Nike ISPA Link series advances efforts to a circular, zero-waste future

Nike ISPA Shoe

Nike already has other sustainable efforts, but the top sports brand will continue to develop other ways to help the planet. The Move to Zero campaign is in full swing so expect more environment-friendly products and collections will be introduced.

The last pair that made us want to really get serious with going green was the Nike Pegasus Turbo Next Nature. That pair used at least 50 percent recycled material. Now Nike is introducing a new collection of shoes and sneakers you can take apart. Meet the Nike ISPA Link, and this pair is something you can easily disassemble.

Designer: Nike ISPA


Nike ISPA stands for “Improvise; Scavenge; Protect; Adapt.” It’s a design philosophy that challenges creatives to work on designs and start experimenting and reimagining products. Nike has been aiming for a circular system that results in reduced or zero waste. The main goal is to really protect the planet and the future of sports.

The Nike ISPA Link reminds us of the Layers Module Sneakers we recently showcased. That pair is designed to be easily assembled and disassembled for easier recycling. It’s not mainly to say Nike is working on more sustainable pairs. The Nike ISPA is also designed to perform. The first two pairs from the ISPA team are the Nike ISPA and Nike ISPA Link Axis.

Nike ISPA Details

The initial effort of the Nike ISPA group is expected to show the capabilities and the possible future of sustainable or circular designs. The innovations are meant to push circular footwear design to respond to the climate crisis. The project results are shoes that are both durable and flexible, thanks to innovations in footwear design.

Catalyst Footwear Product Design’s VP Darryl Matthews has this to say about the Nike ISPA: “Designed in partnership with engineering, digital product creation and development, these shoes are completely informed by method of make — it is a case of form following function. We hope that these ideas and aesthetics become normalized, accelerating our ability to imagine how shoes will continue to evolve in the future.”

Nike ISPA Design

Nike is working hard to achieve its sustainable goals by 2025 and beyond. That’s only three years from now, but we don’t doubt it can be done. The Link and Link Axis will further expand Nike’s many efforts. The Nike ISPA won’t be the last as more innovations will be unraveled. New approaches will be discovered and implemented as Nike also works with other companies and industries. Nike Chief Design Officer John Hoke noted, “We have a responsibility to consider the complete design solution: how we source, make, use, return and ultimately reimagine product. The goal is to make matter matter more.”

Such cross-industry collaborations will result in business models that work. New infrastructures are expected to be set up to make recycling products more accessible. Nike is also investing worldwide in product take-back consumer programs. All these efforts and more are said to help advance the brand’s ability to repurpose products.

Shoe design-wise, the ISPA Link is glueless, which means the pair doesn’t need any heating or cooling processes. The three inter-locking modules of the sneakers only take eight minutes to assemble and maybe even faster to disassemble. The upper of the shoe features yarns made from different recycled materials. Pegs are found on the midsole, and they can fit the openings of the upper. As the pair near its end of life, you can simply take them apart and drop off the parts at a Nike store.

Nike ISPA Sneakers

The Nike ISPA Link Axis is the bolder version. It is the upgraded pair with its 100% recycled polyester Flyknit upper. The latter fits over the outsole, so there is no need to glue or sew. In addition, the TPU tooling used here is 100 percent recycled from a scrap airbag material, while the TPU case is 20% recycled.

There really is no stopping Nike from working to achieve its numerous sustainable goals. A few years ago, Nike released its free circular design guide to help designers embrace sustainability. That Nike Playground constructed with 20,000 upcycled sneakers already made an impression. The Nike Atsuma reduces material waste by creating an interesting inverse design. There’s also the Nike SB Dunk High Cork that allows you to be eco-friendly in style.

Feel free to check out the “Plastic: Remaking Our World” exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany. Nike is participating until September 4 of this year. You will see there the design and evolutionary journey of the ISPA Link line. Learn how Nike’s approach and sustainable intent leads to innovative design.

