This Quick-drying, Odorless 4-in-1 Sneaker Is the Only Pair of Shoes You Need for Your Next Adventure


AUGUST 27, 2019

There’s no wonder this all-terrain sneaker brand raised close to $4 million on Kickstarter.

No matter what time of the year you’re heading off to your next adventure, there’s one mantra you should always follow: “Pack comfy shoes.” Whether you opt to wear a jumpsuit or leggings for your travel outfit, you can’t head out without your trusty pair of shoes, which is something I’ve learned after years of travel — having a comfortable pair of shoes is key for any travel hiccups that may arise.

Before traveling to the Bahamas this summer, I was on the hunt for a lightweight sneaker that I could wear on the plane, walking around  town, and for long walks on the beach (yes, I made myself get up to enjoy sunrise strolls). When I came across Tropicfeel’s Monsoon sneaker, a four-in-one shoe, I was intrigued by the fact that it had so many uses. It’s a super versatile sneaker that’s quick-drying as a water shoe, comfortable enough for a walking shoe, durable enough for a hiking shoe, and stylish enough for a street shoe — I was sold.

Tropicfeel’s first iteration of its sneaker raised nearly $4 million on Kickstarter in 2018, is one of the most-funded shoe campaigns, and has quickly made headlines as a customer favorite when it comes to all-terrain travel shoes. Part of Tropicfeel’s mission is also to manufacture its products with materials that cause the least amount of harm to the environment, so the fabric on each pair of Monsoons is actually made from three recycled plastic water bottles and the insole is made of algae.

Tropicfeel Monsoon Opal Blue Sneaker

Outfitted with Sciessent Curb, a type of fluorine-free water repellent, the Monsoon sneakers are essentially water resistant, allowing them to dry faster than most sneakers. When it was finally time to put them to the test during my beach walks, I was totally impressed. While I could have gone barefoot on the beach, I wanted more support on my long walks and definitely didn’t want to wear my normal sneakers (which aren’t waterproof). Each time I stopped for a break to soak my feet in the ocean, the shoes were almost completely dry within 10 minutes. It might have been the powerful Bahamas sun beating down, but the Monsoon sneakers easily live up to their quick-drying hype.

And not only are these sneakers still comfortable when they’re wet, you don’t necessarily have to wear socks with them. Made with an elastic heel versus a typical foam heel, they’re easier than most sneakers to slip on and off, and they are proven to be odorless (even after significant wear!) thanks to built-in Agion technology that works to keep bacteria, mildew, and odor at bay. Plus, gone are the days you have to reach down and retie your shoes: The Monsoon sneakers have knot-stopping sprint laces, which are short, spring-like laces that have their own  tightening mechanism. Weighing a mere seven ounces, these are a pair of reliable shoes I can easily keep in my carry-on backpack in case I need a change of shoes.

With more than 800 five-star reviews and counting, these are the travel sneakers you’re going to start seeing everywhere.Shop the Monsoon sneakers, available in five stylish colorways, below.

Tropicfeel Monsoon Sneakers

Tropicfeel Monsoon Sneakers

To buy:, $100


Beer-Loving Trail Runners, Rejoice: The Merrell Agility Synthesis X Dogfish Head

Why It’s Hot: The rugged, SeaQuench-themed trail runner adds algae to your midsole.

  • Flex grooves in the midsole give you better, more adaptable ground contact
  • A sticky and durable outsole grips all terrain
  • The TPU overlays and laces are 100-percent recycled, and there’s a 40-percent recycled mesh lining, among other eco-friendly features

Price: $110
Style: Trail running


Beer drinkers with a trail-running problem, make note: Merrell just released a new limited-edition version of its Agility Synthesis Flex trail shoe in collaboration with Dogfish Head. Now fans of the craft beer label’s SeaQuench Ale—a salty, lime sour that goes down like boozy Gatorade after a sweaty workout—can match their shoes to their post-run beer. Or perhaps just fantasize about said beer every time they look down while scrambling up a rocky incline? Whatever it takes to keep you motivated in this sticky, end-of-summer heat.



