New Adidas shoe made from biodegradable synthetic spider silk

Shoe company Adidas is working hard to become a sustainable company. Earlier, they started making shoes out of recycled ocean plastic. This month, Adidas launched a prototype of its new shoe called Futurecraft Biofabric, which, surprisingly enough, is made from biofabric. The material, called Biosteel, is a replication of spider silk and is fully biodegradable.

The shoe is made in collaboration with a German biotech company called AMSilk, which makes the Biosteel fibres. The material is inspired by spider silk, which means it is lightweight (about 15 per cent lighter than synthetic fibres) yet incredibly strong. In fact, the company claims it is the strongest fully natural material available. On its website, AMSilk also adds that spider silk is anti-allergen, so skin-friendly, and biodegradable. Biosteel mimics all these aspects while having a low carbon footprint. In addition, and this is important for the new shoes, Biosteel has odour control.

The material is made by fermenting genetically modified bacteria, according to Wired. This process creates a powder substrate, which is then spun into Biosteel yarn.

The upper part of the shoe is made of Biosteel, yet the Huffington Post reports that the sole is made of normal, non-biodegradable foam. However, Adidas promised that they are searching for an alternative if the shoes go into production.

According to Gizmodo, the yarn needs to be exposed to a certain digestion enzyme before it starts to decompose in a natural process, which takes about 36 hours. So you do not have to worry that you suddenly continue running only in your socks.