Last year I was extremely fortunate to be taken to New York by adidas for the global launch of their Boost shoe. You can read all about the remarkable time I had there, here.
While we were there, the CEO made an announcement on stage about another innovation about to be launched and an image flashed up on the screen that really send a ripple of noise around the room – it looked like a shoe balanced on a bed of stalks… almost alien-like. The Springblade.
What we saw was fleeting so there was not much to go on, but my main thought was this: adidas want to change what we run on. The Boost technology is all about taking the usual format of a shoe and replacing the boring old EVA with Boost! Something innovative that would hopefully be better than what we have. The Springblade is doing away with midsole material as we know it and replacing it with something completely different. It was as though adidas wanted to own the idea that we don’t have to run on what we have always run on.
Anyway, everything on the trip was about the Boost and the Springblade seemed to be a long way off, so I didn’t think much about it, until a press-release and images dropped into my inbox. So here, ladies and gentlemen, is the first proper sighting on the adidas Springblade:
The shoe will not be available in the UK for quite a while – I have been told it will be the end of this year of early 2014 before we can see what this shoe is all about.
There is a little video which gives you a very short intro to the technology:
But in the mean time here is what adidas have told the world:
Today adidas introduces Springblade, the first running shoe with individually tuned blades engineered to help propel runners forward with one of the most effective energy returns in the industry.
Unlike standard EVA midsoles that deliver energy return in a vertical direction, Springblade features 16 forward angled blades made out of a high-tech polymer. The highly elastic blades instantaneously react to any environment, compressing and releasing energy to create an efficient push-off that feels like you have springs under your feet. Each blade is precisely tuned in geometry, thickness and position for each phase of a runner’s stride to provide support and a full range of movement. Additionally, Springblade’s flexible construction was designed to hug the top of a runner’s foot, locking it in to harness the energy returned from the springs on the outsole.
aIT (adidas Innovation Team) tested hundreds of materials to ensure each spring produced maximum energy efficiency with every step and conducted rigorous ballistics tests to maintain long-lasting durability. For top performance in all environments, Springblade is seven times more temperature resistant than shoes with adidas’ standard EVA cushioning.
Springblade will be available for $180 on August 1 at adidas.com and retailers in the US… lucky them!
I for one am going to restrain my cynicism until I have a pair to try. Sure there have been all sorts of attempts to redefine what a running shoe is, few with any success. But adidas are, at least, trying to come up with something new and I will be intrigued to find out what the Springblade feels like. It might just be the end of shoes as we know it, Jim!