Agility Synthesis X Dogfish
  • Refreshing aesthetic encourages après run beers
  • Recycled materials reduce environmental impact

Designed to resemble SeaQuench Ale’s sea-foam green can, the co-branded shoe packs all the features that made the original trail runner a top pick for technical terrain, like a flexible midsole, hard toe cap, and sticky rubber outsole. But this time around, Merrell added even more sustainable ingredients. Two water bottles-worth of recycled material went into crafting the mesh upper. The midsole was made with 10-percent algae foam instead of petroleum, and the lugged outsole uses 30-percent recycled rubber.


If the partnership strikes you as odd, know that it was partially motivated by the two brands’ shared interest in conservation and the outdoors. To cap off the eco-friendliness of the shoe collaboration, Merrell will donate $10,000 to the Conservation Alliance to protect lands for both trail running and wildlife.


Check out the Merrell X Dogfish Head trail shoes now at and other sellers for $110. Or crack open a SeaQuench Ale the next time you’re thirsty after a hot run and filling your hydration pack with margarita mix starts to sound like a good idea.

BLOOM Foam sandals: flipping the script on harmful algae blooms.

Posted on August 08, 2019 by SOLE

Pond scum. It’s the kind of thing you’d call your worst enemy when no other description could communicate just how slimy and ‘eugh’ you find them. That layer of gross green on top of the backyard koi pond you’ve been meaning to clean forms from an explosion of algae growth in the water, fuelled by an imbalance of nutrients. The bad news is that your ornamental fish might not have survived the infestation. The worse news is that out-of-control algae growth is a much more far-reaching problem.


The rapid and imbalanced growth of algae is commonly referred to as harmful algae blooms, and it’s become an increasingly regular occurrence in freshwater systems and the ocean alike. Agricultural runoff loaded with fertilizers, sewage pollution and rising sea temperatures have all added to the regularity of algae blooms in the sea. These toxic ‘red tides’ affect multiple areas around the US, with Florida being particularly heavily impacted. Freshwater habitats are also at significant risk, with algae growth choking and poisoning delicately balanced ecosystems (the WWF Living Planet Report shows that freshwater ecosystems are the most threatened of all on Earth, and algae blooms are a significant problem). The good news is that with the right initiative and intervention, we can help solve the problem, thanks to the work of our friends at BLOOM.

Harmful algae blooms and production process

The WWF Living Planet Report shows that freshwater ecosystems are the most threatened of all on Earth.

Bloom Algae Foam factory

Turning a problem into a solution:

BLOOM uses algae to make high-performance foams, like the material we use in our supportive summer sandals. They filter algae from water, dry it out, turn it into pellets and then turn those pellets into foam that’s just as cushioning and durable as the purely petroleum-based materials used by most footwear manufacturers. Thanks to its natural thermoplastic qualities, algae, an incredibly abundant natural material, can be used to partially take the place of environmentally harmful petrochemicals. It’s quite a remarkable innovation when you really think about it. It takes a serious ecological threat, a real problem, and gives an innovative solution to that problem. At the same time it creates a partial solution to another, separate but related problem that we as people face: our widespread reliance of fossil fuels and harmful petrochemical based materials.

Bloom algae foam pellets and production

The end result is that BLOOM’s algae-based foams have up to 40% less impact on the environment than purely petroleum-based equivalents. They also require 35% less energy to process and produce. Once the algae has been removed, filtered water is returned  to the original source, helping restore balance to the ecosystem previously threatened by the uncontrolled algae growth.

BLOOM’s co-founder and CTO, Ryan Hunt, had the following to say: “Algae blooms are increasing in frequency and intensity due to a variety of human-induced factors. We at Bloom turn this negative into a positive by harvesting and transforming the algae blooms into bio-materials that can be used to improve the sustainability of footwear products. Together as a footwear community, we have the opportunity to leave a positive impact as shown through our partnership with SOLE. ”


Doing everything we can to reduce and minimize our environmental footprint is essential to what we’re doing at SOLE. That’s why we use Bloom Algae Foam in all of our sandals that don’t use ReCORK recycled cork. We also have a Bloom Algae Foam insole in the footwear coming in the fall of this year, including the Jasper Wool Eco Chukka, the world’s most eco-friendly shoe.

