I’ve just signed up to do a half marathon. I’ve never done anything like that before. Ever. I didn’t attend a single athletics carnival in high school. I barely even used to run for the bus, however, I have now started running. Although, I’ve recently realized that my ‘running’ is actually what other people might call jogging. Fortunately I have eight weeks to turn that running into jogging. Around the same time I signed up I stumbled across an item online about the award winning Transition Shoe, a design for a sustainable sneaker.
It got me wondering what kind of sustainable sneakers are out there? A quick Googling turned up a few old results, but really not a great deal. The most green sneaker I could find was called ‘green silence’ by Brooks it is made from 75% recycled materials including water bottles, rubber and CDs and they are quite colourful. I found a few favourable reviews including one on inhabitat.
Of course, the barefoot runners say that the most sustainable thing is to go without a shoe at all. Barefoot running seems to be on the rise and has a rather cult following. This info-graphic explains why the barefoot runners think it’s better than shod running.
If you are interested in barefoot running it is best to transition to it slowly. Ecouterre lists 6 green choices of footwear to help you transition.
All my talk of running got me interested in a womens only night run in Sydney organized by Nike. I like running at night and I like the idea of a womens only event, but am hesitant to participate as I’d spent so long avoiding Nike in the past due to their bad reputation regarding their factory conditions and workers rights. Investigating if things had changed at all, I was directed to Oxfam’s work to improve workers rights.
It seems things have changed a bit, but Nike could still do more to, as Oxfam claims all the workers who make their product receive poverty wages and endure harsh working conditions. If you click the link above, sign their petition while you’re there. A campaign in the UK has similar concerns, in the lead up to the London Olympics War on Want are exposing exploitation of workers producing goods for Addida, Nike and Puma.
When your running shoes are worn out Nike does offer a good solution for what to do with old smelly worn out shoes. The company has collection points around the world where you can drop off your old sneakers, they then take them apart and turn them into materials to build running tracks, basket ball courts and tennis courts.
Meanwhile my sneakers are nowhere near ready for that, so with sustainability and my budget in mind I shall continue training in them till they are. Unlike other workout gear, you only need one pair of sneakers, if I really am going to turn my jogging into running I’m going to need other gear. Next stop is sustainable sports bras.