The Evolution of Hiking Boots

Arc’teryx is a company built on the idea of evolution. In fact their namesake and the first reptile to develop feathers for flight, the Archaeopteryx, perfectly symbolizes this desire to constantly improve. For 25 years Arc’teryx has been known for quality outerwear and outdoors equipment but evolved this month with the introduction of their new high-performance footwear line.

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There are eight models to choose from for both men and women. And all eight are designed to perform better than your typical hiking boots. The seamless outside shell is durable enough to handle the elements, but lightweight for day or thru-hikes.

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One unique aspect of the design comes from the removable liners. This two-part design helps reduce rubbing, which can cause blisters. The tongue-less liner is also stretchable and provides a waterproof and breathable surface. The bootie liners have their own rubberized sole so it can be worn as a pair of camp shoes after a long day on the trail. The designers also wanted every step to be comfortable, which is why they custom designed the footbed for optimal arch support.

If you’re ready to upgrade from your standard hikers they are available now.

To see more innovative products that are made with Ariaprene check out our gallery!

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Better Products Start with Better Materials 

We all want the best products.  We want the running shoe that offers support and stability while making us faster, the laptop case that truly protects our electronics, or even a wetsuit that is good for the environment.  And everyday, designers are trying to make products like these better by fine-tuning existing designs or coming up with a new and out-of-the-box solution.

However, to actually take the performance of a product to the next level, the materials used need to be made better and smarter too.  This is how Ariaprene was born.  We set out to make superior products by re-imagining how we engineer the synthetic rubber used in those products.

The difference between Ariaprene and other synthetic foam rubbers starts at the beginning.  A proprietary chemical base is formed into a pellet.  This chemical compound is what gives Ariaprene unique qualities like stretch and recovery. Once the core pellet is created, we can then control other factors such as color, weight, density and performance all depending on the intended final use of the foam.

Check out our YouTube Video to see this unique process, from compound to completed foam, and learn how each step helps make a final product that functions and performs better. Also find out more about how every piece of Ariaprene has been infused with one extra special ingredient – innovation.

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Damian Lillard’s Adidas Signature Basketball Shoes are a Slam Dunk

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There is exciting shoe news for Portland Trail Blazers fans! Coming up this February, Blazer’s point guard Damian Lillard will be adidas basketball’s next signature athlete, with his own custom designed shoes named adidas D Lillard 1’s. Even better, Ariaprene is proud to contribute to these new kicks as our non-toxic material makes up the booties, allowing supportive cushion and responsiveness.

The D Lillard 1’s are low-tops, one of the features making them very different than many other adidas signature basketball shoes for its time. They are equipped with SprintFrame support and TechFit flexibility for easy movement on and off the court. With buyers in mind, Lillard wanted the design to be more simple with less cushioning than other athletic designs in order to keep the price lower. What we love most about the shoes? Synthetic rubber material on the upper part for eco-friendly stretch and compression, as well as our environmentally friendly mesh perforated package, making the shoes very lightweight and breathable to boot.

It is highly likely that the first pair of the Lillard 1’s will feature the Blazer’s color scheme with black, white and red, and all shoes will have a “D” logo never seen before for “Dame.” The official release date for the D Lillard 1’s is February 6th, 2015, so stay tuned to get your pair! For more information, check out the Sole Collector article.

Screenshot 2015-01-07 11.06.47Image courtesy of http://solecollector.com/ 

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The Cost of Products During Their Lifecycle

Image by epa.gov

There are many things to consider when purchasing a product. Did you know the cost you see might not always reflect the true “cost” of the product? One must consider the cost of the full product lifecycle, which is something Ariaprene is proud to say we do! The product lifecycle consists of 5 stages, each with different effects on the environment.

  • Stage 1: Raw material acquisition requires vast amounts of energy to harvest, transport and process raw materials from the earth. Recycling raw materials cuts down the need for this stage resulting in less burning of fossil fuels and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Stage 2: Manufacturing products made with recycled materials also use less energy by cutting back on extraction of raw materials, transporting and processing of materials.
  • Stage 3: Distribution refers to the actual transportation of products. Unnecessary transporting can contribute to global climate change. The more that is reused and recycled locally, the less need there is for transportation of goods.
  • Stage 4: Usage of a product may require energy. Look for products and appliances that are energy efficient.
  • Stage 5: End-of-life management is what happens to products after they have been used. Responsible management, specifically reusing and recycling products goes a long way in reducing their environmental footprint.



Ariaprene is constantly trying to find ways to lessen the cost of our products, both to the consumer and the environment. Our non-toxic synthetic rubber is easily decomposable, hypoallergenic and designed to be reused many times.

One of the biggest benefits of Ariaprene is closed-loop recycling. This means that the waste, or scraps, created from traditional rubber manufacturing are recycled into new Ariaprene. This process requires very little energy and creates a product that can be remade into a second-generation product or an entirely new product multiple times.

Finally, once the product has reached maximum processing at the end of its lifecycle, Ariaprene is designed to safely decompose in landfills, unlike traditional synthetic rubber that is not made to break down or be recycled.

