adidas Running’s PureBOOST X for Women

Debuting new floating arch technology for maximizing each stride

With all the footwear innovations adidas offers (other brands, as well, for that matter), most often they are initially applied to products for men. This time, however, adidas Running has taken a brand new science-backed technology and silhouette and applied it first to sneakers for women. The resulting PureBOOST X features something entirely new: a floating arch that hugs the foot and touches the sole when at rest, but lifts freely when in stride. The shoe was constructed using the Aramis motion-tracking technology and honed with feedback from women athletes the world over. The fit is both comfortable and dynamic, and the ultimate goal is for a more efficient run.

Unsurprisingly, the technology and materials behind the shoe garnered our interest most. “We spent three years looking at the foot in motion, ascertaining differences in gender and then asking, ‘What if?'” Mikal Peveto, Director of Design for adidas Running explains to CH. When the barefoot movement struck five or so years ago, adidas began looking at the allure of it, while understanding that it wasn’t ideal for all runners. But with that in mind, they developed both the Energy Boost and Ultra Boost. “This was an opportunity to go back to the foot instead of just making stuff,” he continues. Using the optical 3D-tracking Aramis system, a study took place of athletes’ feet in motion. PureBOOST X is the logical next step.

The strength and elasticity of skin itself motivated this development, as Peveto explains, “22 of the bones in a foot are located mid-stance. When you land, you are decelerating. It’s a stopping motion till you get to zero at mid-stance, before you enter acceleration phase once more.” Further, “At zero, women’s 22 bones have more action than mens’ and their arch will move more—proportionately. A shoe can be tailored to that.” To align with this, adidas freed the midfoot from the sole and the release allows for more propulsion. The front and back remain secured, but the lift provides runners with, well, a lift as it encourages natural motion.

BOOST foam capsules comprise the midsole. It’s a technology adidas has employed before, and it functions to lessen the loss of energy. But again, the stretch mesh upper and its lack of central anchoring make for the most interesting feature. Fortunately, adidas didn’t sacrifice style along the way. Their three launch colorways are appealing without overdoing it, and a fourth colorway—designed by Stella McCartney (with a Primeknit upper, to be released on 15 February 2016)—packs a patterned punch.

adidas PureBOOST X will be available for $120 online and in store starting 1 February 2016.

Images by Cool Hunting