On launches eco-friendly running shoe made using waste carbon emissions

Man and woman running wearing On Cloudprime shoes
(Image credit: On)

Sportswear company On has revealed a new road running shoe made using carbon waste that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere. The Cloudprime shoe uses a new type of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole foam called CleanCloud, which is made using carbon emissions as a raw material.

The new shoe was made in partnership with three companies developing new ways to manufacture chemicals, and turn waste carbon into useable materials: LanzaTech, Borealis, and Technip Energies.

LanzaTech has developed technology to capture carbon monoxide emissions from industrial sources like steel mills. These emissions are then subjected to a fermentation process not unlike beer brewing, in which specially selected, naturally occurring bacteria convert the carbon-rich gas to ethanol. 

Technip Energies then dehydrates this ethanol to create pellets, which are polymerized by Borealis to create EVA. 

EVA pellets made by Borealis

Borealis turns polymerized ethanol into EVA pellets, which are then used to create foam (Image credit: On)

On is working with startup Novoloop on the Cloudprime outsole, which uses chemically upcycled thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) made from post-consumer waste. After rigorous testing, the outsole met specifications comparable to fossil-derived TPU, but with a much smaller carbon footprint.

The shoe's upper is made using a textile from French startup Fairbrics. Like the midsole foam, this also uses carbon emissions that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

The Cloudprime shoe isn't available to buy right now, but On says that it's aiming to bring CleanCloud technology to as many people as possible in the near future.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.