Style

The High-Tech, Low-Key Running Shoe for Dudes Who Don't Run

Introducing Adidas' new Iniki Runner.

BY Pete Forester | Mar 6, 2017 | News

Image by Adidas

If you're looking for the reason why Adidas is dominating the discussion around sneaker culture, there's one place to look: running lifestyle. To get a better idea of what, exactly, that means, you need to take a look at how we got here.

It's not just about Kanye...
Yes, it's true that the brand started to take over around the time Kanye West jumped from Nike to the Three Stripes—but the change has been much broader than even Kanye's impact. Basically, what happened is that Adidas was able to own an entire space of technical running shoes that were also enviable in the style and social space. You can blame the Ultra Boost or the NMD for building this success, but today Adidas Originals announced another chapter: the Iniki Runner.

...Or technical running shoes
When Adidas introduced the NMD, it was billed as a shoe that combined three archive runners (the Micropacer, Boston Super, and Rising Star) into a new silhouette, but the brand was adamant that it wasn't a running shoe. The newer EQT models, specifically the 93/17, blend a silhouette that's 24 years old with brand-new technology for an equally lifestyle-friendly feel. The Iniki, on the other hand, does something slightly—but crucially—different.

An ultra-modern sneaker disguised as a retro runner
Although Adidas doesn't claim a specific silhouette as the inspiration for the Iniki, any retro runner enthusiast will recognize the upper immediately. It's not a specific sneaker, but it has all the hallmarks of the first generation of runners like Nike's Tailwind and Adidas' TRAX. Blended into that design is a stretch mesh upper with hits of suede and a shiny mesh tongue.

These are the same materials that composed running sneakers in the '70s and '80s, but Adidas is using more advanced versions so the Iniki responds like a modern shoe. That very OG look sits on top of a similarly OG single-unit sole. But instead of hard and crumbly EVA, Adidas has used a full-length exposed Boost midsole (very contemporary) and a gum outsole (very retro).

Why you're going to want a pair
Anyone who loves that retro sneaker aesthetic but needs a shoe that won't fall apart or hurt after a couple miles walking around the city will be thrilled with the Iniki Runner. It has all the composite parts and aesthetic nods to the past, but everything is brand new.

It's important to point out that Adidas doesn't claim this to be a technical running sneaker beyond the name. It's coming from Adidas Originals, a family of products under the Adidas umbrella that takes care of street style and most influencer collaborations. The running program at Adidas is a separate entity, offering the Ultra Boost and other shoes designed to be run in. But, much like wearing Ultra Boosts to brunch instead of the gym, we doubt anyone will bat an eye if you take the Iniki onto the treadmill.

Check for the Adidas Originals Iniki Runner to hit stores on March 1. It'll be released in red and blue colorways.

From: Esquire US