Adidas were nice enough to send me a couple of pairs of their new Adipure lineup coming out in August. I hope this is putting New Balance to shame! As some of you know, I have an affinity for the Adidas brand because I grew-up with it in the U.K. I get into that subject a little deeper in this other post on my running gadgets. The only reason I focus on NB is because their shoes just seem to fit my feet more consistently than other brands. I don't wear only one brand though because I like to mix it up and try different things. Right now, I wear Vibrams for workouts, New Balance MR00's for short distances, New Balance MT10's for trails and Saucony Kinvara's for long runs. I'm excited to see Adidas getting into a more minimal line of running shoes and trying them out for myself. This Adipure line is not to be confused with the Adipure Trainer shoe with toes.
The first thing I noticed was how super sexy these shoes are. They are what I have come to expect from a more minimal line of shoes. They sport bright colors, stylish lines and interesting materials. I am not a flashy dresser but I have developed a taste for bold and daring looking running footwear. I'm curious to see how many people comment on them when I wear them. I see similarities in style between the Motion, Gazelle and the New Balance Minimus shoes. The Adapt has similarities to the Saucony Hattori's.
The second thing I noticed was how incredibly light the shoes are. The Motion's are 6.3 oz, the Gazelle's are 5.0 oz and the Adapt's are 4.0 oz. Just to put that in perspective, the New Balance MR00's are 6.1 oz and the Saucony Hattori's are 4.4 oz.
My understanding is that the intention of these shoes is to give a variety of options for people transitioning to more minimal footwear. In theory, if you were a loyalist, you could work your way through this family to the most minimal. The Motion has a 19/27mm stack height (8mm drop) which puts it in the ballpark of the cushioning of Saucony Kinvara's except with more of a drop. I have to say that the added drop doesn't feel like it and maybe the lightness of the shoe (1.5 oz less than the Kinvara's) is a factor. The Gazelle has a 10/16mm stack height (6mm drop) which puts it close to Hattori's for cushioning. Again, the drop isn't as noticeable as you would think. The Adapt is a 9/13mm stack height (4mm drop) which makes it similar padding to the MR00's with a drop. I'm not sure why Adidas kept the drops so high. The Gazelle's could have been a 4mm drop and the Adapt's could have been a zero drop. That would have made the line much more palatable for someone like me who had already transitioned to zero. We'll see how it all plays out.
The first thing I am going to do is wear these shoes for everyday walking. I like to walk around in running shoes for a good while before I run in them. If I don't like the way they feel when I walk, I tend not to want to put many running miles on them. Everyday wear is also a great way to get people to notice them and talk about them. Since I am being treated for a weight training induced calf injury, it's going to be a few weeks until I run in them anyway. Stay tuned for photos and my experience with them.
POST UPDATE 7/10/2012
I give my deeper first impressions here.