Bloom harvest algae

Native Shoes Jefferson Bloom Turns Algae Into Sustainable, Stylish Footwear

Many outdoor and environmentally conscious brands have been utilizing Bloom, a plant-based foam made from algae, in their products to tackle climate change effects and lower their carbon footprint in the production process. We shared the details on Native Shoes’ Plant Shoe in June and we were stunned by its appearance, durability, and overall comfort. Now, the “live lightly” gurus at Native are pointing their feet towards another sustainable project that reimagines the brand’s bestselling slip-on design: the Native Shoes Jefferson Bloom.

Native Shoes Jefferson Bloom Colors
Native Shoes

The Jefferson Bloom — a“sustainable Croc,” if you will — is the second member of Native’s sustainable line. The company is searching for materials that are better for the Earth and on its way to the goal of being 100% lifecycle-managed by 2023.

All 50 U.S. states and many other countries around the world are struggling with the toxic algae bloom epidemics in lakes due to rising temperatures and increased runoff pollution. The toxic algae not only affects activities such as fishing and water sports, but these lakes, rivers, and reservoirs are essential sources of fresh drinking water for millions of people. The Bloom foam was created to help curb the growing issue by gathering algae and turning it into a strong and viable material for a shoe sole. The process also contributes to supporting our freshwater systems as  Bloom results in an estimated 225 bottles of filtered water returned to natural habitats and reduces the amount of C02 released into the atmosphere.

Native Shoes Jefferson Bloom Teal
Native Shoes

Native Shoes is the first brand to utilize all of Bloom’s unique material throughout the shoe’s entire construction rather than for just a partial component of the design. It’s an extremely comfortable assembly, boasting enhanced support, a lightweight feel, and a surprising amount of style considering it’s a Croc-like foam shoe. The Jefferson is also extremely breathable, odor-resistant, shock absorbent, durable, and easily hand-washable. On top of that, each shoe cleans 80 liters of water and keeps the equivalent of 15 balloons (literally) of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

Native Shoes has plans to add additional styles to its sustainable family, which includes a redesign of its sole-flattering pointed toe shoe, The Audrey, in spring 2020. However, climate change and plastic waste won’t wait for us, so why wait to promote and support more sustainable business practices?

The Native Shoes Jefferson Bloom shoe is now available for $45 in black, dark blue, and teal colorways.

Merrell Launches Most Sustainable Trail Runner to Date

ROCKFORD, Mich. (July 23, 2019) – Merrell, the brand that exists to give you all you really need to discover the simple yet profound power of the trail, has launched their most sustainable trail runner to date: The Bare Access XTR Sweeper. The Sweeper features recycled materials wherever possible and celebrates an under-the-radar community that’s helping to keep our wild lands wild.

Blog Image Size Sweeper

Along with recycled laces, linings and footbeds, the trail runners utilize a BLOOM® performance midsole foam made of 10% recycled algae that transforms green water into clean water in the process. Additionally, the outsole is made from Vibram® EcoDura, derived from 30% recycled, post-manufacturing scraps.

sweeper 5 blog

The name of the shoe is derived from the community of “Sweepers” that attend trail runs, such as Ragnar Trail Series, and pick up stray flags and random items inadvertently left on the trail, returning the course to its pristine, pre-race state. To showcase their important efforts, Merrell launched a short film highlighting the group.

sweeper 6 blog

“The volunteers who sweep race courses after a trail race are essential to making sure people can enjoy the trails for years to come,” says Erika Derylo, Brand Manager for Trail Run at Merrell. “They often fly under the radar, and so this shoe was really meant to be a way to shine a light on all that they do and thank them for giving up their time to give back to the outdoor community.”

sweeper 4 blog

An evolution of the Bare Access collection, the Bare Access XTR Sweeper is a 0mm drop trail runner featuring FLEXConnect™ dual-directional flex-grooves, a Hyperlock™ TPU heel counter, and Merrell’s Barefoot 2 construction.

The Bare Access XTR Sweeper is available now on and select retail in men’s and women’s, with an MSRP of $110.

