This new footwear brand is selling shoes made of sugarcane

by Stephen Garner

A new name in active recovery footwear has debuted today. Called Kane Footwear, the newly-launched brand has revealed its flagship bio-based molded, EVA foam slip-on, the “Revive.”

Constructed from Kane’s sugarcane-derived BounceBack foam, the Revive utilizes thoughtful styling and an active recovery design to provide support for fatigued muscles and all-day comfort. Whether worn post-workout or for lunchtime walks, the Revive is intended for people that demand footwear without sacrifices.

The Revive represents a collaborative design partnership between Kane CEO, John Gagliardi, brand-building expert Bobby Riley of Soldier Unlimited, and Dr. Daniel Geller, a renowned Board-Certified foot and ankle surgeon and advisor to Kane. “For John and I the Kane brand is the culmination of our 18-year-long business relationship,” said Riley. “I couldn’t be more proud of seeing the Revive come to life from the ground up.”

Dr. Geller’s work with the New York City Ballet, as well as top cycling and triathlon teams, helped Kane to develop an active recovery design that addresses superior construction, proper fit, cushioning, and air circulation—key properties in ensuring the Revive is not only comfortable but provides attributes necessary for the recovery of fatigued muscles. “Coupling superior cushioning and proper mechanics Kane’s Revive achieves the concept of a recovery shoe,” noted Dr. Geller.

A cornerstone property of the Revive’s active recovery design is Kane’s use of dual-density construction. Featuring a firmer upper fused to a sole with 31mm of cushioning, the Revive supports smaller muscle groups within the foot and softens the impact of each foot plant. Kane also paid special attention to creating proper fit, an attribute that, when improperly addressed, can lead to undue muscle strain. Forming the interior dimensions of the Revive, Kane has employed an anatomical last shape that mimics the natural proportions and contours of the foot. This design helps promote proper fit by capturing the arch, heel, and instep of the foot while providing room in the toe box for the forefoot to rest. Exterior perforations and interior ventilation channels keep feet cool and dry by maximizing airflow, and the Revive’s molded lugs utilize a siping pattern to increase traction across terrain.

EVA foam found in most recovery footwear is traditionally built using carbon-intensive petroleum-based polymers. Kane’s BounceBack foam utilizes biopolymers derived from sustainably harvested Brazilian sugarcane byproduct. Sugarcane is not only a renewable resource but is considered carbon-negative as well—the plant synthesizes carbon dioxide into energy via sugar, which is then extracted to form the ethylene used in Kane’s eco-based EVA foam. In total, the Revive is composed of over 56 percent sugarcane, a ratio that Kane intends to increase in the years to come. “It was important to me that sustainability was woven into Kane from the outset of the brand,” said Gagliardi. “An obvious place for us to start was to be critical of the materials we used in production. As we learned more about the natural properties of sugarcane it became the clear choice for the Revive.” To further signify its commitment to sustainability, Kane is a pending B-Corp and will become a member of 1% for The Planet upon the launch of the Revive. 

The Revive is now available during a presale launch on Kickstarter with direct-to-consumer sales beginning in early summer 2021.


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