$500 disposable Adidas Adizero Pro Evo 1

$500
One time use
138g

Crazy.

The first Hyper Shoe?

What makes them one-time use?

Takes a crap on any sustainability claims the company might have made.

I’m assuming it’s a durability and performance thing. Things like compression set, rebound etc can diminish over use and outsole can wear out…

Ya. Don’t think these are supposed to be sustainable. But performance and efficiency are different drivers.

Yeah, I get it… still in as much as things are “aspirational”, it’ll be bought, worn, and discarded by more people than the competitive racing group.

If a company was trying to nudge their ‘green’ cred in one direction, this sort of brings it back the other way. Doesn’t move the needle much either way.

I think the price is a red herring. It’s not an aspirational item (it’s sold in limited qty via lottery), but rather needs to be sold to qualify for World Athletics homologation rules. The $500 is arbitrary and might have well been $1000 or $1 ($1 I’d argue would be a more interesting thing for media to pick up). They aren’t making money or losing money on this so it’s not really a business decision.

To me, (and I’m working on an article about this), the product is just maximizing performance and the lack of sustainability is the necessary compromise and well worth it for the athletes and gains it gives.

Tossing 500 pairs of shoes in the garbage isn’t great, but such a tiny amount that it’s virtually meaningless. I’d guess that a mass produced fully sustainable model has more quantity of manufacturing defects during the QC phase of production that go into the garbage.

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A little “How it’s made” speculation…

A few more thoughts on the price:

$500 is a lot for a one-time-use shoe. But the price is irrelevant.

I have a better idea.

While a limited number of pairs are being sold to consumers, this is not a running shoe. This is an experiment. adidas elite athletes are the subjects.

While there are 521 pairs being released by lottery (more later), this is not designed for runners. Not even fast ones. It is designed for the the adidas sports marketing department to demonstrate ownership of the podium at Abbott World Marathon Majors and take back the running innovation crown that Nike has owned since the Vaporfly 4% debuted in 2016.

The World Athletics regulations (appendix 4) for homologation require this to be “available” to purchase consumers to qualify for race use approval. These regulations, like those on stack height, plate design and specs are in place to provide an even playing field for competition. We can thank the Vaporfly for these rules.

So why price these at $500? They are already limited. adidas isn’t “making money” on 500 pairs of shoes, no matter the price.

If I were adidas I would have priced these at $1. If you set a ceiling, someone can always go higher, but like The Price is Right, if you set the floor, you can’t get out bid. Signaling that these are so special that they are essentially priceless would have been the ultimate flex.

As a running shoe designer, I love the unique approach to performance footwear design, construction and manufacturing. Challenging the status quo and rethinking “what is really necessary?” fits perfectly in line with the adidas “Impossible is Nothing” mantra.

As a runner, I’m excited to see the next generation of “Hyper Shoes” and how the adidas Evo 1 will stimulate innovation and make us faster.

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In case you missed it… Womens Marathon record was just crushed by 2min over the weekend in Berlin.

In these shoes. Sorta.

I loved running races because it was mostly down to the runners physical performance. Unlike cycling, where you could spend thousands on the bike for performance gains.

Things like this shouldn’t be allowed in competition.
It should be zero drop, thin soles without bits of carbon fibre and other expensive tat

Carbon or foams or not, it’s still mostly runner performance.

Even with marginal gains, I feel the playing field is pretty even since most brands and elites have similar tech.

A great runner is still a great runner.

Similar rules in auto racing, at least used to be in the grand touring classes of IMSA/LeMans. For example, Ferrari would make the minimum number of street cars to qualify.

Lance Armstrong is a complete tool, but he was right when he said it ain’t about the bike. There are a dozen contenders for a TdF podium, the other 7 billion don’t stand a chance no matter what bike they have.

Shoes only help so much and it’s incredible when you actually realize the level of performances and athleticism involved.

To put it in some perspective, I am in no way an elite, but an OK recreational runner in the top 5% of a typical marathon field and I don’t think I could hold the pace that Kipchoge runs a marathon at for more than 100m on a good day. Doesn’t matter what kind of shoes I wear.

The difference between first and second or world record may be aided by nominal improvements in running economy by footwear, but there’s always some level of “technology” involved even if not as visible as shoes. Nutrition, blood level monitoring during training, even preventative physio and recovery tools are all tech. Still, there’s limits of physics and physiology.

It’s easy to say “all we should run in is simple flats”, but it’s more than speed. My previous coach, an Olympic marathoner was telling me that when he switched from flats to super shoes the biggest difference was not that he could run faster, but that his body was less beat up after a marathon and it made recovery much faster. I’ve felt the same thing too and sometimes “cheat” to wear super shoes on long runs just knowing that I’ll feel much better for my easy run the day after a 35km run if I have a bit better foam or carbon underneath.

It’s also impossible I think to really draw the line. Should we stick with shoes made of leather like 100 years ago? Foam, but not good foam? There are rules in place that determine max stack height and carbon plate design, but the other innovations are and should be fair game.

Is there no need for a positive tread pattern?

Cars have racing slicks.

I don’t know the physics enough but I think there’s some sort of relationship between surface area and grip and texture and slip.

It could also have a cut “siped” texture in it like a deck shoe but I do t think that’s the case.

Looks to me like this is a kind of silicone or TPU with some added grit like sand for slip resistance.

It’s not what she actually raced in though. It was a rubber outsole.

Ah, true. And intended race courses for these shoes are likely well manicured as well.

Actually the reality is that courses aren’t “manicured” and nothing like a track. Road marathons are run on the streets and often that can include cobblestone and construction and streetcar tracks as obstacles not to mention typical cracks and uneven pavement, painted lines and crosswalk markings (which are slippery!) and sewer grates!

Sometimes a city will fix a particularity bad road but in old European cities you kinda get what you get. Valencia marathon and Prague I know are quite notorious for all the cobblestones, tight turns and weird roads in the old cities.

It’s one thing that makes marathon shoes kind of interesting from a design perspective. They might get tested in a lab on a treadmill but real world is totally different. Not to mention if it’s pouring rain they don’t cancel the race (see Boston 2018!!).