The form seems perfect.
Formed cleanly in silhouette, lines streaming along the length of the shoe. Vented mesh zones in high contrast colors and those timeless stripes in three. It looks like something The Jetsons might have worn. It looks like it was crafted without flaw – not that it is perfect, but that it’s so flawless in shape that perfection is a default condition.
And then you look at those blades.
The adidas adipure Springblade (or Springblade, for short) is something beyond. A shoe without a sole? It’s almost like saying someone is human without a soul; the two belong together and are virtually inconceivable without one having the other. The Springblade is like that, but yet it survives without its greatest characteristic in its more common form.
(Photos of the Springblade are available here.)
To say the Springblade is “intriguing”, to me, is like saying the moon is far away. Its very design suggests something otherworldly, and yet is familiar enough to recognize as familiar. Take away the bladed bottom, and it’s easily a track spike or discus shoe; even without the springblades, the shoe would be a hit with a traditional sole, but obviously The Brand With The Three Stripes opted for something wilder and more aspirational.
I can’t say for certain what I think it will be in detail, but I do believe that the Springblade’s success or failure will change how people see athletic footwear. At one time, foam was revolutionary. Before that, a cupsole was something to behold. How we walk is always a matter of the avant-garde. Be it on air or honeycomb plastic or gel or columns, what we walk on in the present always puts us in a place of discovery later.
Adidas has long been a leader in the athletic realm and has its own innovations independent of its almighty competitor in Nike, but adidas has been a David for many years. Springblade, not only as a product, but as a brand of adidas, has the ability to change running, and how we think of running. Springblade can change the industry.
I have my doubts. Is it safe to run on blades on not a solid sole? Can the springblades last? Why they gratify me as an athlete and as a wearer in general?
Even with doubts, I’m optimistic. For one, the foot is still whole. Two, the engineering is clearly visible and implies stability above the springblades themselves, and three, most things thermoplastic in athletic footwear keep; they hold and can withstand the pressures of the human body, which often are hundreds of times more than the body itself weighs, relative to every person’s mass and structure.
I’m optimistic. I don’t know what to expect exactly, but I hope to I see and understand what the Springblade will offer to the populace and to my curiosity.
We all may see a new era in running.
Sandy Dover is a veteran feature columnist and a longtime Contributor for Yahoo! whose work has also been heavily featured by SLAM Magazine, STACK, and ESPN properties such as TrueHoop and The Shadow League, among other major publications. A media producer, as well as a published author, Sandy is an industry specialist and expert concerning the NBA, footwear and sportwear product, lifestyle & fashion, and fitness & training. You can find Sandy at about.me/SandyDover.