Recently, I’ve been into running. I make it a point to run at least once a week. Actually, I’ve been planning to take running seriously (well not that serious) for the past year but I kept on procrastinating. Thanks to my colleagues, I was finally exposed to this healthy activity.
One of my colleagues gave me a copy of Christopher McDougall’s book, Born to Run. He said it is a good read for pro and leisure runners alike. But unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to read the book yet but I am definitely allocating some time for that.
In relation to my new found hobby and the book Born to Run, I would like to tackle the emergence of the barefoot running, and of course, along with that is the rise of the barefoot technology in the shoe industry. As the name implies, barefoot running is simply running without wearing any shoe, foot gear or whatever you may call it. But of course some would say, that is crazy. Who would like to get foot scars and bruises? No one I guess. So here comes the idea of minimalist running, which can be the closest to running barefoot. When you say minimalist running, it is running in thin-soled and flexible shoes.
The shoe industry has been running along with the emergence of barefoot running amongst running enthusiasts. Nike is currently the world-wide leader in barefoot running products with their Nike Free technology, catering to an estimate of 65 percent of the barefoot consumers. Vibram, known for its FiveFingers, currently holds 10 percent of the market.
Adidas finally enters the barefoot market with their latest minimalist offering, the Adipure Trainer. This product seem to cross the line between the Nike Free and the Vibram FiveFingers. Perhaps a hybrid of the two? Of course, plus the trademark 3-stripes. According to Patrik Nilsson, president of Adidas North America, “The Adipure Trainer is a unique piece of equipment for elite level athletes that we’re bringing to our core consumer,” This is indeed a good news for running enthusiasts. I was happy to hear the news about Adidas going barefoot because I’ve been an Adidas consumer for quite some time. I prefer Adidas bags and shoes over Nike. I guess it’s simply because of the 3-stripe design of Adidas that appeals more to my artistic senses as compared to Nike’s trademark check. Well that’s me.
Adidas is slowly stripping off the gap between them and Nike globally. But within the North American region, Nike is still far off the charts when it comes to sales. Joining the barefoot technology will boost Adidas’ influence in the American market so I personally think this is a great idea for the company. If I decide to buy barefoot running shoes some time in the future, I think I’d go for the Adipure Trainer. Well of course I am a heavily biased consumer. But hey, Adidas is Adidas. They are known to deliver in every product idea that they dwell on and can also be considered a household name.
The Adidas Adipure Trainer will hit the North American stores this coming November and will be sold at a price of $90. That’s relatively an affordable price for a brand like Adidas.