Australian Merino Wool in New Runners
Australian Wool Innovation’s marketing arm The Woolmark Company has partnered with French eco-native sports and lifestyle brand Circle Sportswear partners to unveil a pair of running shoes made with Australian merino wool.
The shoes are also biodegradable and made from 100% recyclable materials.
AWI Chief Executive Officer John Roberts says the innovative running shoe showcases the comfort, breathability and sustainability of Australia merino wool.
“We have pioneered the use of wool across the world, collaborating with leading brands on material development, functionality and aesthetics to constantly innovate.
Innovations in both product and processing have driven new opportunities for wool in the footwear industry, with breakthrough developments from our partners resulting in the creation of technical running shoes such as the SuperNatural Runner by Circle Sportswear. Our in-house technical team worked collaboratively on the development of the shoe’s upper, harnessing the performance benefits of Merino wool – such as dryness, breathability and odour resistance – to push the innovative nature of the fibre for a high-performance running shoe.”
Highly innovative and responsible materials
The upper part of the SuperNatural Runner is made from 65% Australian Merino wool and the shoe is fitted with a 100% Merino wool lining. The lightweight Merino wool and TENCELTM blend for the upper has been crafted for superb durability. The running shoes harnesses both the performance and eco benefits of Merino wool – a 100% natural, renewable, biodegradable and recyclable fibre that does not contribute to microplastic pollution. Merino wool offers unbeatable thermoregulation, moisture management and breathability properties, making it perfectly suited for a performance-led environment.
The midsole is created from castor oil by Arkema and has optimal flexibility, lightness, resilience and shape retention. Finally, the dynamic shape of the outsole, which facilitates the first stride, is made of Lactae Hevea, a natural vulcanised rubber.
“We have worked with biomechanical experts who have analysed more than 1 million strides to ensure the performance, lightness and comfort of this pair, which weighs less than 300 grams and has a drop of 6 mm,” explains Circle CEO Romain Trebuil.
The SuperNatural Runner is one of the first fully eco-designed running shoes made in Europe. The production, development and assembly of the different parts were carried out in Italy, Normandy, Germany and Portugal, with each component carefully selected to facilitate the end of life of the product without generating post-consumer waste.
The upper part is fully biodegradable, while the sole can be fully recycled via mechanical processes, without losing its technical properties.