Nike ISPA Shoes

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Puffy soles, spongy uppers and protruding tentacles form these mutated sneakers for your tender feet

For some reason, if you think “shoes don’t have to be practical” in form, you’re possibly going to appreciate the next theoretical bubble in streetwear: inflatable, mutated creatures for your feet!

Unless you’re from Mars, these are little from a pair of shoes you’d don for a coffee with a sane date! But then, creativity has no bounds and that’s what makes my job interesting. I often come by such concepts that put the analytical mind to think, why? At times I arrive at a conclusion, at most officiations – like this one per se – it’s a little more to contemplate. Anyway!

Designer: UV-Zhu

Has the designer UV-Zhu gone overboard with the footwear? You’d be forgiven to think in the affirmative. To put things in the designer’s perspective, UV-Zhu is seasoned in toiling with everyday objects to ‘fashion’ them in outlooks that aren’t everyday fashion. And this aptly reflects in the footwear collection at hand. The silhouettes with puffy soles and spongy uppers may just have you gliding in them the moment you happen to step in, but would you?

The inflated soles present a lift up to the kicks thus adding to your height, while spokes and spikes in the others would make you tad uncomfy. That said, the colorful candies stuffed into the transparent fluff of the sole gives these conceptual uncanny a subtle, sweet advantage over the tentacle-laden mutated creatures.

Soft texture and a puffy nature of these “work of art” – as the designer chooses to call them – may find some takers in pop culture. However, of an unsettling nature, they are a little too fancy to my liking, and I’d prefer to pass. No hard feelings.

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SCRY Stela Basic and Erosion Sneakers inspired by the Black Monolith

Perhaps it is time to accept we are now living in the future. Not many may agree, but that is what we think when we hear about space explorations and see footwear like the Stela Basic and the Stela Erosion Sneakers.

No, this isn’t from Stella McCartney, but the Stela Basic is a pair of 3D-printed shoes from SCRY. Each shoe is an art piece with its square tup, bumps on the soles, and holes in some parts. In addition, the unique sole and heel arches make it appear the wearer is elevated.

Designer: Zixiong Wei

SCRY Stela Basic Shadow Sneaker Design

The pair is set in black but looks more like charcoal. There’s a bit of matte finish for a bit of elegance. However, the entire design of the pair makes the shoes more decorative. It’s more for making a statement than for comfort.

The Black Monolith in space inspired SCRY founder Zixiong Wei. You can’t miss the futuristic vibe as it’s something you can imagine floating in space. Someday, when the earthlings can visit Mars or whatever planet, the Stela Basic can be the pair you bring. You may not need comfortable shoes there because you may be floating, but at least you can be stylish for it.

SCRY Stela Basic Shadow Sneakers

SCRY Stela Basic Shadow 3D Print

Designer Zixiong Wei firmly believes in “destroying the boundaries of vision and throwing off the shackles of the concrete.” Definitely, the pair does more than just make you in awe. It will make you think of what more 3D printing can do.

Stela Basic is a pair of 3D-printed sneakers. It’s not exactly the first 3D-printed product we could wear, but it’s making an impression with its uniqueness. Wei said, “The design breakthrough of the shoe body and bottom pattern gives a whole new texture, creating the perfect integration of toughness and softness, as well as the coexistence of functionality and aesthetics.”

3D Printed SCRY Stela Basic Shadow Sneakers

SCRY Stela Basic Shadow Sneaker Design

The Stela Basic can be likened to the Cryptide Sneaker, but that one is made for comfort. The Stela Basic is purely aesthetic, and others may say it’s alien-like, but the pair is a creative expression. The series comes in two designs: Stela Erosion Shadow and Stela Basic. The difference lies in the finishes: Basic has a smooth matte finish while the Erosion shows a distorted finish.

SCRY Stela Erosion Shadow

The Stela Basic is priced at $535, while the Erosion sneakers are $655. They are made to order and may take anything from one month to 60 days to be finished. You can order from HERE.

