An incredibly lightweight and comfortable road running shoe that is also probably the most eco-friendly sneaker out there
If you’re needing some new road running shoes that have a low environmental impact and are also super comfortable, look no further than the Hylo Corn Runners. They are made using seven renewable materials, are super comfortable and lightweight, are recyclable when you’ve run them into the ground, and their carbon footprint is 52% less than the average running shoe! It’s time to run like the world depends on it.
Hylo Corn Runners: the stats
|Best for:||Road running and dry, gentle trails|
Hylo Corn Runners: the construction
Sustainable materials of the Hylo Corn Runners
Corn SpringThe midsole is constructed of Corn Spring (28.82% of the shoe). It’s made from cornstarch that is locally-sourced and renewable, reducing the use of EVA. This bouncy and flexible material creates a heel-to-toe drop of 9.5mm providing forward momentum when running.
Corn fibre makes up 28.52% of the shoe and is used in the construction of the uppers. It’s a byproduct of corn production and is derived from naturally-occurring plant sugars. Plus, it’s sourced from within 20km of the Hylo factory hub. The result is a lightweight, breathable and quick-drying upper that is an excellent alternative to polyester.
The sole of the shoes are made of natural rubber (20.44% of the shoes). Natural rubber comes from the Brazilian plant Hevea brasiliensi and is a renewable and bio-based material. The soles are flexible with shallow lugs that are best worn on road or dry trails.
Used in the corn-based reinforcement on the sides of the shoes, Biorel is a bio-based material that is renewable and biodegradable. It makes up 7.77% of the shoes and adds a degree of stability to the shoes.
The creation of Algae Bloom is an excellent way of making use of the excess rise in algae growth as a result of global rising temperatures. It has characteristics that are similar to thermoplastic which is why it is so well suited to the construction of insoles. This makes up 7.02% of the shoes. Plus, Hylo’s use of Algae Bloom returns 14 litres of clean water to the habitat per pair.
The laces, woven label and pull tab are all made of organic cotton. It’s also included in the insoles making up 4.15% of the shoes. Organic cotton is highly durable and its production emits 94% less greenhouse gases compared to regular cotton as well as using no harmful chemicals and using less energy.
Another bio-based material used in the construction of these shoes is Bioform. Made using discarded plant matter (stalks, cobs of maize, leaves), it provides structural support in the heel counter. Bioform makes up 1.64% of the shoes.
Hylo Corn Runners review
These eco-friendly running shoes are designed for road running. I tend to favour running on the trail and the times I do venture onto the road are for short stinks in my trail running shoes. As such, the general feel is a little bit different to what I’m used to. But not in a bad way at all!
Firstly, I’m loving the extra bounce that these shoes offer compared to my trail shoes. This is, in part, thanks to the Corn Spring midsole, but also down to the position the shoes put my feet in. My trail runners are a zero drop design, meaning that the heel is the same distance from the ground as the toes. The Hylo’s, however, have a 9mm heel to toe drop (my heels are 9mm higher than my toes) which feels very different. The result is that I’m pushed forwards slightly when I run, giving me more forward momentum and drive.
The shoes feel great on tarmac roads / pavements and I’ve actually started to enjoy the odd bit of road running a bit more since I’ve been wearing them!
However, I’ll always favour the trail so I’ve tried them out a few times on the rocky and rugged coastal path and they just about hold their own in certain conditions. I’m not saying I would ever choose them over my trail running shoes. But when it’s dry and not too technical or rugged, the Hylo’s do OK on the grip front, though they do lack a bit of stability and support.
Fit and comfort
The shoes fit true to size and feel instantly comfortable when I put them on. And because the fabric of the uppers is so lightweight, my feet don’t get too hot when I’m running in the heat.
When it comes to use in the outdoors, they lack the versatility of trail running shoes which I often wear for hiking during the summer. However, they’re not designed for this.
Where they do step up is for sport, recreation and casual wear. As mentioned, they’re great little road runners as well as doing fine on dry and gentle trails. But they’re grippy and supportive enough to wear for other types of fitness and sport where dynamic lateral movement and sudden stopping isn’t the dominant movement. They also look great as casual trainers with jeans or shorts.
What I love the most about the Hylo Corn Runners
It’s really hard not to love the sustainability stats that come with these trainers. It really does feel good knowing that they’re less impactful on the environment and I find myself telling people about them every time they comment on how nice they look! But I also love how comfortable and bouncy they are.
What I don’t love so much about the Hylo Corn Runners
They lack a bit of support and stability on downhills. Even when running on the road, I feel my feet moving forwards slightly in the shoes as I run downhill.
The Hylo Corn Runners are not only comfortable and versatile trainers for road running and everyday wear, they’re also incredibly sustainable. You will struggle to find a more environmentally conscious pair of running shoes right now that also look as good as they feel.
Well done Hylo Athletics!
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Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.