Performance running shoe producer Brooks Sports is aiming to enhance its green credentials with the launch of what it claims is the world's first biodegradable midsole.

Brooks said BioMoGo biodegrades 50 times faster than conventional midsoles, thanks to a non-toxic, natural additive that encourages anaerobic microbes to biodegrade nutrients into reusable by-products.

Traditional Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) midsoles can last up to 1,000 years in landfill sites, claimed Brooks, but "extensive" tests showed that BioMoGo can biodegrade in about 20 years in the same environment.

The company calculates that it will save nearly 30m lbs of landfill waste over a 20-year period, after the introduction of BioMoGo in the Trance 8 premium support shoe from July next year.

"BioMoGo offers runners uncompromised performance and quality in their footwear, while also reducing the impact shoes have on the planet," said Pete Humphrey, vice president of footwear research and development at Brooks Sports.

The company emphasised that biodegradation can only happen once the shoe has been thrown away and buried in landfill. Brooks has decided to treat the new midsole technology as an "open source" innovation, enabling other manufacturers to adopt the process.