Category Archives: Shoes

Under Armour Speedform is a bra-nd new type of snugly fitting shoes

When you think of Under Armour, you typically think of underlayer clothing. Although the company has recently moved into the football sector by providing the kit for Liverpool FC, primarily they’re known for clothing that fits snugly around your contours, for performance sake – tight, elasticated, long sleeve roll-necks, sports vests, running apparel, that sort of thing.

But much like Skechers  has recently done with their Go Run line of running shoes, Under Armour now seems like they are making a move toward producing legitimate performance running shoes with the SpeedForm – taglined “A running shoe that actually fits”.

The Speedforms are certainly a colourful bunch (image courtesy of Gizmodo)

Now, TR checked out quite a few reviews by other sites in writing this article, and not one seems to be unable to not link these shoes to bras – so we may as well join the party. And this is because, instead of working out how to make a new shoe using conventional methods, Under Armour went a bit left field, and went to a bra factory.

But there is method to this madness. Citing undergarment manufacturer Playtex’s involvement in designed the Apollo lunar landing’s space suits, Under Armour realised that bra companies know everything there is to know about getting a comfortable fit. They moved their manufacturing and design there and came up with something unique – the Speedform.

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Feeling hot under the collar? New Reebok U-Form + allow you to give your shoes the hairdryer treatment

As any runner knows, breaking in new shoes can be a real pain. You may think you’ve got a well-fitted, comfy pair of shoes, but that first run in the rain or extreme heat can make you think again.

But all this could be about to change, thanks to a rather nifty idea from Reebok. They are introducing the U-Form +, featuring new, heatable, mouldable technology which makes this literally the hottest running shoe on the market, designed to shrink-to-fit using heat from your hairdryer.

Heat to fit – mould the Reebok U-Form + with an everyday hairdryer

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Make mine a king-size – new UK-developed running shoes utilise state-of-the-art mattress technology

Following the unveiling of Adidas’ new Springblade range last week, it seems that spring-filled shoes are suddenly all the rage. But a new offering from Yorkshire is also introducing bouncing technology in their kit – although in a slightly less hi-tech fashion

Say hello to the Preston – not exactly the most snappy name, (makes us think of Wallace and Gromit or the Ordinary Boys) but with some seriously British ingenuity behind it.

Making the most of the fly-tippers worst enemy – the Preston has tiny mattress springs inside

Named after the University of Central Lancashire where the shoe was designed, the Preston features miniature mattress pocket springs in the soles – unsurprising as it is the brainchild of a Yorkshire-based mattress company (yes really), and a biomechanics professor, who hope their product will significantly reduce the risk of injury from running.

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Adidas bringing NFC technology to Boost trainer range

Coming to a shoe near you soon…

Not content with trying to make the mere act of running easier for all , Adidas is now giving your shoes the ability to decide on your next major purchase for you, all via the magic of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. The company has announced that it will be adding a “lace jewel” with an embedded NFC chip to its Boost running shoes, enabling shoppers with an NFC phone to tap it for detailed product information and to see reviews.

The system uses NFC specialist Thinaire‘s platform and is now live in stores in New York and California. The NFC jewels are branded, decorative tags which are threaded onto the shoe’s lace. On-shelf placards in stores inform customers that they can tap the jewel with their NFC phone for further information and store assistants are also being equipped with NFC phones which they can use to register a customer’s purchase.

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Move over Harrison, there’s a new Blade Runner in town – Adidas Springblade promises “indestructible” shoes that will provide epic energy returns

Check out the ridges on that…

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.

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Could 3D printing be the next leap forward for shoe manufacturers?

3D printing technology could lead to the rise of individually-designed shoes

The Financial Times reported last week on how major shoe manufacturers, most notably Nike and Adidas, are embracing 3D printing technology in order to speed up the shoemaking process, using the technology to make multiple prototype versions at a previously impossible speed.

3D printing technology is becoming an increasingly hot topic in the technology spread, especially as its use becomes more widely used and reported, and the fact that such major companies are utilising it now should mean some interesting future developments – particularly given the bad press that the 3D printing industry has encountered following the hype over home-made guns in the U.S.

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Fashion designer Rick Owens announces collaboration with Adidas

Rick Owens will be designing a range of shoes for both men and women (Photo:Getty)

Not strictly a tech story – but an intriguing one nonetheless…prominent American fashion designer Rick Owens has announced that he is teaming up with Adidas to design a new line of running shoes.

The award-winning fashionista is creating a line which will include six styles for men and four for women. The shoes will stick to one silhouette, but be available in a range of fabrics and colours–think mostly black, grey, and white; with materials being a combination of leather, suede, nylon, and canvas.

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New online running store will pay for your old shoes

Kindrunner.com will reimburse you for your old shoes, and send them to those in need

 

A new online running shoe store has introduced a way for runners to save money on new shoes while also keeping their old pair out of landfill and helping people in need.

Billing itself as the first socially responsible ecommerce site for runners, Kindrunner.com pays for consumers to send in their old pair of running shoes with the purchase of a new pair. Along with free shipping, the shoe donation comes with a $10 credit toward a future purchase and the satisfaction of knowing your used shoes will end up on the feet of a person who otherwise would have gone without.

“Kindrunner.com’s mission is to change the way runners think about how they use and consume their shoes, while rewarding customers with our eco-centric approach,” says Kindrunner.com’s co-founder Michael Conforti.

The donated shoes will go to two nonprofit organizations, Sole4Souls and MORE Foundation Group, which deliver used shoes to poor communities around the world.

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Continental partnership with Adidas stops you from getting tyre-d….(sorry)

Tire manufacturer Continental has shed some light on an often-ignored facet of their business this week, revealing some in-depth details of the company’s partnership with Adidas.

Shoes such as the Adidas’ Adiprene Formotion were developed in association with Continential

The wonderfully-named Tire Review reports that, in addition to manufacturing commercial, consumer and off-road tires, the German manufacturer has supplied rubber compounds to Adidas for the past few years. These compounds are used to produce non-slip soles for more than 30 models of men and women’s running and trekking shoes, and provide “noticeably improved” grip on wet and dry surfaces.

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Running out of steam? Barefoot shoes sales plummet in Q1 2013

Out of touch? Sales of shoes such as the Vibram Five Fingers fell for the first time this quarter

The latest data from industry watcher SportsOneSource has shown that sales of minimalist or ‘barefoot’ running shoes, such as the Vibram Five Fingers, has dropped by more than 10% in the first quarter of 2013.

A company spokesperson stated that, “minimalist/barefoot declined in the low teens and represented only about 4% of total running…It appears this fad is pretty much over”.

The figures, contained in the company’s quarterly report, are in contrast to many of SportsOneSource’s quarterly reports in the last few years, where the minimalist category had some of the highest growth, while sales in other footwear categories such as motion control and stability stagnated or fell.

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