Why We Chose It: Fully recyclable, funky looks
It’s generally reckoned that most road runners can expect to get between 300 and 500 miles of use from a typical pair of running shoes. If you do an average of 20 miles per week, that’s a lifetime of about four to six months. Of course, you’ll probably get less than that from the lightest and most minimalist styles. That’s because these types of shoes tend to use softer EVA cushioning in the midsole, which compresses more quickly than TPU foam rubber.
What this means is that, if most people are discarding their old trainers in favour of a new pair a couple of times a year, the running shoe industry is creating a hell of a lot of waste. Salomon’s innovative answer to this problem is the INDEX.01: an all-round training shoe with fabric uppers and a foam rubber sole unit that can both be easily recycled at the end of the shoe’s life.
What Is The Index 0.1 Shoe Best Suited To?
Clearly, this isn’t designed as a rugged trail shoe for hardcore fell racing. But it’s a brilliant daily trainer, equally at home whether you’re pounding pavements on your regular evening 5k neighbourhood route or getting out early for your Saturday-morning Park Run. This is also a great training shoe for hitting the gym, delivering plenty of bounce during a weekly HIIT session as well as responsive cushioning when you’re smashing out 10k on the treadmill.
The midsole is nicely cushioned, with a pronounced rocker. Lightweight uppers offer superb out of the box comfort too. This easy-wearing nature combined with the INDEX 0.1’s striking looks probably means that many people will buy these as a lifestyle shoe rather than a genuine running shoe. And that’s fine. However, demanding runners who care about trying to make the industry move in a more sustainable direction should also be tempted to lace these up.
One of the problems with recycling many consumer goods is that they are typically made of mixed materials, which all have to be separated from each other before the individual materials can be processed and recycled. Sometimes, this is difficult or even impossible, which essentially guarantees that the product will instead end up in landfill.
That’s why Salomon have designed this shoe with disassembly in mind. The TPU sole unit and the recycled polyester uppers can be easily separated for simple recycling. In addition, polyester and TPU are also both materials that are already easily and widely recycled.
The striking white looks deliver more than just head-turning style points too. Materials are intentionally undyed to reduce their environmental impact and further ensure easy recyclability.