Watch the film featuring the Bare Access XTR Sweeper on our YouTube channel.

Style Q&A: ALDO CEO talks eco-conscious initiatives and the RPPL effect

Montreal-based company releases new sustainable sneaker made from algae and recycled plastic bottles.

ALDO RPPL sneakers ($90) are made from Bloom Algae Foam components and recycled plastic bottles. 

David Bensadoun doesn’t want ALDO Group to just sell shoes.

Instead, the chief executive officer says he hopes the Montreal-headquartered company goes beyond footwear and accessories to inspire — both the company’s customer base and its industry peers.

“I want us to inspire love, confidence and belonging in everything we do, through all the products we sell and the services we offer,” Bensadoun explains. Oh, and he also wants to protect the environment, while he’s at it. Bensadoun recently chatted with Postmedia News to explain what that means, how they’re doing it — and what’s next.

Q. ALDO has made several recent announcements about increasing its sustainable ambitions. What can you share about this? 

A. 2019 is a big year for us in terms of our sustainability efforts, but the ALDO Group has been working on corporate responsibility initiatives over several decades. Most people don’t know but 2010 was when we started launching initiatives to reduce waste and energy consumption. In 2016, we reviewed our progress, did a materiality assessment to determine where were our biggest impacts and set ourselves some ambitious goals to reach by 2022. Our teams have been working very hard to be sustainable at every touch point in our business and this is the year we started sharing our CSR story in a bigger way.

Q. What are some of the new initiatives? 

A. In April we launched a partnership with Give Back Box. The program provides a platform for ALDO ecommerce customers to donate old shoes, clothing, handbags and other goods to charities by reusing their ALDO shoebox — or any box — and prepaid shipping label.

We announced (in August) that we were breaking up with single-use shopping bags, saving over eight million bags annually. We are currently phasing out our paper and plastic shoppers to free our customers from needing a bag, and simply using our box. It’s eco designed with a built-in rope and made from 80 per cent post consumer recycled materials.

And on August 26, ALDO launched its very first sustainable sneaker — The RPPL, pronounced ripple. We were able to utilize a sole formulated with BLOOM Foam, an innovative, carbon-neutral raw material derived from lake algae biomass. What’s amazing about BLOOM Foam is that it turns harmful algae overgrowth into a sustainable alternative to traditional textiles.The RPPL is also constructed with recycled plastic bottle yarn, made from three to six plastic bottles. It’s a pretty big step for us and I’m excited for the brand to now be in a position where we can offer this kind of product to our customers. It’s our first collection and definitely not our last. Coming in September, we’re making another exciting announcement related to our climate neutrality efforts. Can’t say more for now!

Q. And why is this so important to the company?

A. Not many people may know this, but we’ve been leaders in sustainable changes — it’s just something we haven’t talked a lot about until now. Change needs to start from within and it was important for me that we get it right internally, before those changes impact our customers directly. Ultimately, it’s our goal to make it easy for our customers to stay fashionable and to ‘choose good’.

The ALDO Group is the first fashion footwear and accessories company to be certified climate neutral and this is something we’re so proud of. We’re always exploring different ways to reduce our environmental impact and I want to make sure that as a group, we continuously challenge ourselves and those in the industry to explore even more ways to advance sustainability.

Q. How, if at all, does being a Canadian company influence the green perspective? 

A. I’m proud to be Canadian. Our company’s purpose is inspired by Canadian values: family values and values of human decency.  From the very first day of the company, our founder, Mr. B (Aldo Bensadoun), always spoke about building an ideal society. He was thinking about social responsibility and purpose before the terms became mainstream, it’s at the core of everything we do.

Q. The shoe industry isn’t viewed as being the most eco-forward industry what with raw materials and waste. What’s one thing you wish more people knew about the industry as a whole, good or bad, to better influence their buying decisions? 

A. I want people to know that the long-term sustainability of the global fashion industry needs systemic change that goes beyond what any one company is capable of doing on its own. Fashion companies can and should join forces with other companies, leading experts and non-governmental organizations to innovate, establish guidelines and share best practices in sustainability. Collaboration is key when we want to integrate sustainability in our strategies. We knew we couldn’t do it alone, so we’ve been working alongside organizations such as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and Sustainable Brands. They’re leading alliances for sustainable fashion and help bring positive influence to an industry with so much potential.

