Ordinary footwear is almost impossible to recycle due to the presence of different materials in the product. In contrast, Salomon's new sneaker concept includes a complete rework of worn-out sneakers. To do this, they are entirely made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).
Both the upper and the outsole are made from the same chemical composition. Therefore, shoes can be crushed into small fragments, mixed with other TPU granules and melted, so that a new product can then be cast from this mass. For example, the hard base for a ski boot is the part that attaches to the ski itself.
The company insists that the use of a single material will not affect the performance of the shoe. It's all about construction - the upper is made of lightweight, foamed TPU, while the outsole is tough and dense. It has all the classic elements, including shock absorbers, breathable panels and lacing. Regular sneaker for normal use but fully recyclable.
The ski boot reference is used by Salomon as a contrast, to demonstrate the possibility of transforming a sneaker into something completely different. In reality, a wide range of useful items can be made from TPU. The new sneakers will go on sale in 2021.