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Nike Grind Materials: The Sustainable Choice for High-Performance Surfaces


Nike Grind material is essentially about transforming what we don’t need into what we really do. It’s about making the most out of the resources we have, turning waste into possibilities, and pushing towards sustainability while keeping performance at its peak. For those searching for ‘nike grind material,’ here’s a simple breakdown:

  • Origin: Nike Grind materials come from manufacturing scrap, unused materials, and end-of-life shoes.
  • Purpose: It’s designed to create high-performance surfaces while minimizing environmental impact.
  • Applications: From sport surfaces to consumer products, Nike Grind is versatile.

At the heart of Nike Grind is a commitment to innovation and sustainability, aligning with the aspirations of contractors and distributors in the rubber surfacing industry who prioritize quality, sustainability, and performance in their projects.

Infographic detailing Nike Grind process from collection to transformation into new products - nike grind material infographic pillar-4-steps

By embracing Nike Grind materials, the industry can not only meet but exceed expectations for high-performance and environmentally conscious surfaces. Whether the project seeks LEED certification or aims to set a new standard in sustainable design, Nike Grind offers a foundation built on excellence and responsibility.

What is Nike Grind Material?

Imagine a world where your old sneakers get a second life, transformed into something entirely new and useful. That’s the reality with Nike Grind material. It’s not magic, but it’s pretty close. Here’s how it works:

  • Recycled Materials: Nike Grind is a powerful example of how we can turn what we no longer need into something we do. This includes everything from the sneakers you’ve jogged miles in to the manufacturing scraps that never made it to the store shelves.
  • Manufacturing Scrap: During the production of Nike products, not everything ends up as part of the final product. These leftovers are not waste but valuable resources. Nike Grind captures these scraps, ensuring they’re not lost to landfills.
  • End-of-Life Footwear: Your worn-out shoes can embark on a new journey. Through programs like Reuse-A-Shoe, Nike collects old sneakers, breaking them down to give them a new purpose.
  • Rubber, Foam, Fiber, Leather, Textiles: These are the core elements that make up Nike Grind material. Each component has its unique properties and potential uses. Rubber and foam can find new life in sports surfaces or playgrounds. Fiber, leather, and textiles can enhance new products with both strength and style.

By focusing on these materials, Nike Grind turns the end of one product’s life into the beginning of another’s. It’s a circle of use that keeps materials out of the waste stream and in play, making products and places better for everyone.

This innovative approach not only reduces waste but also contributes to a more sustainable world. Whether it’s the rubber from an outsole, the foam from a midsole, or the fabric from an upper, every piece has a place in Nike Grind’s mission to “Maximize Performance. Minimize Impact.”

As we look towards the future, the importance of sustainable practices only grows. Nike Grind material stands as a testament to what’s possible when we rethink our relationship with waste. It’s a blend of innovation, sustainability, and performance that’s paving the way for a greener tomorrow.

By integrating these materials into various products and surfaces, Nike Grind is not just about recycling. It’s about reimagining what our products can become and the impact they can have. It’s a journey from waste to wonder, and it’s changing the way we think about sustainability in the sports industry and beyond.

The Process of Creating Nike Grind

The journey of Nike Grind from waste to high-performance materials is fascinating and inspiring. It showcases Nike’s commitment to sustainability and innovation. Let’s break down this journey into simple steps: collection, separation, reuse, processing, and finally, granules.


The process begins with the collection of raw materials. This includes pre-consumer manufacturing scraps, end-of-life footwear, and unsellable products. Through the Reuse-A-Shoe program, Nike collects worn-out shoes of any brand from consumers at retail stores. Every year, this program takes in around 1.5 million pairs of shoes, showing the scale and impact of the initiative.


Once collected, the materials undergo a separation process. Each shoe is broken down into its core components: rubber from the outsole, foam from the midsole, and fabric from the upper. This step is crucial as it ensures that each material type can be processed correctly in the next stages.


The separated materials are then prepared for reuse. However, not all materials are immediately ready for incorporation into new products. They need to be processed into a form that’s versatile and easy to work with. This is where the concept of Nike Grind really starts to take shape.


The processing step transforms the separated materials into Nike Grind. Rubber, foam, fiber, leather, and textile blends are ground into granules. This process is not just about breaking down materials but also about creating a new, high-quality raw material that meets Nike’s standards for performance and sustainability.


