It is a point of pride and, to an extent, shame that I introduced the TC audience to minimal running shoes aka crazy monkey shoes. Since first reviewing odd shoes back in 2009 I’ve tried to keep up with the trends. The latest stop in my exploration? Adidas Springblade.
Why is this on TechCrunch, you ask? Because these are some high-tech shoes, friends, and I suspect some of you out there in the Valley/Alley enjoy a spot of running now and again, in between complaining about things being on TechCrunch and coding.
While the bright, blaze orange upper alone is enough to turn heads, these shoes have plastic springs instead of a sole. These springs add a bit of “lift” each time you step, essentially springing your foot back into the air after each footfall.
I’ve been a minimalist runner since 2009, first using Vibrams and then trying various models from Brooks, Adidas, and most recently Skora. After a fairly complete and debilitating injury during marathon training, my long-distance running days are pretty much shot, but I still try to get at least 10 miles in a week. It’s not much, but hey, I’m not running for Miss Blog USA. I’m also fairly slow.
That said, running with the Springblade has been, if not a revelation, then quite surprising. I’m a bit more tired running in these than in minimalist shoes, which is normal. These are about 12 ounces and those 16 springs on each foot add just a bit of weight. However, I’ve seen my maximum speed increase from 8 minutes per mile to about 7:50 per mile – a measure taken at my peak speed using a Nike+ GPS watch – an improvement that is fairly important for a slowpoke like me. I also felt less pain in my shins and ankles and a distinct difference in the tiredness I felt after my three-mile runs.
Do I think it’s the shoes? Sure. The soles are far springier than I’m used to and I honestly enjoy them over the last pair of full running shoes I bought, the New Balance M1080v2. They also wore me out far faster and I definitely felt a distinct soreness in my calves that I hadn’t experienced in a while. In short, at the very least these shoes changed my stride slightly.
Would I recommend them over minimalist shoes? I’m not sure. Vibrams helped me out of a bout of plantar fasciitis, which has not flared up to this day. I have fought shin splints and other knee issues that I believe are weight related and I know I could use a more solid pair of shoes to perhaps take some of the strain off the ankles and joints. These could do the trick.
These shoes expel energy forward and work best while running on concrete and less well on soft surfaces like sand or trails. I was worried they’d get caught up in the buckling Brooklyn sidewalks but I noticed no issues. Apparently these are extensively tested to ensure the springs don’t break or buckle and, if anything, they look wild.
The shoes are available for pre-order for $ 180 – quite pricey for their weight – but they are a fascinating improvement to the standard, mushy thick-soled running shoes that I’ve eschewed for a number of years.
I’ve yet to see many experts weigh in on these shoes, and even Runner’s World is still mum about their opinion. I’m under no illusion that these shoes are more than an interesting gimmick that may shave off a few seconds at your fastest pace. But as a sheer feat of technical improvement to the tired running shoe, I applaud Adidas for attempting something so bold. I would expect these to rise to the level of the Nike Free over the next few months as people try them out simply for the novelty of the design. While I’m not exactly sure if I’ll stick to these over the long run, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Adidas is known for making connected shoes — but never quite as linked-up as a Nash Money concept making its appearance late into the London Olympics. The Social Media Barricade weaves the guts of a phone and a basic two-line LCD into a running shoe, letting the footwear take Twitter updates very literally on the run through a public account. Even the signature Adidas stripes change their hue through remote control. Before anyone gets visions of athletes checking congratulatory tweets after the 100-meter sprint, just remember that it’s an idea rather than a production blueprint: although Adidas is quick to call the Social Media Barriacade the “future of athlete connectivity,” the only athletes putting eyes on a pair right now are those swinging by the Olympics’ media lounge for interviews. Knowing this, we can still imagine some future shoes padding runners’ egos at the finish line during the 2016 Rio games.
Filed under: Wearables
Despite being involved in that peaceful conundrum with THQ, we knew Adidas still planned on launching its MiCoach video game at some point in the near future. Now, after weeks of keeping those lips sealed, the German company announced it’s teaming up with publisher 505 Games to finally bring the fitness-driven title to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 — where it’ll primarily use the Kinect and Move add-ons. While 505 will handle all publishing duties, Adidas notes the MiCoach game is in the works by UK developer Chromativity “under exclusive license.” Of course, the F50 creator couldn’t leave its big name reps out of this one, which is why sport celebs like Kaká, José Mourinho and Dwight Howard are going to be teaching “Masterclasses” within the game. Hey, at least now you know you won’t have to be out on the field to put that tracking system to good use.