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This holiday, give green with Ariaprene.

If you’re making your holiday shopping list, we have a suggestion: how about giving a gift they’ll love, and that you can feel good about? One that’s made to be a lot more eco-friendly, because it’s made with Ariaprene. Take a look at some of our top choices below, and make holiday gift giving a little greener this year.

For Him: Nike Zoom Hypercross Trainer
Whether he wants to hits the gym, cruise the running trails or just kick back in style, your guy will appreciate the lightweight Nike Zoom Hypercross Trainer. Unbeatably responsive on any surface and in any condition, this innovative cross trainer features synthetic upper mesh detailing for flexible, breathable movement.

For Her: Nike TR Fit 3
Now she can be fast, make a fashion statement, and be comfortable all at the same time! The Nike TR FIT 3’s are sure to wow her this holiday season. Made from high quality eco-chic materials, these shoes have ultra-breathable mesh and superior lateral stability to make her workouts a breeze.

For The College Student: Incase Laptop Cases
A smart choice for any student, the Incase Laptop Case utilizes the best synthetic rubber materials around the outer edges to provide the ultimate in protection. The durable design is available in a range of color options, to perfectly suit your favorite scholar.

For The Outdoorsman: Hauser Hydration Pack
When adventure calls,the Hauser Hydration Pack is the answer. This weatherproof pack features shoulder straps and a perforated back panel designed to manage moisture. Built with flexible, eco-friendly materials, this pack will keep adventurers well hydrated without weighing them down.

For the Athlete: Camelbak insulated water bottle sleeve
For training day or race day, the Camelbak insulated water bottle sleeve keeps water at the perfect temperature for hours on end. Constructed with solvent- and latex-free material, this water bottle sleeve is designed to keep liquids hot or cold, depending on the athlete’s preference.

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Fabric of the Future

More and more people want to know and understand the materials that make up the clothing they wear every day. This proved true at the 4th annual Future Fabrics Expo held in London this past September. A record-breaking number of students, environmentalists, and fashion and textile professionals poured in with the goal of further educating themselves about the industry.

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By showcasing sustainable textiles and industry-changing research projects, this year’s Expo provided attendees with the tools and resources to achieve an industry that has less of an impact on our environment.

This event also focused on supply chain traceability by presenting projects with mapping and connecting tools, as well as components of the textile and fashion value chain. The various companies that made appearances at The Future Fabrics Expo were able to offer a multitude of opinions and solutions to increase sustainability along the supply chain.

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Expo-goers were able to gather more information at seminars held throughout the event, such as the seminar on “building sustainability into your textile buying”. Tips on how to avoid complications when sourcing sustainability, as well as how to successfully develop a sustainable textile market were just some of the topics covered.

As one of the products featured at this year’s Future Fabrics Expo, Ariaprene helped to educate attendees about the complete sustainable process we use to create our product. Creating and manufacturing a product that is solvent and toxin-free, hypo-allergenic, rubber and latex-free, decomposable and still attractive and useful can be a challenge in many ways but the outcome is a highly versatile material that is truly a fabric of the future.

To see the more of the fabric featured and to learn more about the Fabric Expo check out the Future Fabrics Virtual Expo.

Future-Fabrics-Expo-2014-PhotographybyJessicaAlexander_4088

 

 

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Crowning a Sneaker Champion

Portland is a city known for many things including crazy donuts, bridges, bicycles, and – would you believe it – sneakers! With industry giants like Nike, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear and more headquartered in the Portland area, it is a sneaker heaven for many, including D’Wayne Edwards.

An experienced former shoe designer for Nike, Edwards saw the opportunity to take his vast knowledge of sneaker design and pass it along to a younger generation of innovative designers interested in getting into the field. Edwards founded the Pensole Footwear Design Academy in 2010 to provide education in a field not heavily explored by other fashion design programs.

This summer, 30 young, aspiring shoe designers from 16 countries descended on Portland with hopes of revolutionizing the footwear game at the PENSOLE World Sneaker Championships. With the chance to have their final design sold at retail on the line, the students attended classes covering footwear design, color/material/finishes, and 3D modeling. The students created designs for the WSC sponsors including Nike (woman’s sportswear), Under Armor (men’s basketball), JORDAN (running), Adidas (running), PONY (heritage), New Brand (value), Android Homme (designer) and UNDFTD (collector).

During the competition professional Color, Material, Finishes (CMF) Designers worked with and mentored the students. (A CMF’s job is to take a design and find fabrics in the right color, texture, style, weight and durability to make the design come to life.)

We were lucky to also meet with contestants to educate them on how Ariaprene is different from other synthetic rubbers the industry uses. We discussed the ecological, performance, and design benefits of Ariaprene. We also helped them understand how to build a custom Ariaprene package and tailor it to the exact construction needed. It was important to us that these young designers recognized that the industry doesn’t have to keep making things the same way thanks to material innovations that continue to opening up new doors for improved products.

After the designs were presented to a panel of judges, eight finalists were chosen and voting was opened to the public on the Sports Illustrated website. When the final votes were tallied, Stefan Cristobal of the Philippians and Lindsey Johnson (his materials designer) stood victorious with a sneaker designed for the Android Homme brand.

