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When sportswear companies put a heavy emphasis on performance innovation in footwear, other areas like styling are oftentimes compromised. Technology-driven designs might do well on the Nike Air Max 90 Mujer track, field, or court, but when it’s time to take off the athletic gear and step back into the streets, they look severely out of place.
For Adidas, a brand whose success has skyrocketed in recent years, their experience with innovation has been quite the opposite — and Boost technology is a huge part of that.
In 2013, The Brand with the Three Stripes introduced Boost as its revolutionary cushioning system, which provided the highest energy return in any running sneaker. The technology was designed to provide runners with soft cushioning and Adidas Gazelle Femme long-lasting energy that more rigid sneakers couldn’t.
What makes Boost unlike any other cushioning used in sneakers is its material. Adidas partnered with leading chemical company BASF to develop a solid granular material that’s blown up and turned into thousands of small energy capsules. When put together to form the distinct Boost midsole, the capsules store and release more energy than any other design on the market.
While sneaker innovation across the industry consists of a lot of research and development, there’s also a lot of trial and error involved. To the consumers, new technology can seem gimmicky, as brands come up with air units, special foams, and such for performance. Boost is far from a gimmick and its uses continue to expand throughout Adidas' line of product.
The same technology that kept runners comfortable on Adidas ZX Flux Womens Black long-distance runs, is now being used for basketball sneakers, football cleats, lifestyle sneakers, and even modernized brand classics like the Superstar.
The NMD, adidas Originals’ new kid on the block, has quickly gained a very solid footing in the sneaker world.
Unveiled in December, the new silhouette’s general releases have been going like hotcakes at retail, causing YEEZY-like lineups, even reselling above their ticket price, all this without any real celebrity co-signs, and only a single collaborative issue alongside Nice Kicks.
The shoe’s design Nike Roshe Run Mujer contains references to archival adidas models like the Micro Pacer, Rising Star and Boston Super, but it’s unlikely this really matters to sneakerheads today, as the NMD can easily stand on its own in the tech footwear market. In short, it makes more sense that kids would be buying Nike Roshe Run Femme the NMD because its packed with modern tech, it’s comfortable, and the consensus is: it’s the sneaker of the moment.
Although in some ways surprising, the shoe’s success isn’t entirely unprecedented, as any Boost-imbued execution will easily garner attention, yet adidas has been able to keep up demand for the NMD, while releasing a staggering number of colorways. As a testament to the silhouette’s global staying power, we turned to some of our friends around the world to find out more.