Adidas is getting closer to taking its fully recyclable shoe program to the public. The new Futurecraft Ultra Boost will be given out to 1,500 people as part of a beta program. Those chosen by Adidas will get to wear the shoes for 21 weeks while giving feedback on the performance. Once the program is completed, the shoes will be returned to be ground, shredded, and fully recycled to create another crop of shoes.
To participate in the Futurecraft Ultra Boost beta, anyone can apply by joining Adidas' Creators Club. Once a member, users will be required to take a quiz on their knowledge of sustainable practices. Then they'll be entered into a global raffle, in which 1,500 people will be chosen to take part in the program driven by the Adidas app.
What's Futurecraft? — Futurecraft is still fairly new to Adidas and is a sustainability-oriented family of sneakers that have only been given out to a small number of people since early 2019. Under it, Adidas is playing with new approaches to sustainability that include shoes that can be fully recycled after their wear life.
The first such sneaker, the Futurecraft.Loop, was given to a select people in April of last year. They were then worn and returned to Adidas before being recycled into a second generation of sneakers. Those who followed the rules and returned the first sneakers got to receive the second, which once again came with a return date. As the name "Loop" implies, Adidas' goal is to create a circular chain for sneaker production that could possibly be used for all of its sneakers one day.
What's the hold up? — The Futurecraft.Loop is meant become available to the wider public in spring or summer 2021, but Adidas is still dolling out other applications for Futurecraft.
Just last week, Adidas unveiled the spiderweb-like Futurecraft.Strung. Its strange and unprecedented construction was made possible by robots that were able to piece the threads together from multiple directions to create an upper that's lightweight and feels "cocooned." This unique upper sits atop one of Adidas 4D midsoles that utilize a process similar to 3D-printing. Together, the two methods allow for Adidas to minimize the amount of excess fabric.
Unfortunately, the Futurecraft.Strung is still a while away from going public. Adidas plans on releasing the stringed sneaker in late 2021 or early 2022. In the meantime, you can try your odds at landing a pair of the Futurecraft Ultra Boosts. Even if you aren't chosen, the Futurecraft is an exciting development to look forward to — and one that could finally allow Adidas to become more competitive with Nike once again.