We have been loving the new wave of responsible manufacturing we’ve seen arise in the outdoor space, as we’ve always said that a part of enjoying the natural world is accepting the responsibility of protecting it. Now, another prominent outdoor brand, Merrell, is joining the cause with their Bare Access XTR Sweeper trail running shoes.
Named for the oft-forgotten “Sweepers” — the volunteers who help clean up the trails after an outdoor race — these are Merrell’s most-connected sneakers ever, which has a twofold meaning. First, they’re ultralight — weighing just 16 ounces per pair — allowing runners to stay focused on the race, stay in tune with the path beneath their feet, and not feel over-encumbered by hefty footfalls. But they’re also directly tied to the natural world, as they’re crafted with uppers made from 40% post-consumer plastic and 100% recycled TPU, 30% recycled integrated footbeds, and feature a BLOOM foam midsole that is in part made from actual algae. Even the Vibram outsole is made from 30% recycled materials. Available now, these Mother Nature-friendly trail runners will cost you $110 a pair, which is more than reasonable if you’re the type to understand the importance of such a noble cause.