Introducing Cirql: A GIANT Leap Toward Sustainability With an End of Life Footwear Solution

In 2022, OrthoLite is celebrating our first 25 years of making high performance, comfort footwear solutions. As of today, we proudly open the door to the next 25 years with the introduction of our first-ever midsole foam. It is an innovation that sets a new standard for comfort and sustainability for the entire footwear industry.

Introducing: Cirql.

Cirql is the first-ever EVA plastics-free, recyclable and industrially compostable midsole foam with an end of life solution. It isn’t too good to be true. Cirql is a true soil-to-soil solution to combat waste and pollution in footwear.

“At OrthoLite, operating sustainably has been central to our DNA since our inception 25 years ago, and Cirql represents our continued commitment to this effort and a natural extension of our mission and vision,” said Glenn Barrett, OrthoLite founder and CEO. “Worldwide footwear production has increased by over 20% since 2010 with no signs of slowing down. As an industry, the onus is on all of us to help mitigate our environmental impact on the planet. It’s going to take an industry wide commitment and a concerted effort, and Cirql is a major step in that direction.”

Introducing Cirql

Cirql is a revolutionary alternative to conventional EVA plastics. It provides footwear brands, their factory partners, and consumers a more sustainable choice. Even amidst the new wave of more sustainably-sourced footwear materials, Cirql rises above the rest because the final product will fully biodegrade back to nutrient-rich soil in the managed environment of industrial composters.

The beginning of the Cirql mission started at the end: How could we achieve true circularity in footwear? We needed to create a foam that was durable in lifespan, and biodegradable at the end of life. And so we did.

Powered by plants, Cirql is made from GMO-free, responsibly-sourced plants and biodegradable materials. The foam is EVA plastics-free, and free from any “forever” or persistent chemicals. Containing no forever-chemicals or persistent microplastics, at the end of its useful life cycle, Cirql can be industrially composted, making it the first ever, soil-to-soil solution for footwear foam. Cirql effectively biodegrades back into nutrient-rich, soil compost. Additionally, Cirql foam is able to be depolymerized and recycled for reuse.

The production process is as groundbreaking as the source material. Cirql foam is created through a zero-waste, chemical-free foaming process. The patented process ensures unmatched sustainability in a midsole that also delivers our highest standards of performance and comfort. Our flagship factory, the Cirql Center of Excellence, provides a model for other footwear factories to evolve toward similar goals.

In order to measure and validate the full environmental impact of Cirql, transparency, testing and third-party verification are central to our mission – from raw materials to distribution. They include: a complete Life Cycle IVL Assessment and Certified Industrial Compostable (Din Certco), REACH-certified (EU) and USDA Certified Bio Preferred®, RSL compliant (Intertek), certified GMO-free, certified Vegan and Hypoallergenic.

With its global reach and impact, Cirql technology sets a new standard in truly sustainable footwear. It’s an audacious goal and a bold vision for the future. And it’s here now, in Cirql.

OrthoLite invites its partners to join them on this journey. Applications run the spectrum from athletic to casual, fashion, work, and kids footwear. For more information, please visit


Comfort & Performance


We’re fueled by innovation, a deep understanding of our brand partners’ needs, true collaboration, and a dedication to limiting our impact on the planet—and it shows in every product we make. That’s how we became the global leader, and why we’re proud to partner with the best brands on earth.