Continue reading Adidas MiCoach game launching this summer, headed to Xbox 360 and PS3
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Not content to let Nike hog the spotlight, Adidas has launched the SPEED_CELL, a miCoach compatible shoe dongle that senses your foot’s speed, acceleration, and distance travelled. The SPEED_CELL works with multiple sports and fits right inside the shoe’s outsole.
Unlike the Nike+ gear, the SPEED_CELL is more focused on general sporting rather than solely on running. It offers a window on the athlete’s performance and works with the miCoach virtual coaching service to allow weekend warriors to get fit without depending on a fireplug-shaped man yelling at them through a bullhorn.
With the miCoach SPEED_CELL, athletes of every level will be able to track their unique stats including average speed, maximum speed, number of sprints, distance at high intensity levels, steps and stride during play. The on-board memory then stores seven hours of an athlete’s metrics and wirelessly transmits the on-field performance data to their smartphone, tablet, PC or MAC.
Shoes for soccer, basketball, football, and tennis will support the SPEED_CELL. It will be available on December 1st for $ 70. MiCoach Running will launch at the same time, followed by apps for basketball, tennis, and football.
These are the Adidas Star Wars Campus Wampa Sneakers, which, for a shoe, is a pretty impressive name. Granted not as impressive as Holey Flipflop Ow Shit I Think I Just Stepped On A Nail, but now I’m going to have to call my mom and see if my tetanus shot is up to date. $ 150 gets you a pair and they’re made with real wampa fur. Except wampas aren’t real so they used horse hair instead. Hey — you know what else would make pretty cool Star Wars shoes? “Jar Jar dicks?” LOLWUT? I said shoes, not a necklace.
Hit the jump for a bunch of close-ups.Related Posts:
In ‘shoes that won’t cost thousands of dollars’ news, here’s a limited edition release of Adidas Kermit the Frog Superstar II’s coming out late October/early November. They’re green, have Kermit’s iconic collar at the tongue, and read ‘The Original Hip Hop’ on the side in gold print. No word if the soles are made of Flubber so you can leap like a frog, but if Nike’s ‘Back to the Future’ shoes are any indication of shoes including the features you were hoping for, no.
Future Product Site [citysole] via Kermit the Frog adidas Superstar II Sneakers [laughingsquid]
Thanks to Carlos, who’s holding out for the Miss Piggy’s with the lead weights in the soles.Related Posts:
Continue reading Adidas Wearable Coach prototype promises to help you find the perfect pitch
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This is the latest Adidas x Star Wars gear to hit the street. And by street I mean sales rack, because this ain’t the kind of shit that’s gonna be sold out the back of a truck. iPhone 5 knock-offs yes, and I’ll give you a great deal on one because you seem like a good person/I like you. Anyway, Star Wars Adidas gear — it looks good and it’s expensive. Just remember: you get what you pay for. Except me. Because one time at Starbucks I paid for an iced latte but got a vanilla fappuccino. Crazy, I know. In hindsight I may have taken somebody else’s drink.
Hit the jump for the rest of the collection including a pair of wampa kicks I’m actually considering.Related Posts:
Not too much to this next bit, but not every post is the size of the Fallout: New Vegas strategy guide. Sennheiser has teamed up with Adidas to create the HD 25 Originals, a pair of headphones that “are ideal for everyday listening in comfort and style or when you are working in the club or studio.”
They are just headphones, mind. It’s not a headset, it doesn’t have built-in surround sound, etc.
Plain ol’ headphones.
But, plug them into a system that has Dolby Headphone and you’re good to good. Gaming-wise, that is.
Unless you’re pretending to be Deadmau5 or something.
When knockoff makers get creative it’s always a surprise because they are so uncreative the rest of the time. Here we have an Adidas flip phone. The Adidas brand is even spelled correctly and it actually looks like a shoe. Adidas should be running with this idea and making an official phone themselves.
This “adidass808″ is not that great when it comes to specs though. It features a 2.4 inch screen (240 X 320), dual SIM card slots and camera (1.3 megapixel), FM radio, micro-SD card slot, mini-USB port, and a removable battery. It’s based on GSM, and runs “MTK platform”. There’s also up to 4 hours of standby time and 3 hours of talking time.
It also supports MP3 files for music, 3GP, MP4 and AVI for videos.
Props to SlipperyBrick.comRelated Posts: