Sep 15, 2023
by James Roberts
The Nike Interact Run Makes Contact With a Sustainable Future – Is It a Close Encounter?
by James Roberts
Sep 15, 2023

What are you thinking about when you run? Are you thinking about how good it feels? Or, more often the case, are you asking ‘when will it end?’ Or, are you thinking about the shoes on your feet — are they comfy? Fast? Or perhaps, doing a little bit of good for the planet you’re running on?

The Nike Interact Run is worthy of all these thoughts but also invites some vital questions. It’s a performance-level running shoe with some sustainable credentials to boot. But does it have enough of either to justify its existence?

At first glance, this is a classic Nike running silhouette. A clean, sweeping, everyday shape with a wedge-like heel that extends out the back for that contemporary twist. Even the waffle iron sole harks back to Nike’s early days. But lift the lid and there are some more forward-thinking choices.

The Nike Interact Run is made with at least 25 percent recycled content by weight — a big chunk of which will come from the recycled rubber outsole. That 25 percent seems to be Nike’s magic number when it comes to recycled content, and you have to wonder what sort of figure it grows to and whether it ever goes far beyond that 25. In the same vein, you also have to wonder why it is that Nike can’t regularly promise higher percentages when many of its competitor can.

But, that being said, sometimes beggars can’t be choosers and we’re happy whenever that 25% pops up on a Nike materials list to let us know that sustainability is on the brand’s mind. Even if it isn’t at the forefront.

Elsewhere, you’ll find Flyknit tech on the upper for stretch and breathability. Nike’s used solution-dyed yarn which reduces the need for water in production. Additionally, the Flyknit weaving technique helps keep material waste to a minimum. Vital when you’re manufacturing at the global scale that Nike is.

On the tongue, above the Move To Zero circular logo, is a QR code. This is perhaps the “interact” element of this pair of shoes. Scan this and you’ll find out more about Nike’s sustainability goals plus info to both extend the life of your kicks and find them a suitable home when their life with you ends.

The Care-Repair program is simple stuff like how to clean and wash your sneakers. But, just by making this content clear on its websites, Nike is pushing an agenda that should get consumers using their products for longer.

When you have the scale and reach of Nike, that’s no small thing, but the fact remains it could be a much bigger thing: if you’re going to factor in technology that champions sustainability and circularity at the consumer end, there is an onus to deliver more on the production side as well.

The Nike Interact Run is set to drop in a “Triple Black” colorway later this year.