Most ‘enlightened’ hikers these days use trail shoes, so if you’ve an avid boot user who repeats the mantra ‘ankle support’ without ever questioning it, this podcast is not for you 🙂

Like all outdoor manufacturing things have moved on in leaps and bounds in the trail shoe market as elsewhere. With the current need to change the manufacturing process to take in account sustainability, recycling and environmental damage I have lost track of what brands are doing with the current range and where design is taking us over the next few years.

However I know a person who knows much more about the current state of play and who has her finger on the pulse.

Wild Ginger Running is the UK’s best YouTube channel providing trail and ultra running advice, inspiration and gear reviews, created by Claire Maxted, co-founder and former editor of Trail Running magazine. She also has a very successful podcast on the same topic.

She created Wild Ginger Running YouTube channel in 2017 to help trail and ultra runners get advice and inspiration via weekly films and podcasts. She recently released her first book “The Ultimate Trail Running Handbook” and offers training camp events in the Peak District.

I wanted to discuss what the marketplace was currently offering and if she had found the perfect trail shoe yet. We touch on shoe design, sustainability and how the manufacturing base needs to make drastic changes from now on to meet targets.

The environmental damage created by this massive industry is certainly food for thought.

1) The global sports footwear industry is predicted to be worth $95 Billion by 2025. Double what it was in 2016
2) Every year 20 billion sports shoes are manufactured representing 1.4% of Green House Gasses. Comparable to ALL air travel calculated at 2.5%
3) The manufacturing process for a pair of sports shoes generate 13.6kg of CO2 emissions which would keep a 100W lightbulb on for a week
4) Synthetic products within a shoe take up to 1000 years to decompose

However some positive news is

1) Vibram are offering a resoling service. (Not sure if that is on all their shoes)
2) Nike has a recycling program to turn shoes into gym floors and tennis courts
3) Keen have a Field To Foot program where 51% of the outsole is made from agricultural waste
4) Adidas are making shoes from recycled ocean fishing nets
5) Gucci with a new range made with bioplastics
6) Salomon have announced the ‘Play Minded Program’ to recycle a concept running shoe into Snow Ski Boots

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