More often than not, it’s great to have some solid connections in the green world. Shea Gunther— one of the top green bloggers on the web and twitter — casually threw a question my way earlier this week: Would I like to try a pair of New Balance’s first ever green shoe for their “Eco-prefer Collection”. Would I?!
Less than 12 hours after I accepted, a shiny pair of New Balance 070s arrived on my doorstep. I tore open the box, admired the bold colors, and have pretty much been wearing them since. But first, let’s talk about what it is exactly that makes these shoes “green”.
Obviously, New Balance set out to completely re-think they way they design shoes in as environmentally-friendly a manner as possible. To that end, the 070 fits together like a kind of puzzle to reduce waste. The outsole features a rice husk fill that decreases the amount of rubber used in the production of the shoe. The insert, as well as all synthetics, are made from recycled materials. The upper materials use a combination of recycled polyester and natural materials. The upper is also designed so that everything has a symmetrical opposite. This was done to minimize waste as much as possible when cutting the material for the shoes.
It’s worth noting that water-based adhesives bond all the different sections together. To sum up, it’s a great start to a sort of green shoe revolution.
But how does it feel? A shoe can look great and be as green as dirt — but if it doesn’t get the job done, what good is it, right? I’m happy to report that the NB 070 more than lives up to the expectation of comfort and support. In the time since I’ve owned them, I’ve taken a four-mile hike and cruised through traffic pumping away on my bike to get to work. So far, so good — and I like to beat the hell out of my footwear. These things are solidly built. Believe me, unless you pointed out their green qualities, nobody would have a clue that you’re wearing anything other than some good-looking kicks.
Anyways, I’ll update if anything particularly interesting pops up regarding these shoes — but let me just end this review giving New Balance a solid thumbs up on their new eco collection. Now, how about extending this sustainable design to your other shoes?