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The Green Life: Step Lightly

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March 10, 2008

Step Lightly

With recycling all the rage in the footwear industry, it's getting easier to walk the green talk:

Shoe1 Simple has long gone the extra mile for sustainability; last year its parent company was named "Recycler of the Year" by the city of Santa Barbara. The kid's Toeday sneaker (left) boasts organic-cotton uppers and recycled-rubber outsoles.

Flat Tire Footwear will put a bounce in your step with its CrumbTech soles, made from scrap car tires.

Shoe2 El Naturalista incorporates biodegradable rubber and natural dyes in its fashion-forward designs. The Iggdrasil women's clog (right), named after the Tree of Life in Nordic mythology, features an outsole inspired by the texture of bark.

Nike has collected 20 million pairs of sneakers through its reuse-a-shoe program. Its distribution center in Europe runs on wind, and the sportswear giant aims to go carbon neutral by 2015.

Shoe3 Patagonia puts recycled materials into the rubber outsole, cushioning midsole, cork foot bed, and sweat-wicking linings of its Finn hiking shoes (right), which are also made with nontoxic, water-based glues. --Dan Oko

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