New Balance has been doing some innovative things with eco-friendly materials in their shoes. Several years ago they released the 070 shoe which was a big hit. The 070 was made with materials like rPET and rice husks and constructed using water-based solvents. I was a big fan of the 070.
Recently the company released its latest venture in eco shoes the newSKY shoe. Available in both a mens and womens version the newSKY features an upper made of 95% rPET. Each shoe is made from rPET fabric which comes from recycled PET plastic bottles. The bottles are cleaned and made into a flake material which is then spun into a very durable and versatile rPET fabric. Each pair of newSKY shoes is made with the equivalent of eight 20oz plastic bottles.
I've been trying the newSKY shoes for a week or so now and I have to say I really enjoy them. They are incredibly minimal in terms of design. The shoes are lightweight - what I would imagine a ballet shoe feeling like - but they are also surprisingly durable and warm. One thing I did notice was they seem to be a bit more narrow than a standard shoe so factor that in when choosing your size.
The New Balance newSKY are available in several color configurations in both a men's and women's shoe for about $95