by John Schrup
One of the best things about working at Rogue—aside from the lake parties with Chancellor Merkel and Jay Z—is all the cool new shoes we get to run in before they hit the market. Well, some are cool, and some are not. I’m not going to name names, but a while back we got seeded some ASICS Gel Nimbus (I forgot which version; it doesn’t really matter anyway). I got a tibial compound fracture just looking at them. For those of you who care, the most recent incarnation of the Nimbus, the 14, was awarded the highly coveted Runner’s World Editor’s Choice in the June issue. You know immediately that this shoe is to be avoided entirely, and you should try to get your hands on whatever the staff at RW is smoking, cuz you know that shit is crizazy!
But many of the seeds we get are really nice. I’m still in lust with my Kinvara . I regularly love on my Adios, in public, and my 233’s get a booty call once a week or so. The most recent seeds were from adidas, who, in full disclosure, sponsor the Rogue Athletic Club and also threw the parties where Merkel was in rare form (here’s a hint: leather under wool). Silly Germans. Anyway, adidas sent several of us fortunate Rogues three pair of shoes each that will make up the new adipure line of shoes, due out in August. Also, because of our relationship with adidas, Rogue will be the only store with a door to carry the line. At least initially. Or something. I can’t remember exactly all the details because I’m still suffering from the Episcopalian Flu, after doing absinthe shots off Merkel’s cankles. At least I hope that was Merkel.
So, the adipure line: Three shoes designed to allow the foot a more natural motion, in varying degrees of naturalness. (Did you know that adidas was the first to do the low-profile thing in an attempt to mimic barefoot running, back in the ‘90’s? Remember Feet You Wear? The Equipment line? It’s true.) adidas are a little late to the natural/minimal/barefoot party, but the effort is welcome, and the application is, overall, pretty good.
The three models—the Motion, the Gazelle and the Adapt—are three of the most comfortable things I’ve ever put on my feet. Each is slipperesque and lightweight, thanks mostly to the stretchy, socklike upper. If memory serves, they’re calling in Tech-Fit, or something equally as important sounding. Whatever we’re calling it, the first feel is almost shockingly snug. Like, real, real snug. Here at Rogue we believe that a shoe should disappear on your foot; a shoe functions better if you don’t notice it. Once these are on your feet, they’re pretty much gone, which is a good thing.
The Motion (which is perhaps not the best effort in naming this type of shoe) will feel the most familiar to most. It has a 10mm offset, which is almost the traditional standard, but the midsole/outsole are so flexible that it feels lower. This shoe will be the most runnable for the average wearer. The nearest relative would be the Nike Free. Maybe. More substantial in some places, less in others. The lacing is asymmetrical, to better fit the contours of the foot, and this might contribute to the overall snug fit. This model is most likely to be used as a trainer on a regular basis.
The Gazelle is the middle of the road, so to speak, of the three. It has a 6 or 7mm drop, depending on which paragraph of the adidas literature you read. It, too, has the uber-snug, stretchy upper that wraps the foot like a sock and feels altogether slipper-like when on the foot. Considerably more minimal than the Motion, the Gazelle is marketed to be a supplementary trainer—one that you’d wear for strides and drills and other General Strength work. I like it for that, sure, but I’ve been wearing it around the shop as my work shoe and it is also the model I’ve run in the most, since it is so comfortable. I haven’t gone more than about 35 minutes jogging, though I can see going up to maybe an hour very easy.
It has a soft yet responsive feel underfoot, and it reminds me of some late 90’s adidas flats that should belong in the Pantheon of running shoes. (Remember the Converter? That shoe was the shit!) That, combined with the luxurious upper, makes for a shoe that I kinda don’t want to take off. Seriously. Like, I need three pair: One to wear to the farmer’s market, one to run in, and one to sleep in. The shoe feels that good. It’s that sexy. Not to get all rainbows and unicorns on you, but it hugs the foot so lovingly, wraps it so perfectly that I feel a little….naughty. Seriously thinking about going bareback in these bad girls. No socks. Aawww, kitty kitty.
(Good God, what is in this coffee?)
The Adapt is the third, and most minimal of the adipure series. What you get is what looks like an aqua shoe—no laces, still stretchy—if aqua shoes had a 4mm differential. So there is a smidge of midsole in there, but not so you’d notice. The shoe is designed to be a pure supplemental trainer, one that is worn for drills, General Strength, “barefoot” strides, squat jumps, burpees, breakdancing, whatever. A few of us have worn it around the shop, you know, to work in, but no one has admitted to running in them. Yet. I haven’t run in them, and I’m probably the most likely (read: most stupiderest) to do so. The inclination is that if this shoe had laces, it might be more palatable, though I did find a use for them over the weekend. It’s my new pool shoe when I take the boys to the neighborhood swim hole. And it is my interpretive dance shoe.
(Don’t forget! Rogue Running will be the only physical store to carry the adiPure line for the first few months after release!)