The running world keeps moving in the right direction. Forwards. Last week, we reported on HOKA’s Skyline-Float X with its soy-based sock liner and sugarcane midsole. And a couple months before that, we dropped (in true listicle fashion) the 10 best vegan running kicks out there right now. In that pantheon of sustainable greatness, amongst the likes of Nike, norda and adidas, was the Japanese running specialist Mizuno.
The Wave Neo Wind and Wave Neo Ultra are two of Mizuno’s high-end performance shoes. Designed for athletes going after their marathon PBs, the Wave Neo pack is lightweight, responsive and fast. But we know why they’re really so awesome. Because in the mind of every runner as they cross that finish line is the comforting feeling that they ran their race in a pair of Earth-friendly, vegan kicks.
Where to start. The Wind and Ultra are made using some interesting plant-based materials and processes. The sock liners and heel wedge contain Bloom, an algae-blended EVA — this algae is harvested from ecosystems that contain too much algae, a result of rising temperatures and human activity. Bloom is also found in the midsole and mixed with Pebax Rnew, a bio-based material made from castor beans. And there’s recycled polyester in the upper.
Both sneakers come in either undyed white or black colorways. The upper for the black option is made using a dope-dyeing process whereby colored pellets are added during the yarn making process. This negates the need for water and other chemicals in the dyeing process.
In addition to all this lovely plant-based stuff, Mizuno has also partnered with the U.S. National Forest Foundation to plant about 50,000 trees in Idaho’s Boise National Forest as a way of offsetting the carbon produced during the making of these shoes. It claims that the trees will absorb the same amount of CO2 generated by the 20,000 pairs being manufactured.
Whilst we can’t completely vouch for the accuracy of this claim (offsetting has had some bad press recently), what we can say is these kicks are making a proper effort.
And if all of that sounds like something you’re interested in, you can shop the Mizuno Wave Neo Wind and Wave Neo Ultra online now.