A brief history of the most iconic sneaker technologies ever created

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Finally, adidas. In 1985, they created the adidas APS (Anti-Pronation and Shock Absorption System); where you can toughen or soften the midsole padding by turning a yellow wrench. Innovative at the time, hopefully this is something that can be resurrected for modern running shoes… maybe less the key.

Move on to 2013, and a real game changer arrives; To reinforce. Created by expanding TPU particles to form closed cells around air pockets (don’t worry, I don’t really understand this part either); Boost puts adidas at the forefront of running again – and quickly. It has five main advantages. That’s a lot considering the singular advantages of a lot of other sneaker technologies on the market. Boost offers comfort, it is designed to withstand a wide range of temperatures, it is durable, flexible and last but not least, it provides substantial energy return. All of these components, working in harmony, created pioneering technology that will last a very, very long time. Oh, and Kanye West is a fan.

APS, Boost and in the future… well Futurecraft to be exact. The Adidas Futurecraft 4D was created in 2017 and its midsole is made using “Digital Light Synthesis” as adidas calls it. The liquid is 3D printed to create a lattice-shaped midsole, and adidas can tailor it to an athlete’s individual needs. If this is something that can be streamlined and delivered for the mass market, while still delivering a high level of performance, it will be an incredible triumph in sneaker technology, minimizing supply chains and making creating a more sustainable process, without compromise. In an effort to generalize individualization, the Futurecraft 4D could be the catalyst that will completely change the way we buy sneakers.

Of course, you might have read this far and thought to yourself “Has he forgotten about adidas Torsion?” ASICS GEL? Saucony Grid? What about those Nike with the pump that were the size of space shoes? ” Nope. I didn’t forget any… especially the Nike Air Pressure! They all deserve their share, and they will get it.


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