I also want the Millennials and Gen Zers, especially, to know that their desire to make a positive impact on the world and their passion about environmental causes is what will push companies to make change. At ALDO we hear them and recognize this demand, we want to be leaders in change and my hope is that others companies do the same.

Reformation, New Balance Join Forces to Create Sustainable Sneakers


Can two brands be more sustainable than one? Reformation and New Balance are counting on it.

The It-girl brand and the sportswear maker have tag-teamed to launch a line of sneakers made with eco-friendly materials. The collaboration marks Reformation’s first foray into the sneaker category and New Balance’s inaugural sustainability-led collection.

The collection, which opens its wait list Thursday and goes on sale Oct. 10, offers lower-impact spins on classic New Balance styles, including the 574 and X90 sneakers, by swapping out virgin polyester linings, laces and labels for post-consumer recycled versions. The uppers consist of chrome-free suede—which is less toxic to leather workers and the environment—from a tannery that holds gold-level Leather Working Group status for its sustainable best practices.

Shoe inserts are derived from a combination of ethylene-vinyl acetate—a.k.a. EVA—and Bloom’s algae-based foam. The latter, which has appeared in footwear by AldoH&M and Vivobarefoot, not only reduces the amount of fossil fuels used in conventional shoe manufacturing but it also returns clean agua to the freshwater habitats from which the green stuff is dredged.

New Balance and Reformation collaborated on a collection that re-imagines the footwear brand's classic sneakers with sustainable materials.

New Balance and Reformation collaborated on a collection that re-imagines the footwear brand’s classic sneakers with sustainable materials.

But why sneakers?

“At Reformation, our mission is to bring sustainable fashion to everyone. So we continue to innovate across categories and partner with different brands to offer consumers more sustainable product choices,” Yael Aflalo, founder and CEO of Reformation, said in a statement to Sourcing Journal. “ We saw a huge opportunity with New Balance to marry our sustainability knowledge with their expertise in sneaker design to reinvent their classic sneaker styles using sustainable materials. We’re really proud of our first collection of sneakers and thrilled to see such an iconic brand prioritize sustainable innovation.”

The Reformation x New Balance collection, which ranges in price from $80 to $110, includes three styles in five exclusive colorways. They are available to purchase at Reformation’s digital and brick-and-mortar storefronts and online at

Press Release: Surftech x BLOOM Collaboration on Standup Paddle Traction

SAN DIEGO (July 20, 2017)—Carlsbad-based Surftech, a stand-up paddle (SUP) and Surfboard manufacturing company announces its collaboration with BLOOM, a materials development company, to develop deck pad traction on select 2018 models of paddleboards.

“Surftech is very conscious about making products with environmentally-friendly materials when we can, and we are proud to partner with BLOOM,” said Surftech’s product director, Dan Watts. “Our waterways are our playgrounds, so we will do everything we can to keep them clean.”

While not yet biodegradable, BLOOM foams offer a significant step forward in the manufacture of flexible foams. A single Surftech paddleboard using BLOOM foam returns 176 gallons of clean, filtered water to habitat and keeps approximately 123 balloons of CO2 (12” birthday balloon equivalent) from entering the atmosphere. “We’re excited about our collaboration with Surftech as they are an established market leader within the paddleboard industry. We hope they will be a beacon for others in the industry to consider their environmental impact in all that they do,” said BLOOM.

The Surftech boards featuring Bloom deck pads will debut on July 26th to retailers and attendees of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City, Utah, and September’s Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida. The boards are expected to hit retail globally early 2018.

Surftech Alta standup paddle board uses BLOOM foam for traction

The limited release Surftech Alta uses BLOOM foam for its SUP traction.

