Product Review: Adidas X Parley UltraBOOST

During a recent visit to see my BFF, I left my sneakers at her place to change into heels for our dinner date. While we were catching up and sipping cab, her sweet pup was dining on my running shoes…We returned home to find them in pieces, and just like that it was time for new shoes - and another great opportunity to make a more informed and impactful decision!

I knew I wanted to find shoes that were made from recycled or upcycled materials. I also knew I wanted running shoes that would be comfortable and hold up for about a year of runs, dog walks, hikes, etc. Finally…if possible…I wanted them to be PINK (my favorite color). Enter: Adidas X Parley UltraBOOST.

The UltraBOOST was created in partnership with Parley for the Oceans, a group committed to addressing major threats to our oceans. Adidas has been supporting Parley’s initiatives since 2015. The UltraBOOST shoe is made from yarn derived from Parley Ocean Plastic™ which is created using recycled waste collected from ocean beaches and coastal regions. Each shoe they create rescues about 11 plastic bottles from being swept into our oceans.

Apart from this groundbreaking partnership, Adidas scored well (a grade of A-) on the 2019 Ethical Fashion Report from Baptiste World Aid, which works to shed light on what the industry is doing to address forced child labour and exploitation (according to recent estimates there are about 152 million child laborers scattered across the global economy - not good). The company has also made a public commitment to reducing waste, energy consumption and water use be at least 20% by 2020. All these are reasons Adidas outscores other major athletic brands in ethical standards. (Nike, Puma, Sketchers, etc.).

The shoe itself is comfortable, well-cushioned and lightweight. The best part - it comes in pink! i’ve really enjoyed it for my runs and walks so far, and especially enjoy that I can feel better about how it was made.

All this is great, but no solution is perfect. Adidas is still a part of the problematic fast fashion industry, which I am working to avoid where possible in favor of fair trade and eco-friendly brands or the good ol’ goodwill.