Big Sneaker, Small Footprint: Adidas, Allbirds Collab on Lowest Carbon Emission Shoe

The FUTURECRAFT.FOOTPRINT has the least environmental impact, in terms of carbon output, in both brands’ shoe lineups.

After a 12-month collaboration, rival brands adidas and Allbirds today unveiled what they see as the future of sustainable shoe design. The FUTURECRAFT.FOOTPRINT, a limited-run proof-of-concept shoe, produces an estimated 2.94 kg of carbon per pair.

That makes it both brands’ first sub-3kg carbon footprint shoes, and less than half that the comparably constructed adidas RC3 (7.86 kg).

“Over the past year, our two teams have raced as one to create a shoe as close to zero carbon emissions as we could possibly achieve. The results are an exciting step forward, and hopefully, an example for others to follow,” Allbirds CEO Tim Brown said.


“Our partnership with Allbirds is a beacon of what can happen when competing brands from the same industry see the possibilities in coming together to design,” Brian Grevy, an executive board member with adidas, added.

“By truly co-creating and providing each other with open access to knowledge and resources — such as Allbirds’ knowledge of carbon calculation and experience with natural materials, and adidas’ capabilities in manufacturing and performance footwear — this is a call to action for other brands, and a milestone in the sports industry achieving carbon neutrality.”

The FUTURECRAFT.FOOTPRINT goes live today, with the first 100 pairs being raffled off to adidasCreators Club members. The shoe will then pre-launch closer to winter with a limited release of 10,000 pairs before its wider launch next spring.



The original idea, the brands said, was to develop a zero-carbon footprint shoe. And that remains the goal. But in a presentation, representatives from both companies acknowledged that their collaborative effort marks a major step forward (pun intended) in sustainable processes.

And those processes, the brands said, span every step of the way — from manufacturing, to packaging, to transportation, to use, and eventually end of life. For each of those steps, Allbirds and adidas estimated the carbon impacts and looked for ways to further cut emissions.

To see exactly how they calculated the carbon impacts of each step, go here.

Here are the components that make the FUTURECRAFT.FOOTPRINT the brands’ lowest carbon emission shoe:


  • Outsole: 10% natural rubber
  • Midsole: 18% bio-based sugarcane
  • Upper: 30% TENCEL (eucalyptus tree fiber) and 70% recycled polyester
  • Lining: 100% recycled polyester
  • Sock liner, tongue: 28% bio-based sugarcane
  • Laces: 100% recycled polyester

Even the packaging underwent rethinking, with the standard rectangular box giving way to a conical package with less airspace. Transportation, too; the brands switched their sea freight to use biofuel (recycled cooking oil) instead of traditional petrol.

You can sign up to win one of the first 100 pairs that adidas raffles off here. Stay tuned for the first pre-launch later this year and sign up for updates through Allbirds here.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the editor-in-chief of GearJunkie and a fan of virtually all sports and activities. From biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming — if it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.