These granules are the essence of Nike Grind. They are versatile and can be reconstituted into various products and materials. From rubber outsoles to playground surfaces, these granules serve as the foundation for a wide range of applications. Their quality and performance characteristics are so high that they’re incorporated not just in Nike products but also in surfaces and items used in sports and beyond.

Peggy Reid, Nike’s Circular Economy Director, puts it best: “Waste is simply excess material in the wrong person’s hands.” This philosophy is at the heart of Nike Grind. By viewing waste not as an endpoint but as the start of a new cycle, Nike Grind turns what would be trash into valuable, high-performance materials.

This process is a clear demonstration of circular design in action. It emphasizes the importance of every step in the lifecycle of a product, from creation to end-of-life and back again. By choosing Nike Grind, consumers and companies alike are part of a movement towards sustainability and innovation in the industry.

In the next section, we’ll explore the various applications of Nike Grind materials, showcasing how they’re making a difference in Nike products and beyond.

Applications of Nike Grind Materials

Nike Grind materials are not just innovative; they’re versatile. From the soles of your shoes to the floor beneath your feet, these recycled materials are popping up in places you might not expect. Let’s dive into where you can find Nike Grind materials in action.

Nike Products

First and foremost, Nike Grind is making its way back into what Nike does best: athletic gear. The Space Hippie sneakers, for example, boast soles made with 15 percent Nike Grind rubber, demonstrating how the cycle of a product can come full circle. This is a prime example of how Nike Grind materials contribute to creating high-performance, sustainable products.

Sport Surfaces

Imagine running on a track or playing on a field that’s part of the solution to waste. That’s exactly what Nike Grind materials offer. From running tracks to football fields, these surfaces are not only durable and high-performing but also environmentally friendly. The Tottenham Hotspurs’ N17 Arena, for instance, features a court developed with over 18,000 recycled sneakers, showcasing the practical application of Nike Grind in creating community spaces that care for the planet.

Carpet Padding and Dog Toys

Beyond sports, Nike Grind finds its way into homes and pet care. Carpet padding made with Nike Grind materials can be found in products at The Home Depot, providing a sustainable option for homeowners. Even dog toys have been crafted from these recycled materials, proving that sustainability can be fun and functional.

LEED Certification

For buildings and projects aiming for LEED certification, incorporating Nike Grind materials can be a game-changer. These materials can contribute points toward certification, underscoring a commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable construction practices. It’s a clear win for companies looking to demonstrate their green credentials.

Environmental Projects

Nike Grind’s reach extends into various environmental projects, from playgrounds to retail spaces. These applications not only utilize waste in innovative ways but also serve as a testament to what can be achieved when companies think circularly.

For example, Olympic and Paralympic training facilities have incorporated Nike Grind materials, emphasizing the role of sustainability in even the highest levels of sport. This goes to show that choosing sustainable materials doesn’t mean compromising on quality or performance.

In conclusion, Nike Grind materials are making their mark across a wide range of applications, from the products we wear to the spaces we inhabit and enjoy. By transforming what would be waste into valuable, high-performance materials, Nike Grind is setting a standard for sustainability across industries. As we continue to explore the potential of these materials, it’s exciting to think about what other innovative uses might be on the horizon.

In the next section, we’ll delve into the benefits of choosing Nike Grind, further highlighting why it’s not just a sustainable choice, but a smart one for the future of design and manufacturing.

Benefits of Choosing Nike Grind

Choosing Nike Grind materials is not just about using recycled content; it’s about embracing a vision for a more sustainable and efficient world. Let’s break down the key benefits.

Sustainable Fashion

Fashion and sustainability can go hand in hand. Nike Grind is a prime example of how materials can be reused to create something new and beautiful without compromising on quality or performance. By incorporating Nike Grind materials into products, designers are making a statement: it’s possible to create fashionable items that are also kind to the planet.

Circular Design

Circular design is all about thinking of a product’s end at its beginning. It’s designing products in such a way that they can be used, reused, and then recycled into something new again. Nike Grind embodies this principle. The materials used come from manufacturing scrap, unused materials, and end-of-life shoes, all of which are transformed into new, high-quality products. This approach reduces the need for virgin materials and minimizes waste.

