Among our proudest achievements is the creation of the BioMogo midsole, one of the sporting goods industry's most exciting environmental innovations ever. Traditional midsolesmade of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate™ (EVA) are one of the least biodegradable shoe components, lasting up to 1,000 years in a landfill. We added a non-toxic, natural additive to our MoGo compound that encourages anaerobic microbes to munch away once the material hits an active, enclosed landfill. A five-year study found that BioMoGo degrades 50 times faster than the standard midsole in anaerobic conditions, and will save 29.9 million pounds of landfill waste in roughly 20 to 25 years. BioMoGo made its debut in the Trance 8 in 2009, and by 2010, was available in most of our men's and women's performance running shoes. BioMoGo technology represents valuable intellectual property resulting from major investment of resources, yet Brooks decided at the outset to treat this advancement as an "open source" innovation.
BioMoGo Frequently Asked Questions
How does a BioMoGo shoe break down in a landfill?
BioMoGo works by enhancing the biodegradation of the midsole once it enters an active enclosed landfill. As soon as the midsole encounters the "triple convergence" of high microbial load, low oxygen, and adequate moisture, it begins to break down into its component nutrients. This makes the carbon that was locked up in the original petroleum available for plants and animals to use for growth. Early on this breakdown can be seen under high magnification as the following pictures show:
Control (standard MoGo) midsole after 1 year in active enclosed landfill conditions.
BioMoGo midsole after 1 year in active enclosed landfill conditions
The Life Cycle of a Running Shoe
Eventually all shoes will end up in a landfill somewhere in the world. But before that happens, we at Brooks want to encourage you to make the most of your running shoes. Once you retire them from training--or racing, let them continue to lead a happy, long existence in The Life Cycle of a Running Shoe.
Phase One: Your brand-new running shoes
First, enjoy your brand-new running shoes for 300 miles of pure running joy. Use their cushioning and resiliency to give you the perfect ride as you run day after day.
Phase Two: Transition to casual street shoes
Once they pass the 300-mile mark, those trusty running shoes make great casual street-wear. Pair them with jeans for a trip to the grocery store, an outing with your dog, or a day at the park.
Phase Three: Transition to work-around-the-house shoes
Of course, even casual street shoes begin to show signs of age over time. Offer them a change of pace by promoting them to lawn mowing, painting, or gardening shoes.
Phase Four: Retirement from active work life
You may think the next best place for your well-worn, around-the-house work shoes is the trash. But wait one minute! If they're still in good shape, those shoes have more life left to give. They can help someone in need when you donate them to charity. Find a local drop-off center in your community or ship them to a national organization, like Soles4Souls.
Phase Five: A final resting spot
After years of use and wear, those running shoes are ready for their final resting spot in a local landfill. Here, if they have a BioMoGo midsole, parts of the shoe will be returned to the earth as reusable byproducts that can help grow trees and plants.
So make the most of your running shoes and let them enjoy a full, complete, and productive life. They'll be happier. And so will Mother Earth.