Adidas 1

from today's guardian:

"Two men arrive at the Guardian office with a silver case. We find a quiet corner and one of the men unlocks the case. Inside, cushioned in foam rubber, is a pair of trainers. The men are here to show me how to operate the trainers. Because these aren't any old trainers, they're special trainers. There are buttons on the side, and a panel of lights. And inside the sole of each shoe there is a lot of technology. I feel like James Bond with Q. "No, not that button 007!"

"But unfortunately the buttons don't release sidewinder missiles from the toe, they just alter the cushioning of the trainers. These men aren't from MI6, they're from Adidas. And they've brought along a pair of Adidas 1s, the world's first thinking trainer. A magnetic sensor in the heel figures out whether the ride is too soft or too hard, then using a small electric motor, adjusts the cushioning to the optimum level for a particular person running on a particular terrain. Which must explain the price, £175.

"After talking me through the technology, the men let me try them on. They feel comfortable, but slightly heavier than my current trainers. Will they make me run faster? No, they say, but I'll be cushioned just right. I run from the hard corridor to the softer carpeted area, and it feels pretty much the same. That shows they're working they say - the shoes are adjusting to make it feel the same. So, in theory, on a run that goes along a metalled road, then through a muddy field and on to the beach, if I was blindfolded I wouldn't know where I'd got to (apart from the noise of the seagulls, but then you get seagulls everywhere now). The whole thing would feel like running on clouds.

"When we override the computer and manually fix one on soft and the other on hard, it's easy to tell the difference. The shoes are working perfectly. I jog over to the fashion desk for a style assessment. Bad news. They're white and gold - a bit on the bling side. I'm told I look ridiciculous.

"Oh well, I'm going on holiday on Saturday. And with all those magnets and motors and sensors in the soles of these shoes I'm not sure I'd want to go anywhere near an airport in them, let alone attempt to board a plane."

so... would you buy them?


  • how suprising!
  • I've already got a pair.
  • Dave

    i think i'd buy them, but the design looks really pants - they don't look anything like we were told they were going to in 'back to the future 2'!

    Michael J Fox was the coolest
  • I think they're utterly pointless! LOAD OF RUBBISH!
  • Go on Jon. Tell us what you really think!
  • i've no doubt its doable and could be made durable enough..... but really they're going to have to find a use for it.

    let me think....


    cant think of one.
  • Dear Bobby,

    I think these shoes are a really sheeeet idea.

    Lots of love and affection,

  • Cheeeeeeeeeeeersssss Jonny
  • No problem sir. Have you tried them? Can you confirm or deny my suspicions? When are you going to give me a ton of free kit? What are you getting me for my birthday and finally... What should I get my ma for mother's day?
  • Perhaps if you took the batteries and motor out and then trimmed off the excess midsole so it was half the thickness you'd have a useable pair of running shoes. I suspect that they've been designed for posing rather than running.

    Imagine trying to get on a transatlantic flight wearing them - You'd end up in Guantanamo Bay.
  • I heard Nike and Reebok are countering with special intelligent trainers, trainers with no laces that mould to your foot etc.

    They'll fill the shelves of JJB and footlocker. Can't ever see a runner in this rubbish though.
  • So the shoe is intelligent enough to turn the feel of the rubber soft or hard. Mmmm with a bit of good R&D there is plenty of potential for this product.

    Just surprised Ann Summers hadn't thought of it earlier.

  • Hmmm - an Anne Summers/Adidas spinoff - a shoe that massages your feet as you run ?
  • That wasn't exactly what I was thinking as a business idea but I'd probably better off keeping my ideas to myself before the thread gets cazzed.


    An intelligent product from the 'black mamba' range where the rubber could go either soft or hard depending on the user requirements. Jeez, you could make a killing.

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Gives a whole new meaning to the term.......

    No, I think you're right Gary.

    And Saucony already have shoes called......

    No, I'll stop now :o)
  • "There goes GaryT" they will say, "Shagging that poor shoe again"
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