Zen Running Club shoes made from sugarcane and eucalyptus

The fashion world is full of environmental pollution due to the fact that production starts from chemicals to non-degradable clothing and footwear. With that in mind, many shoe companies are looking for ways to get more sustainable materials, but with that comes a lot of green cleaning, their efforts may seem broader than their own. Zen Running Club is entering the scene with a different mindset: transparency and building from the ground up, based on what we now know about the detrimental effects of traditional shoe production.

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Zen Running Club was founded by three partners with a history in the fashion industry, Richard Rusling, Andy Farnworth and Dominic Sinnott. These three posed the question: “If the biggest brands started today, what would they do differently?” The answer is, “Everything.”

Related: Carium joins Mike Vallely to get 100% vegan shoes

Zen Running Club shoes are plant-based and 100% vegan. To leave a small mark, the ZR 01 shoe is made of sugar cane and tree fiber.

"Made from good decisions"  in pink letters.

“We wondered why, when driving cars and traveling in commercial spaces, the choice of runners is divided between performance, good looks or respect for the environment. We wanted to prove that we could create shoes that are made without compromise, made of plants, ”said Rusling.

As a Zen Running Club footwear company, it pays attention to those who enjoy the outdoors by working to replace synthetic materials with eco-friendly ones. For this purpose, its flagship ZR 01 running shoes are made of sugar cane of Brazilian origin and have a rocking midsole that is naturally irrigated by rainwater. It grows quickly and is constantly renewable. In addition, as a plant, it filters carbon from the air and releases oxygen. The top is made of TENCEL ™ Lyocell, a fiber that grows as a eucalyptus tree grown in sustainably managed forests. The material is spreading like wildfire throughout the fashion industry as an environmentally friendly alternative to oil and other non-renewable resources.

A person running on a bridge.

Moving on the outsole, the shoe is made of FSC-certified natural rubber, and the sock lining is made of castor bean material. The company’s products are also based on a blend of natural materials, such as organic cotton grown without fertilizer and other chemicals, and cotton recycled from both production and post-consumer waste.

Although this modern approach to the supply of low-impact materials fulfills the company’s mission, it is a footwear and clothing company focused on ensuring a quality product for the consumer. Running shoes do an important job of providing the right amount of support and cushion, making them lightweight and comfortable. The Zen Running Club’s mantra that says “race is meditation in motion” pushes you forward as you run. Meanwhile, the company is pursuing its goals to achieve 100% plant-based products and no commitment to protecting adaptations, styles or natural resources to meet these standards.

Wearing two pairs of socks and running shoes.

The company defines itself with the following ideals: “Zen Running Club’s mission is to lead a better life. They share the spirit of their consumers and their passion for the planet, enjoying nature and sustainable living. “Their goal is to lead a healthy lifestyle with ecological choices and the ability to make better decisions.”

A person running up the mountain.

In addition to ZR 01, the company has also released organic cotton t-shirts and long-sleeved socks with reinforced toes and heels, as well as removal technology.

Personal opinion

Zen Running Club offered to send a sample for review. As a result, I received a pair of ZR 01 running shoes in the Asphalt / Black / Zen Yellow color combination. Since my sample arrived, the packaging has been paper-based and recyclable.

A running box, including shoes and socks.

Sometimes small things have the biggest impact, and let me tell you, this shoe box makes a great statement. First, the company’s “Made from good decisions” slogan is on the front and center of the cover, as well as included in other sections of the box as a hashtag as #madefromgooddecisions. Inside the cover, the artwork stands out.

An empty brown box with black ink designs.

Although unchecked, after a little research, I discovered that James Nunn, a long-time runner and nature lover, was in charge of the design, and says: “The Zen Running Club project was a great opportunity to combine my work with my love of nature. the world and running in it. I think these things are so integral to my life that the concept was introduced very quickly. I focused on the ZRC’s values ​​and ways of representing the kind of world we want to run (sic). It was about depicting the plants that make up the shoe and building a world out of all that leaves. create a green and healthy place so that our shoes do not harm the world we run in. ” The artwork is striking and is repeated on the tissue paper inside the box.

Black and yellow shoes against a plant background.

Passing to the shoes. They are also striking. I love the contrast of the yellow color against the dark charcoal gray. I feel compelled to understand that this review is not for me as a runner. However, I have been wearing it for several days and can talk about many items. The adaptation is as expected with plenty of room. The sock top is soft, flexible and highly breathable. The sole provides a prominent cushion for a smooth, supportive step, and the arch is centered on the inside of each foot.

If you have a high middle arch, you may need an extra insert, but I think that depends on your running style. The construction is sustainable, and the design of the shoe construction is unique with its unique appeal. In fact, the subtle pattern along the top adds visual contrast. Pulling on the tongue and back of the shoe makes the shoes easy to put on and seems to be tied to the quality seam included in the design. Overall, these great shoes are lightweight, stylish and comfortable.

+ Zen Running Club

Images by Running Club and Dawn Hammon

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