These shoes are made from apples

Sampla is a sustainable footwear startup from Ireland, and in their current Kickstarter campaign, they're offering a new pair of animal-friendly shoes made from … apples?!

Rethinking the classic tennis shoe, the upper material of our shoe is made from a vegan material called AppleSkin™. It is made using repurposed apple waste from the juice industry in Italy. The other components of the shoe were carefully selected. Organic and recycled materials were consciously chosen where possible. Nice, simple and sustainable.

Partnering with Trees on the Land, we will plant an indigenous tree in Ireland for each pair produced. To keep carbon emissions as low as possible, our logistics partner sends our shoes using the most optimal route for each delivery. They are neatly packed and sent in our 0% plastic packaging.

And a little more detail about the actual process behind the AppleSkin™:

The apple core, pips and skins are dried and milled to a fine apple powder. Then it’s applied to a tear-resistant woven roll with cotton fabric. These rolls are heated and given an added protective layer to produce a weather-resistant durable fabric. Organic pigments are added to the brown fabric, producing colours of choice. We are left with a material that is breathable, durable, and of course, 100% vegan.

The Kickstarter Campaign has an "Early Bird Special" that'll run you about $100 fora pair of apple shoes and a t-shirt (plus the carbon offset tree planting). This is apparently about 40% less than what would ultimately be the retail price. Read the rest

Cheap materials, expensive shoes: $425 sneaker teardown

Weston Kay is a leathercrafter who specializes in footwear teardowns, slicing and dicing shoes and boots to expose how well-made (or not) they are. This video seems a good introduction to his channel, showing up the cheap materials a $425 Common Projects sneaker is made from.

Common Projects Achilles Low White Sneaker Review - The Common Projects shoes are allegedly the highest quality sneakers in the world, so I bought a pair to cut in half to review the leather quality, see how it's built, and to see what's inside the Achilles Common Projects.

It's not a bad shoe, and there are some clever design features to make it more comfortable. But it's more than five times the price of similar-quality products, and perhaps a good example of value couched in the most superficial elements of branding and design. Read the rest

Nike really wants Skechers to stop "Skecherizing" its designs

Nike, which already has two lawsuits pending against Skechers, filed a third complaint for patent infringement last month. This time, the complaint targets the Skechers version of the VaporMax and Air Max 270. Aside from the Nike's actual chances of winning, the lawyers filing the complaint on Nike's behalf made the curious decision of highlighting a video that says Nike's VaporMax "looks like garbage":

Among other things, the reviewer identifies the VaporMax as one of his "least favorite sneakers of all time, at least visually" and adds, "it also looks like football payers should be wearing this--and not on their feet. In their mouths." He certainly calls the Skechers version a "blatant knockoff," but mostly because he doesn't understand why Skechers wouldn't have "at least tried to make [a shoe] that looked better." Presumably, Nike will not emphasize that part of the video at trial. Read the rest

People walked slightly different in Medieval times

Before structured shoes became prevalent in the 16th century (and apparently in those places where they never have) people walked with a different gait, pushing onto the balls of our feet instead of rocking forward on our heels. It looks a little affected -- like a gymnast or ballet dancer -- but is apparently much healthier. I'm going to master it! Read the rest

Back to the Future limited edition sneakers auctioned for charity

The Nike Mag, based on the sneakers seen in the popular motion picture Back to the Future II, is finally in existence.

The NIKE MAG is no longer the “greatest shoe never made.” The mythical shoe that originally captured the imagination of audiences in Back to the Future II is being released – and they’re here to help create a future without Parkinson’s disease.

1,500 pairs are under auction at eBay to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Bids are already hitting five-figure sums. Read the rest