Vegan sneakers are having a moment right now. But these new sneakers, called the Kengos Lace-Up, have just launched to steal the show. The new shoe, which is currently in beta phase, is biodegradable, vegan-friendly and made from 98% plant-based materials.
Kengos, a Brooklyn, New York-based sneaker company launched just last year and formerly known as Scoots Footwear, has just launched its beta-trial of their first shoe. Called the Kengos Lace-Up, the modern and clean-looking vegan sneaker is made using four main plant-based materials that make up an astonishing 98% of the entire shoe.
The footbed of the shoe is made from natural cork bark, a self-regenerating resource harvested from southern Portugal, while the upper and laces are made from the brand’s trademarked Amaize fibre, a durable material derived from corn.
The outsole of the shoe is made from natural rubber, and touted to be as durable as a work boot while decomposing 35-times faster than the average outsole in landfills, and the knitted upper of the sneaker lined with eucalyptus, which gives natural antibacterial properties.
The result is a product that is completely new to the footwear industry, built by applying modern technology and heritage techniques to plant-based materials.Kengos
“Because we believe that the end of life of a product should be considered from the very beginning, we take a reductionist approach to designing our shoes,” states the brand on its website. “The result is a product that is completely new to the footwear industry, built by applying modern technology and heritage techniques to plant-based materials.”
For the beta-launch, the Kengos Lace-Up will be available as a limited-edition sneaker to be tested amongst a small group for 30 days. After the trial, the company will use feedback from questionnaires and interviews with the designers and founder of the brand to improve the shoe for the final product.
According to Kengos, the final iteration of the Lace-Up is set to officially launch this November, and participants in the trial will be able to get the second pair of shoes for free.
This shoe is only the latest in a slew of debuts in the fast-growing vegan sneaker world. Just earlier this month, sportswear and footwear giant Adidas partnered with iconic sneaker designer Sean Wotherspoon to create a new Vegan SuperEarth, which are animal-free and made using recycled materials.
Adidas also recently collaborated with Millennial-favourite eco footwear label Allbirds to create the “lowest ever carbon footprint shoe” for sports performance, while its arch rival Nike unveiling its Space Hippie collection of vegan-friendly sneakers made using recycled waste, plastic bottles and yarn scraps.
All images courtesy of Kengos.