adidas’ newest entry into the running category, the Springblade, looks complicated (I choose to call them “adventurous”). That’s the first thing we have to get out of the way. Off visuals alone, we’re looking at these shark-tooth shaped pieces jutting from the sole that bring to mind the strength training shoes seen in Eastbay catalogs.
They’re actually 16 forward angled blades made out of highly elastic polymer. The blades are meant to instantaneously react to any environment, compressing and releasing energy to create an efficient push-off that feels like you have springs under your feet. What looks like a gimmick may have merits. The Stripes spent the past six years creating and testing materials, listening to the input of athletes and searching through everyday items – “from springboards to pole vaults and motorcycle suspensions” – to find ways to create the explosive energy athletes said they wanted. Unlike standard EVA midsoles that deliver energy return in a vertical direction, the Springblades intend to create an effect that propels the foot forward.
Springblade is available August 1 at adidas.com and retailers across the map. I was lucky enough to get a pair early (thanks, FedEx fairy). The Boost runners I received a while back were phenomenal in terms of comfort and doing the job as described and I expect the Springblade to be no different. I’ve included more detailed info from one of the press releases and a handful of shots.
“Springblade’s progressive look and blade technology are radically different than any running shoe ever created,” said James Carnes, global creative director of performance at adidas. “At the same time, adidas’ goal is to create a beautiful performance shoe designed to be simple and intuitive.”
Carnes continued, “Every aspect of Springblade is engineered to reflect extensive athlete insights to help make them better. For design inspiration, we drew upon everyday objects that deliver explosive energy return – everything from springboards to pole vaults and motorcycle suspensions.”
Each blade is precisely tuned in geometry, thickness and position for every 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.
“adidas is continuing to develop new innovations based on what athletes not only need but demand,” said Mikal Peveto, director of running at adidas America. “We know we have something special with BOOST cushioning introduced earlier this year and we’re confident Springblade will set us apart from the competition once again.”