adidas introduces several new models scheduled to arrive in early 2010. One of the more interesting introductions is the Modern Classics line. adidas has taken the styling cues and silhouettes of their well known trainers and racers from the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s and added modern tooling in the form of midsoles and outsoles from their adizero line as well as modern upper materials and construction technique such that the Modern Classic retain the same cool look of the shoes from the Day and made them competitive with shoes from today. Think the new Mini versus the old Mini Cooper and you get an idea of what’s going on here. The adidas Marathon 10 uses the old adidas Marathon Trainer as the original model and adds modern features like the adiZero platform, adiprene for increased cushioning, a padded collar and welded overlays. Having trained in the original Marathon Trainer back in the early 80’s and having a stress fracture and numerous achilles problem as a result of the extreme stiffness of the shoe (in addition to a number of nutrition and overtraining factors), I can tell you that these added comforts should make this a much nicer shoe to train in than the original. Other examples in the Modern Classics line I’ve seen are the adidas Marathon MMX, based on the old Marathon 80 that Craig Virgin and Grete Waitz made famous and the adidas Equipment Cushion 2010 which is based on the adidas Equipment Cushion that was popular back in 1993. These are some really neat shoes in some fun color combinations so even if you don’t decide to actually run in them, they are going to be great to knock around in.
Another interesting shoe is the adidas adiSTAR Solution. When we visited adidas at their dealer summit held in conjunction with the Boston Marathon last spring, the response of the attendees to the fit and feel of this shoe was overwhelmingly positive. The upper is based on the last used on the adidas Supernova Sequence 2 which has fit people great. This is a a neutral shoe that has design features that allow it to offer a degree of support. While not a motion control shoe by any means, the Solution fits into the same classification as say the Nike LunarGlide, a nice combination of cushioning and support without the support being overdone. The Solution really seems to be almost an extension of the adiZero line, a less is more philosophy in terms of using less outright controlling devises and more design features to work with the foot in helping curb overpronation. Maybe it should be called the adidas adiZero Solution?
The adidas adiSTAR Raven is the new trail shoe from adidas. adidas has a long history of trail shoes dating back to the original adidas Marathon Trainer described above which was low to the ground, had a very breathable upper to allow drainage, plus had an aggressive Trevoil outsole that provided great traction. The adiSTAR Raven is nice and draws inspiration from the original Marathon Trainer. The new adiSTAR Raven is very light, low to the ground and has an aggressive dual compound outsole. A modern trail version of the Marathon Trainer, the adiSTAR Raven even has a flared heel like the original Marathon Trainer.
Two of adidas’ “Core Four” shoes, the adidas adiSTAR Salvation 2 and the adidas Supernova Glide 2 receive fairly minor midsole/outsole tweaks sticking with the brand’s philosophy to continually evolve these models versus making any radical changes to them with the idea of trying to build customer loyalty to these models. Expect them to fit and have a very similar road feel. What has changed is the upper treatment. Expect nicer mesh upper materials being used along with cleaner design lines.
The biggest update to the adiZero line is on the adidas adiZero Mana. Gone are the forefoot and rearfoot medial posts, replaced instead by a single midfoot post. It’s essentially a stripped down version of the adiZero Tempo.
Key updates to the spike line include the new adidas adiZero MD that features a soft synthetic upper and a smaller heel wedge. This spike is perfect for middle distance events and hurdles.
The other two additions include the adidas Sprint Star and the adidas Spider. Both feature the same upper and spike plate, the Spider is the distance version that features an EVA midsole for added cushioning. Both of these models are very light and feature uppers that are soft and supple. The plates are super flexible. For a $60.00 spike, these are a steal. Having run in the original adidas Spiders back in my high school days, the only thing I wish they would have done is made the 2010 version in the original green upper with black stripes. A kangaroo skin upper would have been a nice touch as well. No matter, these are still nice spikes.
adidas has done a nice job of taking advantage of their extensive running heritage, taking styling cues from what worked well before and applied modern technologies, the result being some really nice shoes in their own right which have that certain nostalgia that just feels good.