The world of retro outdoor gear and the courteous world of golf. Could they – should they – ever be brought together? Well, either way, the adidas adicross collection is an attempt at just that – merging design cues from 90s garb, like vibrant colors, playful prints and bold blocks, with practical elements to ensure golfers everywhere can actually play a round while wearing the apparel. If these items actually ever get used on a course, they will definitely bring a punch to the monotony of the classic golf uniform.
The hero pieces are the two new footwear models, the adicross Hi and adicross Lo. The Hi is a mid-cut boot which takes its looks from 90s hiking shoes. It features a full-length BOOST midsole and spikeless GRIPMORE traction to help on the trails, plus added waterproofing. The Lo is designed to keep feet cool with a breathable upper, and is also supported by the BOOST midsole and GRIPMORE outsole. Both come in bright or neutral colorways.
The apparel selection includes short and long-sleeve polos, anoraks, hoodies, pants and shorts. Like the footwear, these items are available in either colorful or toned-down options, depending on how much of a statement you want to make while you’re out on the course.
The press release states the collection has “sustainable roots” and while it’s true that there’s a smattering of recycled and organic materials throughout the apparel and the footwear, the claim is a bit of stretch. Recycled nylon has been used in the jacket and pants, although it’s unclear what that specifically entails. How much of the garment consists of recycled nylon? And where is it sourced from? Down in the footwear department, the adicross Hi and Lo feature a recycled textile upper. Again, detail is thin on the ground.
More accurately, it’s a collection rooted in golf and retro-outdoor aesthetics that’s been brought to life with some sustainable materials. Which is absolutely fine: we do, of course, praise brands for making use of these materials across all their products and collections. But we’re also very much about honest, material reality.
Talking of honesty — in the collection’s campaign video, a narrator ponders over imagery of pristine golf courses: “think about the places golf can take us, where we discover and explore new things and play in balance with nature.” Golf courses are often beautiful places, located in some of the world’s finest landscapes. But it’s perhaps not so true to describe them as “in balance with nature.” According to a 2019 study, there are nearly 40,000 golf courses in the world, 17,000 of which are in the USA. The construction of these courses includes privatization of land, deforestation and reconstruction of the landscape. Then, they require 9 billion liters of water to maintain. And that’s just in the US. Not to mention the chemicals used to treat the grass and fend off insects, plus the numerous damaged habitats and infinite missing golf balls.
In the UK, the RSPB is partnering with golf courses to help conserve natural areas. This includes protecting wildlife, animal habitats and soils, to reduce golf’s impact on nature. It’s initiatives like these that adidas – and, to be fair, most other big-name brands – could learn from to ensure golf is “in balance with nature” and that its collections are rooted in a more honest form of sustainability.
The adicross apparel collection will be available worldwide beginning January 12 in stores and on adidas.com, with footwear following on January 26. And, while we’re on the subject of sportswear and communing with nature, Mara Hoffman’s recent bio-based swimwear takes some big strokes toward making swimming sustainable.