Green Silence Running Shoes
I was running the other day and noticed that my shoes were starting to feel a little squishy. I thought about it and realized that I had put way more than the 300+ recommended miles on my running shoes, and my feet were telling me that it was time to get new ones.
I have worn Brooks Adrenaline for a few years now. So, my natural reaction was to head out to my local shoe store and buy a new pair. However, as I was standing in the shoe store holding a new pair of my trusty Brooks Adrenaline, I started to wonder what the environmental cost was to produce and dispose of my shoes. So, I decided to do a little research to see if there was a green running shoe out there, or at least a company that makes running shoes that was trying to be more green.
It turns out that most running shoe companies barely address the environmental impact of their shoes. Those that do address it seem to just use eco-friendly and sustainable buzzwords, but really don’t say much about what they are actually doing to reduce waste and lessen their impact on the environment. However, there was one company that not only directly addressed their efforts to be more green, but also had a green running shoe. That company is Brooks.
Brooks has a great section of their Web site devoted specifically to their green initiatives called The Green Room. The Green Room discusses in full detail what initiatives Brooks is taking and what they are trying to accomplish through those initiatives. One of their main green initiatives is a biodegradable running shoe midsole, which they call “BioMoGo.” Their Web site states the following about BioMoGo, “Adding a non-toxic, natural additive to the MoGo compound that encourages anaerobic microbes to munch away once it hits an active enclosed landfill.”
Brooks also discusses their shoe packaging and how they have re-designed their packaging to reduce its impact on the environment.
… switched to a single-color, less energy-intensive flexographic printing process, and water-based inks and adhesives that are cleaner and better on the environment. More box sizes mean a tighter fit, saving 150 tons of paper annually. We also said, ‘Goodbye, shoe stuffing!’ We talked to you, the runner, ran some shipping trials, and discovered shoe stuffing wasn’t necessary. Nor were those annoying Silica packs.
However, making their business processes more green is not all that Brooks has been doing. Enter The Green Silence, Brooks’ green running shoe. As stated by the Brooks’ Web site, “By utilizing recycled and other earth-friendly components, this striking—and strikingly fast—performance racing shoe breathes new life into the competition category—as well as countless post-race plastic water and sports beverage bottles, rubber that would otherwise be abandoned, and discarded Skid Row, Kix, and Ratt CDs. No wonder the Green Silence has so much personality.”
Key Green Features:
- BioMoGo, the world’s first-ever biodegradable midsole for running shoes
- 75% of the shoe’s materials are post-consumer recycled
- Biodegradable insole and collar foams
- Laces, gillies, and reinforced webbing are 100% post-consumer recycled
- Water-based adhesives are used throughout
- All dyes and colorants are non-toxic
- Packaging is 100% post-consumer recycled
Brooks goes on to state, “Constructed with roughly half as many parts as comparable shoes, the Green Silence requires less petroleum and energy to make. Of course, the shoe manages all of this while delivering the premium performance expected from Brooks.” Wow. Now that is one heck of a green running shoe!
I knew I just had to give these shoes a try, so I headed up to our local running shoe store and bought a pair at size 8.5.
The first thing I noticed is that they look great. The women’s shoes are black and green and I loved the way they looked. The second thing I noticed is that they are super light. My trusty Brooks Adrenaline felt like bricks compared to The Green Silence and I always used to think that they were light!
I tried them first on a treadmill. After about mile 2.5, I started to feel a blister forming on my left third toe. At mile 3, I could feel one on my right foot as well, so I only ran 3 miles. I returned them that day for a pair of size 9′s to see if that would help. The next day, I was able to run 4.5 miles on the treadmill before I started feeling the same blister on my left foot. That run was supposed to be my long run, so I changed back into my old Adrenaline 9′s and finished my 10 mile run. As soon as I switched shoes, I felt a HUGE difference in weight. The weight difference was so great that I decided I had to give The Green Silence another chance.
I gave my feet a day to rest and tried them again, outside this time. With the size 9′s my right foot has no issues and thought the shoes were perfect, but again at about 4.5 miles, my left third toe started hurting again. I finished my run up sadly, as I knew that The Green Silence were just not quite wide enough for me. The next day, with a heavy heart, I returned the The Green Silence shoes for a new pair of my old stand by Brooks Adrenaline. I ran another long run on the treadmill as my first test run in my new pair of Adrenaline and they got me through 10 miles completely blister free.
Oh well… even though I could not wear The Green Silence running shoes and be completely green, I still feel good about supporting Brooks because of their many green initiatives. If you have a narrower foot and want to try a green running shoe, I highly suggest you give The Green Silence a try. If I could wear them myself, I definitely would.
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