Mar 15, 2022
by Carolina Sandeman
adidas Remakes a Classic For Eco-Conscious, Vegan Cyclists
by Carolina Sandeman
Mar 15, 2022

With the rise of sustainability concerns, many individuals have taken up cycling as their main way of transportation. Besides cutting down on carbon emissions, it’s also a great way to enjoy the fresh air and your city before getting to work.

If you are an avid cyclist, you might have heard of adidas’ launch last year of the Velosamba shoe. A hybrid sneaker and cycling cleat, it makes commuting by bike much smoother and hassle-free, removing the need for two different pairs of shoes. With the new year came a new update for this model, giving us a more eco-friendly version that has a new look and feel.

When creating the Velosamba, the adidas Cycling team had the aim of designing a cycling shoe for everyday use, inspired by the iconic Samba model.

“We took the ingredients of the classic adidas Samba shoe and added the performance needs of cycling to it,” says Alexander Bach, Footwear Developer at adidas Cycling, in adi UK’s blog. “We wanted to make a shoe that fitted effortlessly into everyday life, whether you’re a bike messenger, cycle commuter or just use a bike as your preferred way of getting around town. The Velosamba was designed so you can look and feel like you’re wearing a pair of stylish and comfortable trainers rather than a pair of serious-looking cycling cleats.”

In order to create this cross between a sneaker and cycling cleats, the team started by developing a cycling-specific hybrid outsole. To achieve the perfect functional mix, they designed the sole with the cleats recessed into the top part, this way the shoe still has a flat sole and doesn’t make noise while walking. The cleats are placed within the classic grippy sole of the Samba shoe, guaranteeing its anti-slip properties on wet surfaces.

“We used a two-bolt cleat system, reinforced the plate across the full length and secured the heel fit to lock the heel in to maximise pedaling efficiency when you’re on the bike. But we also ensured the shoe has an easy walking feel for the large chunks of time when you’re not cycling and just going about your regular day”.

This year, adidas gave the Velosamba a vegan update, raising the brand’s sustainability standards and establishing new cutting-edge innovations. These changes were a fundamental part of the development process for the adidas Cycling team while designing the new 2022 version.

“As cyclists, we get it,” Alex explains. “We’re extremely engaged with environmental issues ourselves, and we know cycling consumers are looking for products that perform technically well but have also been designed with environmental and animal ethics in mind, and to minimise the impact on the planet’s resources.” he continues. “We designed this innovative vegan upper with that focus in mind. Along with being animal-free, the upper of the shoe contains a minimum of 50% recycled materials and uses a polyamide made from regenerated material for the insole. It’s part of the broader adidas ambition towards a fully circular future, and to reduce our reliance on virgin materials as part of that process.”
This new updated vegan upper section on the Velosamba is a permanent change that will continue to be implemented in future editions on the shoe.

You can shop the new Velosamba sneakers on the adidas website at $120 USD a pair.