Study: Running shoes leave large carbon footprint

But Nike says, “reducing our own contributions toward climate change is a primary aim of our sustainability strategy.”

Runners tread more heavily on the earth than they may have ever imagined, especially it seems if they are wearing a pair of Chinese-made men’s size nine Asics gel Kayanos, according to a team of MIT scientists.

A new pair of synthetic running shoes typically generates 30lbs of carbon dioxide emissions, the researchers found…

Read more at The Guardian.

Click for Nike’s sustainability page.

13 thoughts on “Study: Running shoes leave large carbon footprint”

  1. Mex, there’s no need to be rude, and GC is correct. This is simply inferior durability, an entirely different thing than planned obsolescence.

  2. Look up ‘planned obsolescence’ and you will discover that ‘obsolescence can be pre-meditated like murder.
    Now please shut up and go to bed…

  3. OBSOLESCENCE: the process of becoming obsolete or the condition of being nearly obsolete.

    Wearing out is not becoming obsolete.

  4. Ouch but you’re making my little head hurt…
    The running shoes are deliberately made with inferior materials that wear out – aka ‘planned obsolescence’.
    Please – if you’ve got nothing more than other stupid replies please just quit.

  5. @gamecock
    I said very clearly ‘serious distance runners’ which obviously doesn’t include you if your running shoes last you 10 years.
    It is standard practice to replace traditional running shoes like the Asic Gel Kayanos (which I personally ran in for 10 years) every 400 miles.
    I run anywhere from 80-100 miles a week so if I was still running in those shoes and following SOP then I would burn through upwards of a pair per month or 12 pairs per year.

  6. I would like to add a further conclusion, that while it’s not part of the direct manufacturing process costs, it remains a cost non-the-less. And that is the hidden cost passed onto the consumer by virtue of the inbuilt planned obsolescence that is part of every pair of running shoes. MIT’s manufacturing analysis rightly didn’t include the replacement cost because that is a consumer cost not a manufacturing cost. But it is a cost that has an environmental impact as well. Running shoes need to be replaced every 400 miles which means that serious distance runners will typically go through 8 or more pair of running shoes per year. Building stuff that lasts longer is better for both the environment and the consumer.
    I believe in sustainability through using recycled materials to create products that last. Cheers. mexsandalguy

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