Adidas have always been at the forefront of ground-breaking running technology, and its latest innovation is no different.
One of the obvious problems every runner faces is running out of energy – it’s just how our bodies are. Now Adidas aren’t saying they’ve managed to find the cure for fatigue (because that would be pretty damn special), but hot on the heels of their Energy Boost release a month back, they’re looking to make to make a decent stab at giving you that extra boost with their new Springblade shoes.
Promising to “unleash explosive energy”, the Springblade is the first running shoe with individually tuned blades which are engineered to help propel runners forward with what the company states is one of the most effective energy returns in the industry.
The construction of the shoe was made specifically to hug the top of a runner’s foot so that it locks in, allowing it to harness the energy that is returned from the springs on the outsole. There are 16 of these “blades” making up the shoe’s foam-less midsole, which are simple plastic leaf springs, which get compressed with each footstrike and recoil as you proceed through the gait cycle.
“Six years in the making, Springblade provides one of the highest energy returns in the industry,” said Mikal Peveto, director of running at Adidas America. The aIT (adidas Innovation Team) tested hundreds of materials to ensure each spring produced maximum energy efficiency with every step and conducted rigorous ballistics tests to maintain long-lasting durability. The company also reckons that Springblade is seven times more temperature resistant than shoes with adidas’ standard EVA cushioning, allowing top performance in all environments.
Dpn’t wear it to yoga though – Adidas says that the Springblade should only be used for linear movements—walking or running—not for cross training, workouts such as CrossFit, or sports where you need to make quick changes of direction.
Traditionally, running shoes have used a foam midsole, which rebounds only in a vertical direction. But the blades on the Springblade have different thicknesses and angles, which can influence the amount and direction of that energy return. Each blade is “tuned” differently to correspond to its position on the shoe, as well as to take into account body mass; men and women will get shoes with the appropriate amount of flex and response.
It remains to see what effect, if any, this technology will have to the average runner – as Runner’s World mentioned in a previous article on the Adidas Boost, it is entirely possible that any gains from shoes offering energy return may be offset by the added weight of the shoe. Several studies have shown that heavier shoes increase a runner’s oxygen consumption, and the Springblade is expected to weigh in at 12.8 ounces (around 360g) –a full three ounces (85g) heavier than the Energy Boost.
The Springblade will be available in the U.S. from the 1st of August, retailing for $180 – we’ll keep our eyes peeled for the UK release date!