3D Printed SCRY Stela Basic Shadow

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Golden Goose Yatay Model 1B sneakers made from recycled and bio-based materials

Golden Goose Yatay Model 1B Details

Sustainable fashion is not just a trend as it is fast becoming a lifestyle now. It is a significant move to participate in, especially if we are concerned about the kind of planet we want to leave for our children.

Golden Goose is a brand that aims to preserve traditional craftsmanship in a dying world. It aims to create more conscious consumers with the kind of products it designs, makes, and sells to the market. The artisanal hand must be preserved as every item offers warmth and natural creativity despite imperfections.

Designer: Golden Goose

Yatay Model 1B Golden Goose

The company introduces the Yatay Model 1B as a new pair of sneakers made of vegetable materials. The idea isn’t new, but we’re excited to know more similar and sustainable efforts are entering the market. With this pair, Golden Goose is inching forward to its mission of becoming a carbon-neutral company. It aims to be a sustainably-run brand with its numerous efforts starting with its partnership with another brand that offers plant-based and recycled materials.

Yatay is an offshoot brand that will hopefully use more green and efficient technologies. The Italian luxury company got the term Yatay from the Butia Yatay palm. It’s also a palindrome that shows the “principle of circularity,” referring to sustainability.

Golden Goose Yatay Model 1B Details

The Yatay Model 1B eco-conscious sneakers are made using a bio-based material made from vegetables. The pair also uses recycled polyester, while the sole uses biodegradable rubber. The design is minimalistic so that the pair can be worn with most outfits.

The monochromatic off-white doesn’t make it a trendy choice, making it a better option for those who want a neutral and straightforward design. The pair has that used and live-in look already (at least the hand-engraved sole), making it look more natural. Every pair is made more special with the embossed number. It comes with a QR code that will someday be used when the wearer wants to plant a tree.

Yatay Model 1B

However, the Yatay Model 1B doesn’t come cheap at $350. It’s in the same price range as some of the latest and trendiest sneakers from the top sports brands in the market. The “green” pair also features a viscose base derived from ethical sources. It’s white almost everywhere: white recycled cotton, white polyester laces, white left heel tab with heat-stamped unique code, white right heel tab with heat-stamped logo, white Y in bio-based material, and a white biodegradable rubber sole. The upper is 71% bio polyurethane, 15% polyester, 12% cotton, and 2% viscose.

Golden Goose Yatay Model 1B Design

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Nike CryptoKicks NFT sneakers are for the metaverse fashion conscious

If you’re a sneakerhead in your real life, then you’ve got be ready for the coolest pair of sneakers in your virtual life too. That luxury comes courtesy of the Nike CryptoKicks for the metaverse worlds. And yes, don’t forget to lace them up while strolling in VR!

Nike had earlier filed seven metaverse-related trademark applications, clearly suggesting their affinity for the trending pop culture of virtual assets. In line with this future vision, the American multinational acquired RTFKT Studios, a digital fashion and 3D creation studio in December 2021. Now the first nectar of their creation is out for all to see. Yes, you know where this going, right?

Designer: RTFKT Studios

Nike and RTFKT’s first digital sneakers have been released and they call them the Nike CryptoKicks. It’s a design based on the Nike Dunk Genesis sneaker, and this is Nike’s foray into the world of NFTs, and eventually the metaverse. RTFKT labels this creation as the “Future of Sneakers” and we truly second that statement. Nike did hint at their interest in crafting digital sneakers and wearables back in November 2021, so after all this reveal isn’t a major surprise for keen followers.


People who own the RTFKT’s mysterious MNLTH digital box NFT which was airdropped for free to ones who have the Clone-X. There was some mystery around as to what the MNLTH cube actually holds, and now after almost three months we know one of its hidden gifts. The digital wearables can be shown off in the metaverse worlds as their look can be toggled via the collectible Skin Vials for different styles. For starters, the EVO X collection will kick off with eight different skins which can be beefed up with drip upgrades and special powers.

