As part of its ongoing commitment to creating a zero-carbon and zero-waste product, Nike has unveiled its latest iteration in the process toward a completely sustainable running shoe. Compared to past shoe models, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next Nature features 50% recycled material by weight, which is leaps and bounds beyond its predecessor that had only 25% recycled materials. By combining recycled plastics, foam, carbon fiber, and 3D printed mesh, the Nike creators have successfully tested the limits of combining performance, appearance, and sustainability.
Designers, engineers, and product managers worked together to create a product that utilizes as much recycled material as possible. Inspired by marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge, Nike’s team learned from the people wearing these high-performance shoes for races. For a shoe only used to run a 2-hour marathon, designers needed to use as much recycled material as possible to eliminate waste. The team then created a midsole that features 70% recycled material, forefoot Zoom Air pods containing recycled material, and a hybrid textile on the Flyknit upper that combines original 3D-printed fabric and recycled materials.
Although the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next Nature is a giant step in the right direction, Nike engineers and designers are not ready to end their quest for an entirely sustainable shoe just yet. The creators hope to use the information gathered from creating this shoe as a launching point to test recycled materials’ bounds even further. No release date has been announced yet for the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next Nature.
For a different product from Nike, check out the Venturer Performance Face Mask.