Save the planet while you sweat with the latest in eco-friendly fitness tech.
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Adidas FUTURECRAFT Loop
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Price and release date TBC, adidas.com
Your average gym trainers and running shoes aren’t about to make Sir David Attenborough dish out gold stars for your eco-friendly effort.
They have a relatively short lifespan – particularly if you’re bashing them four to five times a week – and because they’re made from a variety of complex materials, they’re hard to break down and recycle.
It’s a depressing double whammy that means millions of tattered trainers wind up in landfill or the incinerators every year.
But adidas thinks its found the answer: the first ever fully recyclable running shoe that’s made to be remade from the outset.
Every piece of the adidas Loop is made from 100% recyclable TPU, a versatile plastic that’s spun to yarn, knitted, moulded and then clean-fused – that means no glue – to a wedge of classic adidas Boost foam.
The result is a shoe that looks like any other but when it dies can be reincarnated into a brand-new product. An eco-win for sure…but how does it perform?
In the loop
For a start, they run just like traditional running shoes. The Boost foam sole provides exactly the same ride underfoot as you get from a pair of UltraBoosts.
The main difference is in the fit of the more structured, thicker upper that feel less welcoming than a soft PrimeKnit.
However, what you lose in cosiness you get back in support. The firm TPU knit works with some harder plastic sections cunningly designed into the classic Three Stripes on each side of the Loop, for added stability.
You’ll sacrifice a bit in the weight department, though, as this isn’t the lightest shoe, nor is it as breathable as trainers with classic knitted uppers.
On the flipside, you get serious durability and that all-white styling looks the part, too.
A limited run of the Loop will be available at the end of 2020, but expect to see this TPU eco tech used across the adidas sports shoes range way before the sea levels rise and Norfolk sinks beneath the waves.
PowerWatch Series 2 with Matrix
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Even the longest lasting fitness watches need to be charged at least once a week, and most require even more. Juicing up your watch won’t suck power as frenziedly as a Bitcoin server farm but it’s still costing you money and the planet resources.
The second-gen PowerWatch 2 kills that hungry need for power by being the first ever multisport watch that never needs charging.
It uses your own body heat – or to be more specific the differential in your body heat to the ambient temperature – to generate power, along with a solar cell ring on the face for an added bump.
Its fitness skills are up there with other brands like Garmin, Suunto and Polar, too. They include sport tracking with GPS, optical heart rate, and calories measured by heat for better accuracy.
It’s also rugged, built to last and water resistant to 200m.
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One of the things that stops people swapping an environment-damaging car commute for a fitness-boosting run-or-ride cardio session is access to showers. No one wants to hammer out a sweaty 10km then stink out the office all day.
This smartphone app-based subscription service wants to solve that. Basically Uber for showers, it helps you find nearby gyms, hotels and places for a quick hose down and freshen up.
Currently London-only but coming to a city near you soon.
SportsArt Eco Cardio Machines
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While cardio equipment uses a lot of energy, people using it actually generate power.
You can produce up to 300 watts of electricity during a workout: that’s enough to provide four hours of WiFi.
SportsArt’s motor-free treadmills, ellipticals and bikes capture this juice, turning your hard work into electricity and feeding it back into the building. The harder you work, the more you generate.
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An electric bike might seem counterproductive to fitness, but studies show e-biking inspires people to ride further and commute more; it can lower blood pressure, boost cardio capacity, fat metabolism and overall mental wellbeing.
This slick Cowboy is as techy as it gets, with intuitive assistance that senses torq on the back wheels to give you oomph when you need it.
It also packs hydraulic brakes, built-in lights and an app that reveals how much CO2 you’ve saved.
Words: Kieran Alger