Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Salomon made a running shoe designed to be beat up – then recycled

Why the new Salomon running shoes are a win for athletes and Mother Nature

Green fashion is a significant trend, and Mother Nature is grateful. The Gap started its Washwell program to reduce the use of natural resources during the denim-making process. Adidas makes cycling shoes with vegan leather. Brands are also looking for ways to make running sneakers more sustainable.

man running by mountain

It’s a welcome movement in an often polarizing space.

Related Videos

Now, Salomon is hitting the ground running with a new recyclable sneaker, the INDEX.02. The running shoes are a level up from the INDEX.01, the shoe the noted French sneaker brand released two years ago. Like the INDEX.01, the INDEX.02 is entirely recyclable. However, it has new features to help you reach your new PR in comfort and style.

The INDEX.02 is lighter by 263 grams, a 10% decrease from its older sibling, making every stride a little easier. The comfort upgrades in these Salomon shoes are significant. A midsole foam and geometry allow for smoother transitions from stride to stride. Stick your foot in the shoe and feel the plushy Infiniride foam. It’s designed to continue to feel comfy for hours on end, meaning these shoes can go the distance with you.

The upper has Engineered Mesh, providing more support, better breathability, and added flexibility. It’s softer and has a more premium finish, softer materials, and has even more comfort from the moment you step into the running shoes. From a style standpoint, expect new colors.

“The foam is less dense on the INDEX.02, so it feels cushier,” says Laurent Coudurier, the manager of Salomon Footwear R&D, in a press release. “We also removed some bits in the upper, bringing the shoe closer to the foot. Our goal is to provide the same level of performance as the rest of our road running shoes, and we’re getting there.”

These Salomon shoes are also a runaway favorite of Mother Nature’s. The TPU foam? It stands a cut above the other green materials on the market as the only 100% recyclable foam. Once you’ve hit your ceiling with these shoes and logged so many miles, it’s time for a new pair, Mother Nature really wins. It can be disassembled — look closely, and you’ll see an understated line where someone will split the shoe and recycle it. The different colors on the top and bottom aren’t just for style — though they are certainly fashionable. Instead, they also emphasize that the shoe sticks to materials that can be broken apart when it’s time to sunset the shoe. After purchasing the Salomon shoes, new owners can scan a QR code on the tongue to register it, making the eventual return a cinch.

What will happen to your INDEX.02 shoes? They’ll head to Europe and be used to make alpine ski boots, also designed by Salomon.

All in all — not to mix metaphors — the shoes are a slam dunk. A home run, if you will.

“We started researching materials for the INDEX.01 shoe about five years ago, looking to reduce its impact,” Coudurier added in the press release. “With this new INDEX.02 model, we’re getting closer to providing the same level of performance as the rest of our road running shoes.”

Editors' Recommendations

Seeing Green: Inside Roger Federer’s Off-Court Shoe Collection
roger federer on running shoe collection 0  s the centre court jp at matchesfashion 3

Roger Federer may be tied with Rafa Nadal as the winningest tennis player ever in regard to majors victories, but when it comes to grass, there's no contest. With eight Wimbledon titles to his credit, Federer is a turf master, and thanks to the contest's reputation of refinement, the 39-year-old, seen frequently hoisting its trophy, has come to embody the same. In keeping with his shuffle of sponsors (he announced a reported $300 million contract with Japanese apparel company Uniqlo in 2018), his signature shoes, collectively called the Roger Collection, were released on Wednesday, June 30, through Matchesfashion.

The Roger Collection features three styles, as well as a special edition of one of the styles. All are lifestyle shoes with a classic tennis aesthetic. At first glance, one might be impressed with the color options: The Centre Court features five hues for men, while the Advantage is available in seven. But upon closer inspection, all but the special-edition Clubhouse are distinguished by insignificant accents in various shades, most with a uniform (and predominant) white base. Those expecting the neon pops of professional tennis might, at first, be confused. But the uniform of the day at Wimbledon has always been white, and the shoe's release is obviously coordinated with the 2021 tournament, which is currently underway.
Related Guides

Read more
Every Bag in Nixon’s Latest Collection Is Made from Recycled Ocean-Bound Plastic
Nikon H20 Yeah

Despite what the conspiracy loons would have you believe, climate change is a real thing. We’re killing our planet; just how fast is a matter of debate. Some estimates warn that, by 2050, there may be more plastics in our oceans than fish. The good news is that there’s still time to do something about it. Eliminating virgin and single-use plastics is a vital first step. Thankfully, the most eco-conscious gear brands are doing their part to create sustainable goods out of materials that might otherwise be destined for the landfill. San Diego’s Nixon just announced an innovative recycled bag collection that proves our future needn’t look so grim.

Nixon’s all-new H20 Yeah! line includes duffel bags, backpacks, totes, and other niche carry products. All are functional, versatile, durable, and stylish. But, what truly sets them apart is that all are made from eco-conscious Repreve Our Ocean performance fiber -- a unique material created entirely from ocean-bound plastic bottles. For Nixon, that means every bag in the H20 Yeah! line removes as many as 20 bottles from circulation -- bottles that likely would have found their way into a landfill or worse. The California-based maker is the first in the U.S. to utilize the next-generation material in a full line of bags.

Read more
Your Guide to Handmade Shoes and Sneaker Brands
handmade shoes boots

Along with a suit and a watch, there are few pieces in a man’s wardrobe that bring a touch of style to his appearance like refined footwear.

But what's so special about handmade shoes? Aren't all shoes technically handmade? Well, no. Some are made entirely by robots and machines. Handmade shoes and sneakers, however, are meticulously crafted by experts set on ensuring an exceptional end result: a pair of kicks that prize longevity over short-term sufficiency. The materials used in handmade shoes are high-end, polished, and sophisticated. The best handmade shoes and sneakers are crafted using a combination of superlative stitching, top-quality materials, and dedicated, bespoke craftsmanship. A great pair of handmade shoes should fit like a glove and reflect your individuality while hopefully not breaking the bank.

Read more