This virtual dunk silhouette gets an uber-futuristic bump-up with the metallic parts, a noticeably modified sole unit, and the paneling to match the swapping around of the screens for customization. CryptoKicks sneaker is going to be one of the many future releases in the pipeline and we can expect the skins library to grow exponentially too.

As Nike said at the launch of the CryptoKicks, “Nike is focused on potential ways to use blockchain technology to serve our consumers in the athletic footwear, apparel and equipment space. The MNLTH is just the start to a future of serving athletes in this space.”

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Norm Architects and KOIO design complementing minimalist shoes and oak bench

Norm Architects is an architecture and design studio known for its minimalist aesthetics. The firm believes in simplicity as a philosophy of life, and we can see that in its various projects. Recently, it has teamed up with KOIO for a sneaker collaboration that aims to explore the interconnection among architecture, furniture making, and footwear.

KOIO, a maker of handcrafted Italian leather sneakers, has developed a new pair of shoes that combines the beauty of a sneaker and an Oxford shoe. You may say Koio x Norm Architects Shoes’ design is something familiar, but this one results from deconstructing the shoe and turning it inside out.

Designers: KOIO and Norm Architects



KOIO is known for keeping things more interesting with its partnerships with other brands. Its sneaker brand collaborations tell us not just about Koio’s design philosophy but also about the other brand. The collaboration with Norm Architects resulted in a pair that can be worn for most occasions.

The pair is available in two different colors: Cliff and Black Timber. Versions for men and women are ready in various sizes. The sneaker collaboration is a minimalist silhouette of the classic Oxford shoe with a twist. It has also gained a furniture counterpart that looks beautiful, casual yet classy, in oak.


The Koio x Norm Architect Sneaker is made from Italian leather. The pair is handmade from genuine leather with rubber soles. The shoes also come with hand-painted edges and 20mm OrthoLite Hybrid insoles that are cushy. Near the heel is a diagonal line that allows the wearer to collapse the shoes and transform them into slippers.

KOIO X NORM ARCHITECTS Cliff Slippers Slip-on

The collapsible heel is an exciting feature of the pair. We are familiar with the idea and are probably always doing it but may be adamant because of fear of destroying the shoes. The Koio x Norm Architects Sneaker is convertible so that you can wear it in formal settings and casual occasions. You can use the pair just about with anything, but don’t run–it’s not made for running or workouts. It can’t handle extreme outdoor activities because it still is just a formal-casual pair. Koio x Norm Architects Sneaker is sold for $295.


To complement the shoes, a furniture piece has been designed that can also serve as a storage area for the pair. As a result, it also boasts a minimalist appeal sans the clutter and other elements you usually see in a cabinet. The special bench has been crafted in Japan and it’s made by craftsmen at the design studio Karimoku Case Study. Making the seat more comfortable is the Sørensen Royal nubuck seat cushion.


The solid oak base makes it a reliable furniture piece. All corners come with walnut spline joints that may remind you of the stitching on the sides of the Koio x Norm Architects sneakers. The Koio x Norm Architects Bench in Oak is made-to-order with a $6,000 price tag.



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Feebees Sock Sneakers are the perfect sock shoes for the adults

Feebees Sock Sneakers

Footwear innovation is real and we can expect more brands and designers will join the bandwagon. It’s more than just a trend, though, as great designs for shoes and sneakers are essential for performance.

Feebees is a company that takes pride in making barefoot sock shoes. We see such kinds of sock shoes being used by babies and toddlers, but there are now adult versions available. The Feebees Sock Sneakers don’t look just like socks; they look more like sneakers because of the thicker soles.