Waste Elimination

Every year, tons of materials end up in landfills, including textiles and footwear. Nike Grind tackles this problem head-on by turning what would otherwise be waste into valuable resources. This initiative not only helps reduce the amount of waste but also sets an example for how industries can repurpose their by-products.

Product Lifecycle

Understanding the lifecycle of a product is crucial to improving its sustainability. Nike Grind takes this into account by ensuring that the materials used in their products can have a second life. This could mean turning old shoes into playground surfaces or athletic tracks, thus extending the product’s usefulness far beyond its initial purpose.

LEED Points

For environmentally conscious projects, using Nike Grind materials can also contribute to LEED certification points. This is a big plus for construction and design projects looking to improve their environmental impact and sustainability credentials. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership. By choosing Nike Grind, projects can earn points towards this certification, demonstrating a commitment to environmental stewardship.

In summary, choosing Nike Grind materials offers numerous benefits, from promoting sustainable fashion and circular design to eliminating waste and extending the product lifecycle. Furthermore, it supports LEED certification efforts, making it an attractive option for projects aiming to boost their sustainability profile. The role of materials like Nike Grind in driving sustainable innovation becomes increasingly clear, offering a glimpse into a future where waste is a concept of the past.

Frequently Asked Questions about Nike Grind

What materials are recycled to create Nike Grind?

Nike Grind is a powerful example of turning waste into worth. The materials recycled to create Nike Grind include:

  • Rubber from the outsoles of shoes
  • Foam from the midsoles, providing cushioning
  • Fiber, leather, and textile blends from the upper parts of footwear

These materials come from pre-consumer manufacturing scraps, post-consumer worn-out shoes, and unsellable footwear.

How does Nike Grind contribute to sustainability?

Nike Grind plays a significant role in sustainability by:

  • Eliminating waste: By recycling materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.
  • Promoting sustainable fashion: It supports the creation of products with a smaller environmental footprint.
  • Closing the loop: Nike Grind is part of a circular system where products are reused and recycled, reducing the need for new raw materials.

By converting waste into resources, Nike Grind embodies the principles of a circular economy, where nothing is wasted, and everything serves a purpose.

Can Nike Grind materials be used in non-Nike products?

Yes, Nike Grind materials have a life beyond Nike products. Through partnerships with external companies, Nike Grind materials find their way into:

  • Consumer products: From dog toys to iPhone cases, companies are innovating with Nike Grind.
  • Sport surfaces: Running tracks, soccer fields, and playgrounds around the world are made more sustainable with Nike Grind.
  • Carpet padding and other home goods: Even in areas not directly related to sports, Nike Grind materials are proving their versatility and value.

These collaborations not only expand the impact of Nike Grind but also inspire other companies to think creatively about waste and sustainability.

Nike Grind is more than just a material; it’s a movement towards a more sustainable and circular approach to manufacturing and product design. By answering these common questions, we hope to shed light on the importance and versatility of Nike Grind in driving environmental change.


After exploring the journey of Nike Grind material, from its origins to its versatile applications, it’s clear that this initiative is a powerful force for sustainability in the industry. But the story doesn’t end here. Our partnership with PLAYTOP and the exclusive distribution of Nike Grind materials throughout North America is a testament to our commitment to not just talking about sustainability, but actively being a part of the solution.

Rubcorp and PLAYTOP/NIKE GRIND are at the forefront of transforming high-performance surfaces across North America. This collaboration is not just about providing durable, high-quality rubber surfaces; it’s about making a tangible impact on the environment. By repurposing materials that would otherwise end up in landfills, we’re contributing to a circular economy and reducing waste.

The use of Nike Grind material in various applications, from athletic surfaces to playgrounds, showcases its versatility and strength. But beyond its physical properties, Nike Grind represents a shift in how we think about materials and waste. It’s a shining example of how sustainability and performance can go hand in hand.

As we continue to distribute and support the use of Nike Grind material across North America, we’re not just selling a product. We’re inviting others to join us in creating a greener future. Every installation using Nike Grind is a step towards reducing waste and promoting sustainability in the industry.

We’re proud to be part of this journey and excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. Together, with Nike Grind, we’re paving the way for a more sustainable world, one surface at a time.

Discover how you can be part of this sustainable movement with Rubcorp’s innovative solutions. Explore sustainable style with Nike Grind rubber flooring.

Let’s build a greener future together.

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Creative Director, Rubcorp Distribution, LLC

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