What would you do if there were no rules? Bounce from work early on a monday? Double dip your chip? Make an illegally fast running shoe so you could destroy your PB?
That last choice is how adidas gets its kicks. Last week, it unveiled the Adizero Prime x 2 Strung. A soon-to-be recording breaking running shoe that will be banned from elite running events.
How so? Well, it’s full of technology and extreme proportions that mean it can’t fairly compete against the rest.
Race regulations limit shoes to a maximum stack height of 40mm and one carbon plate. The Prime x 2 Strung throws this rule out the window and boasts a 50mm stack height and a double carbon-infused plate system. So, if you’re wearing this in a race, you’ll have an extra spring in your step.
Complementing those constraint-busting features are three layers of Lightstrike Pro foam in the midsole. This is what gives the shoe its tall stack height; reducing weight and adding more springiness to the fore- and midfoot. A Continental™ Rubber outsole gives you a bit of grip on the corners while the Strung upper is designed to flex around your forefront and keep you locked in.
That’s the how. But another question still remains: Why? Why make a shoe that can’t be used in races and will never officially break any records? For some, it’s not all about the race. This shoe is for runners; for anyone who wants to lace up, hit the road and beat their personal best, no matter the setting. We think that makes sense.
What also makes sense is an upper that contains a minimum of 50 percent recycled content. It may not be much, but it’s important to have that attention to detail at this level. It also goes with saying (but we’ll say it anyway), that the Adizero Prime x 2 Strung is all vegan, using a combination of textiles, rubber and recycled content.
Coralie Ho-Von, Global Product Manager Running Footwear at adidas had this to say about the shoe: “Without the confines of the usual rules, we had space to unleash the full creative capabilities of our product design team. This means we could create a shoe that pushes the limits of what’s possible for running footwear.”
We like this approach. And it definitely seems to have worked when speed was the aim. But what if sustainability was the aim? What rules could adidas throw out then… and where would it lead?