If you look at several Nike basketball shoes, and more recently the Nike kyrie 4, you’ll notice that they have an exaggerated outrigger. I believe Nike borrowed the idea from the 1996 Adidas “feet You Wear” technology. Kobe was one of the first players to utilize the “feet you wear” on the court. The technology was invented by Frampton Ellis, who describes it this way,
The invention is a shoe sole structure that mimics the natural stability of the bare foot by being naturally contoured to the sole of a wearer’s bare foot, including both inner and outer surfaces of the shoe sole. This “bare foot” shoe sole invention is based on the observation that when one stands stationary with full body weight on a bare foot on the ground, if that bare foot is tilted sideways to the outside as far as it will go, the foot is perfectly stable because the ankle lies above the point of contact (photo on right). In stark contrast, the same foot when shod in any conventional shoe is highly unstable in the same position since the ankle lies outside the point of contact. Most ankle sprains occur in this position and such sprains are the single most common athletic injury. In laboratory tests, and as illustrated in the graphic, test subjects wearing an engineering prototype could sustain peak forces as high as 7 times their body weight pain free, whereas test subjects with conventional high top basketball shoes sustained severe ankle pain at peak forces of only 1/3 times body weight.
We’ve experienced a resurgence of the classic 90’s style in the past 4 years and it’s only right for Adidas to resuscitate the “Feet You wear” technology. The Adidas Crazy BYW ( Boost You Wear) is a derivative of the “feet You wear” with an upgrade ( the boost technology).
It’s great that Adidas is tapping heavily into basketball especially with the recent struggles of Nike but these shoes are a bit scary to me. I like the midsole and everything that it delivers: boost technology, the amplified outrigger, the break in the middle for more mobility, the grooves on the outsole to enhance the natural motion of the wearer. What worries me is the upper: I don’t have the shoes on hands but the uppers don’t seem to offer any type of support ( no sturdy materials across the panels and a non existent heel counter). The look like a sock sitting on top of a sophisticated midsole, hopefully these are only for every day wear and not for performance purposes. I definitely don’t see anyone in their right mind playing basketball with these. Adidas basketball shoes were shunned for a longtime because they were associated with injuries, so it’ll be smart for the brand to avoid any similar pitfalls.
All i’m saying is I don’t trust the uppers as much as I like the midsole and I’m not planning on buying a pair anytime soon until I see a reinforced upper.
img via sneakernew
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