About Surftech

Shaping the Art of Technology: Surftech was founded in 1989 in a quest to find and utilize new technologies that would bring game improvement to surfers of all abilities everywhere. We build boards for many of the best and most popular surfboard brands on the planet and we were the first to do it! Today we continue to employ the most advanced materials and manufacturing techniques available. We continue to push every boundary utilized in manufacturing, while also attaining a high level of sustainability. We build what others can only dream of doing. Visit us at for additional information.


Founded in 2015, BLOOM is an American performance-based materials manufacturer based in Meridian, Miss. BLOOM uses algae biomass harvested from freshwater sources around the world, (like lakes, rivers, and ponds) at high risk of algal bloom. Using algae biomass helps improve technical performance and offsets the use of petroleum ingredients found in conventional foams. Learn more at

VIVOBAREFOOT Partners with BLOOM to Make the First-Ever Moulded Shoe, Made from Algae

San Diego, May 26, 2017—Leading London-based barefoot shoe company VIVOBAREFOOT announced today its partnership with Meridian MS based BLOOM, which uses algae biomass harvested from freshwater sources around the world (and cleaning them up in the process) to make EVA foams out of a non-fossil fuel for the first time—an innovation set to massively clean up the global shoe industry. VIVOBAREFOOT shoes will be the first full shoes to use the material and will be available for purchase in the summer of 2017.

A pair of VivoBarefoot Ultra shoes, size Men's EU42, returns 57 gallons of clean water to habitat, and 40 balloons-worth of CO2, per LCA data.

A pair of VivoBarefoot Ultra shoes, size Men’s EU42, returns 57 gallons of clean water to habitat, and 40 balloons-worth of CO2, per LCA data.

Founded in 2012, VIVOBAREFOOT is a global barefoot shoe company, offering men’s, women’s and children’s shoes for everyday wear, running, off-road adventures, and more. In addition to encouraging people to get closer to nature, the company prides itself on its sustainability practices.

BLOOM is a performance-based materials manufacturer, founded in 2015. BLOOM offers the first sustainable alternative to the synthetic and petrochemical foams prevalent in today’s market. Using algae biomass helps offset the significant use of petroleum ingredients found in conventional flexible foams.

The VIVOBAREFOOT X Bloom collaboration will start by using the BLOOM algae-EVA foams in the Ultra shoes: the ultimate amphibious adventure shoes. A single pair of men’s size 42 VIVOBAREFOOT X Bloom shoes returns 57 gallons of clean water to habitat and reduces 40 balloons worth of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, per pair.*

“Our goal is to deliver the most performance-driven materials in the most environmentally-responsible manner,” said Mike Van Drunen, CEO of BLOOM. “It is a goal we constantly strive to improve upon, and we are excited to collaborate with VIVOBAREFOOT on the new Ultra line.”

“This is a true revolution for the footwear industry with the first plant based alternative to the petro-foams in ubiquitous use,” said Galahad Clark, founder and MD at VIVOBAREFOOT. “We are thrilled to be the first company to use BLOOM in our shoes and further our mission to make the perfect shoe… perfect for feet and minimal impact on the planet.”

The Ultra shoe using BLOOM technologies—made from algae—will be available for purchase in July 2017 on

For more information visit and



VIVOBAREFOOT launched in 2012 as a standalone brand, and is based in London, England. VIVOBAREFOOT is on a mission to change the footwear industry based on one simple insight—shoes should let your feet do their natural thing. The shoes feature a patented, ultra-thin, puncture-resistant sole in every shoe that protects the foot and allows maximum sensory feedback. Designed using ancient wisdom with modern technology VIVOBAREFOOT is a complete shoe collection for off road, exercise and everyday wear, as well as a line for kids. Created by two cousins from a long line of cobblers, Galahad and Asher Clark are on a quest to make the perfect shoe—perfect for feet. VIVOBAREFOOT footwear is produced sustainably using recycled, locally sourced materials in independently monitored factories. For more information on VIVOBAREFOOT, visit



Founded in 2015, BLOOM is an American performance-based materials manufacturer based in Meridian, Miss. BLOOM uses algae biomass harvested from freshwater sources around the world, (like lakes, rivers, and ponds) at high risk of algal bloom. Using algae biomass helps improve technical performance and offsets the use of petroleum ingredients found in conventional foams. Learn more at