Barefoot shoes made from algae-based foam

Algae bloom is a growing problem in the world, as the aquatic organisms release toxins that can have disastrous effects on plants, humans, and animals. The blooms are caused by phosphorous and nitrates in chemical wastes, substances that algae thrive on. However, an advantage of the plant is that you can do a lot with it, for instance make bioplastic or roofing material. Now, Vivobarefoot, a barefoot shoe company, is partnering up with Bloom, which uses algae biomass to make foam. Together, they created the “ultimate amphibious adventure shoe”, made from algae.

Bloom’s foams are a sustainable alternative to synthetic and petrochemical foams. They harvest algae in waterways that are at risk for heavy algae blooms, instead of farming it themselves. By removing algae from marine-systems and replacing petrobased materials, they aim to kill two birds with one stone: cleaning up the environment and combatting plastic pollution. You can read all about Bloom’s foam here.

In their collaboration, Bloom and Vivobarefoot used Bloom’s flexible algae foams to make barefoot shoes, called Ultra shoes. According to the press release, a single pair of men’s size 42 (US size 11/UK size 9) of the shoes returns 57 gallons (216 litres) of clean water to habitat and reduces 40 balloons worth of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Vivobarefoot claims to be the first in the footwear industry with a plant-based alternative to the petro-foam in ubiquitous use. The barefoot shoes will be available for purchase in July 2017.

For Bloom’s foam material in our collection, click here.

Photos shoes: Vivobarefoot / Bloom