Designer: Fees International

Feebees Sock Sneakers Design

The Feebees Sock Sneakers are also considered sustainable now because they take advantage of a recycling system that turns old shoes into new ones. However, the journey to the final version hasn’t been easy as there have been several stages of development. Here comes the adult version from the original sock shoes for the kids—finally arriving after a decade.

Feebees Sock Sneakers Concept

Several experiments have been done while designs have gone through seven evolutions. Feebees was then able to find the right elastic knitting and a high rebound PU. The result is a pair of ergonomic sock sneakers many people will love.

The Feebees Sock Sneakers can improve your running position. It can also help with your balance and maintain the elasticity of your calves. The sneakers are mainly for running, but they are also ideal for outdoor activities, walking, workout, or everyday use. Each pair gives you the feeling of barefoot walking, which has a lot of benefits.

Feebees Sock Sneakers Details

Sustainability is another goal of Feebees as old shoes are recycled and transformed into new shoes. This means reduced waste and better efficiency. In the sneaker game, sustainability seems to be a recurring theme.

Feebees has used thousands of elastic yarns to fit the parts of the foot. Keeping the shoes lightweight is an innovative PU material used for the insole. It also delivers high rebound, so the shoe performance is top-notch.

The Feebees Sock Sneakers have reached the iF Design Award 2022. The pair is under the Leisure category and is an entry by a Taiwanese company. The Feebees Sock Sneakers are available in different colors: Original 2.0-Olive Green, Purple, Gray, Blue, and Black.

Feebees Sock Sneakers Colors

Many people have already tried the sneakers, and they only have good words. One was able to finish a whole marathon with the shoes. Another shared no swelling and pain, unlike with his other runners. The barefoot feeling makes the pair an attractive choice as you can feel every landing. The sock sneakers are comfortable to wear as if you are not wearing anything at all. A pair fits any foot shape, so it doesn’t matter if you are flat-footed or have big feet because the Feebees Sock Sneakers will offer comfort and support.

Feebees Sock Sneaker Design

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The Mullet Shoe released to support a special mental health cause

Volley Black Dog Institute Mullet Shoes 2

Volley is a brand of athletic shoes from Australia that is popular for its sandshoes. Previously known as Dunlop Volley, the brand continues to release light, comfortable, and durable sneakers.

For a good cause, Volley has partnered with Black Dog Institute to develop a special pair offering that will help fund efforts for mental health research. The Mullet Volleys are ready for everyone who wants to help Black Dog Institute in its attempt to help prevent, diagnose, and treat mood disorders like anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression. These Mullets will help the non-profit facility for Mental Health.

Designer: Volley

Volley Black Dog Institute Mullet Shoes 9

Volley Black Dog Institute Mullet Shoes

The Mullet Volleys aka Mullets for Mental Health are limited edition. The one-of-a-kind Mullet Shoes have been designed to help the Black Dog Institute in its mental health awareness efforts. 100% of the profits will go to the organization when you buy a pair.

The Mullets for Mental Health cause is also launched to encourage more people to shape and grow a mullet for the month of September. This is to raise more funds for mental health research. You see, in Australia, the leading cause of death among the people there aged 15 to 44 is suicide. According to studies, about 60% of Australians also show symptoms of mentall illness but don’t seek help.

Volley Black Dog Institute Mullet Shoes 6

Volley Black Dog Institute Mullet Shoes 7

Growing a mullet seems easy, but not everyone can grow such a hairstyle. If you cannot do it but want to offer support, get The Mullet Shoes which feature a detachable mullet with hair that you can use. Then, feel free to cut, style, or dye the mullet as long as you buy a pair or more.

Black Dog Institute has been working on research into the early detection, treatment, and prevention of mental health disorders. The funds that will be raised will greatly help Volley and the institution that is focused on mental health.

