Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Adidas Adipure Collection - Initial Thoughts


As you may have seen, Adidas sent me a couple of pairs of their new Adipure minimal line. I'm not ashamed to admit that this was the first time a shoe manufacturer sent me shoes for me to blog about and it excited the hell out of me. It's awesome to get free stuff but to a runner, there is nothing more exciting than free running shoes.

These shoes are meant to be released late August. They are a family of shoes you can use to transition to minimal with the Motion being the most shoe and the Adapt being the most minimal. The specs that are floating around out there are as follows:


At first, I thought the notion of a family of shoes that you could use to transition was a ridiculous notion but when I tried them on, I couldn't help but believe that it was possible. More on that later.

Before I get into my first thoughts on the Motion and Gazelle, I just want everyone to be clear that I have been wear testing them walking only. I am recovering from a calf injury, so as soon as I am back, I'll add my thoughts about their running chops.


Let's start with the Adipure Motion
This is the least minimal of the line. The first thing I noticed is how light it is and how loud it is. Maybe it's because I am European but I love really bright running shoes. It makes me happy.


The main color is bright sky blue and the laces and collar are a very a very luminous salmony pink. I have seen a black version on the Interwebs and that doesn't look so good to me. This shoe is like having the padding of a Nike Free, the shape of a New Balance Minimus Road and upper of a Saucony Hattori (with more support). It works for me.


You'll notice that the outsole is pretty structured and provides durability across the whole shoe. It looks vaguely Nike Free-like from the side but if you try to fold it up, you are only going to see the toe section fold. The rest of the sole is pretty firm as you would imagine from the double midsole. There is some arch support built-into the shoe.


The upper material is a mesh sock-like material similar to the feel of the Saucony Hattori. The mesh has a shiny rubber pattern printed on it that may well add some structure along with aesthetics. 


What stops this shoe feeling like a sock is the two supporting elements either side of the midfoot (that is also home to the famous three stripes). These supportive elements laying over the sock help to secure the foot in position. 


The heel is rounded and recessed which I am sure the marketing folks will tell you is to promote a mid-foot strike. The back of the shoe has the classic logo. One thing I noticed immediately were the little velcro tabs on the tongues and the heels. It took me ages to guess what these were and I am pretty sure they are for pulling on the shoes. You open up the velcro, use the tabs to pull and then push them back down out of the way. I don't use them because I don't find the shoes difficult to get on but it's a neat little feature.


Instagram photo taken at the Damen Blue Line "L" stop.

So, what are they like? Well, when I first slipped them on, I thought they were a really snug sock-like feel. The material in the toe area pulls over your toes and this takes a little getting used to. After wearing them for a couple of weeks now, it doesn't bother me at all. The softness of the mesh makes it feel like there is ample room in the toe box. I have to say that I don't like the way the laces feel when you lace the shoes snuggly. The tongue is the same thin mesh sock material, so the laces tend to dig-in a little bit. The laces are too short. This may be because they are a pre-release pair. I tend to wear running shoes without socks and I haven't had a single hotspot with these shoes. I often find Adidas a little narrow for my feet but because of the flexibility in the sock-like mesh, it is very forgiving. This is just as well because the shoe really isn't as anatomical as say a New Balance MR00. The one thing about the fit that worried me initially was the spot where the side supports ended on the inside of my feet. I could definitely feel it and I was worried that it would start to rub. After a couple of weeks, I noticed it less and I have had no issues at all. For a larger stack height (for a minimal shoe), you get a decent amount of feedback from the ground. They don't feel as thick as you would imagine. I think the lightness of the shoe has a lot to do with that. The padding is soft but not as unstructured feeling as a Nike Free. For anyone who wants a transitional shoe, I would definitely encourage you to check it out. For someone like me who has already transitioned, it's just a little too much shoe and obviously too much of a drop. Having said that, I have been enjoying wearing these more than my Nike Free's and my New Balance MR10's. They have also been a show stopper. People just can't stop looking at your feet when you walk by. I got loads of comments from people in work about how cool they looked. One person stopped me on my dog walk and asked me where he could get a pair. Running shoes should have a personality like that. Running is fun, so why not the shoes!

And now onto the Gazelles. My pair were an orange red and is really vibrant. The thing I really like about these is that the Adidas stripes are silver and metallic looking.



They are very like the Motion in the upper but you'll notice the outersole only has protection mostly in the mid and forefoot. This makes them lighter and more flexible. You can fold these shoes up very easily from toe to heel.


You can see the big different in stack height with the more minimal midsole. The arch support also doesn't seem to be as pronounced as the Motion.


The front and back of the shoe are very like the Motion.



Here's the detail on the rubber pattern that the Motion and Gazelle have printed on the mesh.


Instagram taken at my office

My thought on the Gazelle? The upper fits exactly like the Motion. This is why I think it's an option for someone who wants to transition through a family of shoes. You don't have to get used to a new upper, you just need to adapt to a couple less mm of drop and less stack height. It's pretty clever. I had the same issues with lacing tightness because of the thin tongue. I had no issue barefoot with the Gazelle. No hotspots at all. Obviously, the ride is lower and firmer with these shoes but they feel remarkably comfortable to walk in. It's a great balance of comfort and ground feel. Just like the Motion, I got lots of positive feedback about the look of these shoes. They are brighter than the Motion but for some reason, the Motion catches people's attention quicker. This shoe is closer to the shoes I have been running in for longer runs, so I am so anxious to take them out. There is nothing like wearing a shoe that makes you want to run. It's a great feeling. I have found myself going back to this shoe time and time again of all the shoes I have in the closet. I just love wearing them. I still think these should have been a 4mm drop and the Adapts should have been zero but there has to be some reason why Adidas didn't want to go there right now.

So, that's it. Based on my wear testing them as daily shoes, I would recommend giving them your consideration. Stay tuned for when I run in them and provide updated information. Adidas, if you are listening, I really want to try the Adapt. I want to see what it is like to go from the side supports of the Gazelle to a full sock upper. By the way, thanks for sending them. Most appreciated.

8 comments:

  1. Great preview Simon! I'm definitely looking forward to getting my hands on the Gazelles. The soles look pretty well protected, do you think these shoes will prove to be very durable?

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    1. Sorry. Blog was on hold. I put over 100 on them and they held up well apart from the stink. Maybe the new model is better but I should have worn socks with them.

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  3. I bought a pair of Motion yesterday and already did a 10K yest and a 5K today.. they are so comfy.. i have been using the FAAS500 all this while but this one blew me away..they are very light and the whole concept of barefoot running seems interesting.. i love them and will be wearing them for the next few runs for sure.. For anyone who is looking at a pair for transitioning, I wud say Go for it !!!

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  5. Well said about the importance of finding the right running shoes. Super collection of shoes with nice pattern and color. This is really an excellent and intensely appreciable written material.

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