Following their special edition Werder Bremen sneaker in 2019, Umbro have again linked up with Bremen’s local streetwear heroes Glückstreter, this time for the Highway WB, which has been meticulously designed to reflect the fanaticism and solidarity of the SV Werder Bremen fan community, who put sustainability right near the top of their list of priorities.
With Glückstreter and Werder Bremen, Umbro decided to turn this typically minimalist and low-key sneaker on its head; altering the DNA of the shoe to be much more sustainable throughout, whilst layering in a number of nods to the club and its international fanbase.
This move, in no small part inspired by Bremen’s own move to sustainability – typified by the club’s largely solar-powered stadium – has been used by Umbro to bring more transparency to the collaboration process. This isn’t just a ‘more’ sustainable sneaker, but one that takes consumer waste out of circulation to create something new, and responsibly sources the remainder of its materials.
The sockliner is made with 97% recycled E.V.A plastic and the PU Upper is made with 45% recycled post-consumer waste, while each of the five pairs of laces included are made using 100% recycled materials.
The outsole is made from a combination of natural rubber (90%) and recycled rubber (10%) – creating visible blemishes in the sole, making each of the 1,500 available pairs unique from one another, and evoking the natural patterns of flooring in Bremen’s beloved Art Nouveau houses and thus also the floor in the Glückstreter store.
‘WERDER’ and ‘BREMEN’ are words proudly displayed through windows on the outside of the left and right shoe respectively, while emblazoned on the left heel is the Bremen key, representative of the city as a whole, and on the right, the diamond of SV Werder Bremen.
The symbolism continues on the back of each tongue, with insignia representing the club’s home at the wohninvest WESERSTADION, and the other – a custom designed symbol to denote the unfaltering connection between Werder, its fans and their city. Glückstreter get pride of place, with the name of the store split across the left and right lace tags, beneath which, the owners of each pair are able to personalise their WB Highway’s with one of five pairs of laces included.
And as if the shoe itself wasn’t enough, it comes in one of the best boxes you’re likely to see in a while. Scrap that. This is more than just a box. For such a special project, Umbro connected with weserholz – a local social design studio, who are driven equally by their creativity and sense of social responsibility. Their work, uncompromising in quality and originality, comes hand in hand with their mission to support refugees in education and societal integration.
The collector’s edition Highway WB box is titled HIGH TIDE – and like the shoes themselves, is steeped in romantic references to the city weserholz, Glückstreter and SV Werder call home. A primarily wooden construction, the outer panels of the HIGH TIDE box take cues from the internal banks of the Weser river, where a patina of Werder-green rust decorates the iron flood barriers. The top opening is constituted from an intricate, die-cut diamond, again referencing the designs of both the Werder Bremen and Umbro logos, and features a special three-way logo lock up of Werder, Umbro and Glückstreter. Inside, a selection of natural cleaning and shoe care products by Collonil, as well as two special pairs of socks, are provided and displayed in the underneath of the lid, beneath which the HIGHWAY WB are housed, with each of the 5-pairs of custom, fully-recycled lace options.
These boxes are limited to only 100 pieces, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t manage to snag one.
The Umbro Highway WB is available on www.umbro.de