Volley Black Dog Institute Mullet Shoes 10

The Mullet Shoes are available to purchase on Volley’s website. A pair costs $84.99, and all profits will go to the Black Dog Institute. The Mullet edition’s expected release date is April 15. The pair comes with a white canvas upper and original Volley rubber sole, removable Velcro hairpiece, and the iconic herringbone outsole. It is made 100% animal-free so don’t worry about the hair as it’s only synthetic. The hair is brown while the velcro strap is green which is a perfect contrast to the white canvas. As with most Volley shoes, this pair also boasts DAMPENERTECH 10 shock-absorbing footbed for all-day comfort.

Volley Black Dog Institute Mullet Shoes 4

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Charles Birshaw Modular Mule can be transformed into a clog

Charles Birshaw Modular Mules

Charles Birshaw is a new name in the industrial design world that we feel needs more attention. His latest footwear design has made us look more than twice because of the interesting style.

Charles Birshaw has teamed up with several designers, brands, artists, and engineers in recent years. With his collaborations, we have witnessed his vision for a brighter tomorrow. He has been exploring boundaries of design that we see further in this new pair of Modular Mule.

Designer: Charles Birshaw

Charles Birk Modular Mules

The Modular Mule is another limited footwear drop from the designer. The 3D-printed slip-on features a unique design and it appears as having a series of small, tiny ridges. They also look like small stairs going round the whole upper.

The thick midsole gives the pair a chunky look. A CHARLES BIRK spellout can be found on both sides near the heel for branding. The slip-on appears easy to wear, thanks to the rust-colored sling on the rear that can be used to pull the shoe.

Charles Birshaw Mules Mugg

Charles Birshaw Modular Mules Shoes

Charles Birshaw’s Modular Mules are available in Light or Black colorway. The minimalist design makes it stand out in a crowd where everything is suddenly loud and flashy. In addition, the chunky midsole gives it a bit of a more modern look, something that may remind us of some pairs from Balenciaga.

The Charles Birshaw Shoes are available in different variations. There is a mule version, while a clog version is also available. The pair is 2-in-1 because you only need to remove or attach the insert to transform the clog into a mule and vice versa.

Charles Birshaw Modular Mule Details

There is another variation with only a smooth material—no design on the upper and the rest of the shoe. The Muggs mule is a clean version, but the Modular Mule caught our attention more with its dizzying lines.

Charles Birshaw knows industrial design, and we love what he’s been showing the design world. His stuff may not be as popular as Nike or Adidas, but the latest pair design has the potential to be more than just eye candy. The minimalist aesthetic makes the shoes not easy to ignore.

Charles Birshaw Modular Mules Industrial Design

You need to sign-up on Charles Birshaw’s website if you’re interested in getting a pair. The shoes are available in sizes UK 5 to UK 11. No mention, though, when the shoes will be ready for shipping. Join the waiting list to find out and receive information. Check out Charles Birshaw’s other footwear designs and be inspired. You’d wish his designs would become more widely available.

Charles Birshaw Modular Mules Footwear

Charles Birshaw Modular Mules Footwear Design

Charles Birshaw Modular Mule Design

Charles Birshaw Muggs Mule

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Limited Edition Sneakers with Detachable Mullets: Party in the Back!

Because there’s a market for absolutely everything, including sneakers with detachable mullets, Volley of Australia is releasing the $85 Heritage High Mullet Edition, a sports sneaker with detachable Velcro mullets on the heel of each shoe. I can already see myself dragging those mullets through the mud, then sticking them in my own hair because I’m a wild animal.

And as if the shoes themselves weren’t enough to elicit an automatic purchase response, 100% of profits from sales will go towards Mullets for Mental Health, which raises money for mental health research. Cool shoes and a good cause – it’s a win/win!

I just bought two pairs: one to wear and one to keep mint in the box because these are obviously going to be a collector’s item one day. Or – and this has happened to me before – worth even less as time goes on. I’m a terrible investor. I may not have bought any Bitcoin when it was just pennies, but I do have a storage unit full of knock-off Beanie Babies I can’t seem to get rid of.

[via Pedestrian]