The Adidas Futurecraft Biofabric concept model is being touted as the world’s first performance shoe to utilize Biosteel fiber, a replication of natural silk that’s nature based and completely biodegradable.
The silk biopolymer material, developed by German biotech company AMSilk, is also 15 percent lighter in weight than conventional synthetic fibers. The Biosteel yarn is created using natural carbon sources such as sugar cane and beets that are fermented and converted into a white powder.
The prototype shoe was unveiled at the Biofabricate Conference in New York, where Adidas and AMSilk announced a partnership that will explore the use of Biosteel fiber in performance products on a larger scale. Such possibilities include the development of foams and polymer reinforcement pieces. Beyond this first foray into athletic footwear, other current Biosteel applications include industrial textiles, cosmetics in the form of gel or beads, and medical uses such as implants and surgical meshes.
According to the Sporting Goods Intelligence, newsletter, Adidas started the R&D process with AMSilk nearly two years ago and is looking to launch the shoe at retail sometime in 2017.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.