, off-white colorway gives the Index.01 a clean, minimalist aesthetic. The TPU-based midsole provides soft, cushioned landings and durable support, and Reverse Camber geometry allows runners to easily roll from heel to toe for a more comfortable, natural running gait. It was also made for unisex use, with no major design variables between the men and women’s options apart from gender-specific sizing.
Best suited for road-based training and casual, everyday wear, the Index.01 sells for $200.