Don't worry, they're still stylish.

By Alexandra Lim-Chua Wee
August 15, 2018
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reebok eco-friendly cotton corn shoe
Credit: Courtesy of Reebok

It's time to put some sustainability in your step. This week, Reebok launched a new kind of shoe made entirely out of natural products, according to CBS News. Joining the likes of similar eco-friendly footwear made by Allbirds, Addidas, Nike, and Rothy's, Reebok's model is crafted from 75% USDA certified bio-based materials which have a much smaller carbon, er, footprint on the planet than more conventional petroleum-based counterparts.

And don't worry, we're not talking about the kind of corn you nibble off a cob. The soles of these runners are made from the industrial type that often makes up livestock feed while the rest of the shoe is crafted out of organic cotton. Even the product's packaging is 100 percent recycled. The shoes are available in unisex sizing, currently retailing for $95.

While you may be wondering if corn shoes are really necessary, according to Reebok, 20 billion pairs of shoe made every single year and Americans are throwing out at least 300 million pairs annually. Once in a landfill, shoes can take up to 40 years to fully decompose-not exactly a walk in the park for Mother Nature.

"Ultimately, our goal is to create a broad selection of bio-based footwear that can be composted after use," said Bill McInnis, Head of Reebok Future, in a press release last spring when the shoe design was first announced. "We'll then use that compost as part of the soil to grow the materials for the next range of shoes. We want to take the entire cycle into account; to go from dust to dust."

Though if we were you, we'd wait before tossing these into your compost tumbler. While certainly a greener option that other sneakers, this debut model isn't completely biodegradable (yet!). You'll have to stay tuned for Reebok's second version, hopefully to come soon. Until then, lace up and let the good shoes grow.

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