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It doesn’t take skilled debate tactics to convince someone that small changes made on a global scale can have a huge impact in the 21st century.
Take, for instance, the fact that Americans alone use an average of 500 million plastic straws every day, which inspired the Be Straw Free campaign by the National Parks Service.
It’s a seemingly insignificant habit that has huge consequences: That plastic waste winds up in our oceans, polluting the water and killing animals, only to eventually make its way back to us through the food we eat (and the micro plastic in them).
In order to address the problem and build a more sustainable (and mutually beneficial) business plan, Adidas paired up with Parley for the Oceans to repurpose the millions of pounds of plastic currently polluting the world’s oceans. Instead of remaining waste, Adidas has found a smart way to use recycling to their (and the planet’s) benefit.
If deciding not to use straws anymore has a huge impact on the environment, consider the impact a global brand like Adidas could have. We’ve all heard of the horrifying “Great Pacific garbage patch” which is essentially an enormous swath of ocean coated in pelagic plastics, chemical sludge, and and other debris caught there by the North Pacific Gyre’s currents. And most people will find it surprising that a 2015 study estimated that around eight million metric tons of our plastic waste enters the oceans from land every year.
Adidas finding a use for that waste that not only takes it out of our oceans (meaning less ending up in sea turtles stomachs and our own), but also provides its usual Adidas-sized revenue boost that helps provide us with a healthy market, too.
So we’ve established that the Adidas x Parley shoes are a great idea from an ecological standpoint — but are they still great shoes?
I recently got a pair of the Ultra Boost X shoes that came out of the Parley collaboration and I love them. They’re made with Adidas’ Boost technology, which you can read more about here, but the main gist is that they provide super high energy return for runners and makes your shoes ultra-comfortable. Even though new sneaker technology can seem gimmicky at best, this really isn’t a gimmick — and it continues to spread through Adidas’ line.
Another concern with new technology is that the shoe will look more functional than stylish — something that certainly isn’t a problem with the Ultra Boost X Parley. It comes in two colors: white with pale, purplish blue and light blue tones (pictured above) and an intense navy/light blue mix, with both colors mimicking different moods of the ocean. The sock-like Primeknit upper feels comfortable and breathable, and the style itself is one of my favorite parts about the shoe — which is considerable since they’re among the most comfortable running shoes I’ve ever owned.
The Boost technology makes running feel more impactful and the knit upper helps facilitate helpful airflow and keep my feet from overheating. If I were to break a personal record on a run, I’d probably do it in these shoes. Plus, the knit and ultra lightweight rubber sole make them among the lightest shoes I own, as well as the most useful for my runs. They’re $200, but it would be an easy decision to buy another pair to replace them if I ever lost them.
The only thing I would mention is that the Ultra Boost X Parley can feel narrow (mine are snug but not uncomfortable), so if you have wider feet you may want to order one of your usual size and one size up to compare comfort.
By 2020, Adidas wants all of their shoes to be made using recycled plastic, which is good for the health of the planet, but it’s good to know that their first foray into sustainability has been a success.
If you’re looking for a lightweight, comfortable pair of running shoes with innovative technology, a nice look, and a positive environmental impact — you may want to check out the Adidas Ultra Boost X Parley. And if for some reason they don’t work for you, you have 30 days to return them.