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Have you ever heard someone say that they pounded something into the ground — using it until it was totally exhausted? A sneaker designer took that saying literally. A company has developed a shoe that can be planted and then grown into a tree after it is no longer useful as a shoe.

Customers no longer have to throw another broken pair of shoes in a landfill. Johnny Footwear designers have created a totally recyclable sneaker that will become something beautiful! Embedded in the midsole of the shoe, tucked away in a secret compartment, is an apple seed that will grow a few years after being planted in the ground.

Luc Houle, the founder of Johnny Footwear, named the shoe after legendary character Johnny Appleseed. He said the idea for the new shoes came from concerns about plastic waste being thrown into landfills and likely to stay there for centuries.


“Most people don’t realize that the shoes they wear are harmful to the planet. They contain plastic that floods our oceans and landfills and stays there for up to 1,000 years. Our compound looks like traditional athletic shoes, but it biodegrades in three years instead of the typical 1,000,” Houle told in a December 2021 interview. “This is a new product, a new company, and a new way to bring innovation to the world.”

The company launched a Kickstarter Campaign last year which raised over $73,000 Canadian ($57,500 US). Now Johnny got his own website where customers can pre-order the eco-friendly sneakers. The website says shipments are expected to begin in August 2022. Customers can choose either the black or white pair of Johnnies for $135 before shipping.

But, since the shoes are biodegradable, customers may wonder if they will disintegrate on their feet.

No need to worry! Materials only begin to break down after constant exposure to the elements in an underground environment. A video shared on the Johnny site and YouTube explains the process.

And, for those who cannot plant their shoes once they’re done with them, Johnny takes care of you. For each pair of shoes sold, Johnny undertakes to plant a tree on behalf of the customer.

As well as being good for the environment, Johnny’s shoe designers also thought about comfort. The Johnny sneakers use a natural beeswax coating on the natural cotton canvas, which acts as a “rain barrier that wicks away droplets without polluting the environment with harmful chemicals”. The shoes are lightweight, impact resistant, antibacterial and made for running. They also have a bendable heel, so you can easily slip them on and off.

Good for your feet and the planet? It looks like Johnny shoes might be an ideal option for the person who wants style with an environmental conscience!