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The World Sneaker Championships showcased the depth of creative ideas in the industry. It was important that we were involved in this year’s competition because we believe that students hold the future to innovation and development in the product design world. Helping make their intricate and demanding designs become a reality also inspires Ariaprene to continue spreading the word about our products and practices. To see more products that contain Ariaprene please visit our product gallery. For more information about the Pensole Footwear Academy visit their website.

Winning design photo: nicekicks.com 

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Nike Hits a Home Run

Some would say that the best way to spend a warm summer night is at the local baseball stadium. Most show up as fans, cheering on the home team, but for those athletes who participate in the game, having the proper footwear is crucial to success.

The Nike Huarache Pro Low Metal Men’s Baseball Cleats are designed for stability and traction, perfect for when a player is chasing down a fly in left field or stealing second base. The upper part of the shoe is constructed with a combination of mesh and synthetic leather, which provides lightweight breathability. Perforations in the toe box also help keep feet cool and dry.

Nike Air Huarache Pro Low Metal

The Huarache Pros are also built for comfort. A Phylon midsole gives the player a responsive cushioning they need to go nine innings, while a full-length Nike Air unit provides impact protection.

When it comes to performance, a lightweight comfortable shoe just isn’t enough for Nike, which is why they added a TPU plate with nine strategically placed cleats for excellent traction and durability. All these features make The Huarache Pro a true home run.

For more athletic shoes for a variety of sports, visit the Nike website or take a look at some of our previous product posts to ensure you’re purchasing green products that are sure to perform.

 

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Let Your Feet Breath this Summer in the Sockwa X8

The sun is out and it’s time to enjoy all the outdoor activities you’ve been waiting for. Whether you’re planning on backpacking through the Rockies, doing yoga in the park, or hitting the beach, the Sockwa X8 is one shoe you can wear all summer long.

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The X8 is both durable and stylish, giving the wearer a high-end look, and superior abrasion resistance. These lightweight shoes aren’t nicknamed “socks with attitude” for nothing – they are designed to feel as though you’re wearing socks while still being able to navigate tricky terrain. The outsole provides an extreme barefoot-feel with great traction.

Sockwa X8 is constructed with an Ariaprene foam layer that is both breathable and anti-odor. This Ariaprene layer, along with the moisture wicking lining help keep your feet cool and dry, even on the hot summer sand.  These materials are also washable. So after a long day in the sun, just rinse out the shoes, roll them up and stick them in your bag for your next outing.

Sockwa is committed to innovative design and sustainable manufacturing. By using recyclable and toxic-free materials, like Ariaprene, they have created a shoe that is good for both you and the environment.  The X8 was even recognized as the one of 2014’s “Best Vegan Health and Fitness Products” by Vegan Health & Fitness magazine.

Make your summer a little greener by choosing products like the Sockwa X8 and check out our online gallery to see more products made with Ariaprene.

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Hitting The Hiking Trails in Comfort and Style with Ariaprene

Photo By Mike - https://www.flickr.com/photos/dierken/4936927360/in/photolist-8wd3sp-8wg3Z7-8wd3bt-8wd35H-8wg3vf-8wd2Gg-8wd2B6-8wd2g4-8wd2av-7smnJq-ayLc1r-b6cbtF-bmvWHm-g6hs2H-fHCemS-b6ccWH-99T8qw-d6s51f-9ijfgz-dYR8bT-b6cbNR-fGdEjb-3KDqCS-eiTkyH-js8tRd-hKBRg4-cHKcMA-4xqz2G-9WGFJ-8tnoGX-hYCBYF-8EPaNQ-hYy7rq-eiW1gR-hiRiEA-9z838p-7BuURh-7BuUJU-7BuUEd-7Br6xc-7Br6pz-7BuUmC-6cL1Gf-5bLwEz-5bQMtw-hYBjKf-4pKQwZ-awvkAp-ivSGmz-9jRWr1

Memorial Day is the un-official kickoff for summer and with the weather improving, outdoor plans are furiously being penned into calendars and outdoor stores are buzzing with people looking for the best equipment for their summer adventures. With so many options out there, finding the perfect pair of lightweight shoes for hiking, camping or trail running can be a challenge.

New Balance Minimus 10v2 TrailThe New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail shoes are a lightweight trail shoes for navigating smoothly through all types of terrain. They are designed to feel as though the walker or runner is virtually barefoot and have multi-directional traction and a flexible overlay. These features allow you to feel every contour of the trail beneath your feet as you move. These stylish shoes can be worn comfortably with or without socks and are odor resistant.

The flexible, lightweight upper portion of the shoe is made with Ariaprene. The closed cell structure of the Ariaprene foam means that it won’t get water logged if you happen to splash through a puddle. This means that at least for the upper portion, it will remain around the same weight at the end of the run as it did at the beginning.

No matter where your next adventure takes you, choosing products featuring Ariaprene ensures your time outdoors is enjoyable and good for Mother Nature. See more products featuring Ariaprene in our gallery.

Photo by: Mike

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