The new adidas 4DFWD is the first to break through a barrier that has long prevented runners from reaching their full potential.
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The first running shoe was invented about 200 years ago, and since then, there have been significant advancements in both materials and design.
It’s undoubtedly a challenge for major sporting goods manufacturers to constantly redesign and modify running shoes. Factors such as lifestyle, age, preferences, technological advancements and environmental changes all contribute to a cycle of reinventing running shoes.
It’s impossible to create a one-size-fits-all running shoe, but the brands that always try to adapt to change are worth keeping an eye out for.
TRP interviewed Charlotte Heidmann, Senior Product Manager of adidas Running to find out why good running shoes are an essential – and what makes the new adidas 4DFWD the most advanced adidas running shoe to date.
It’s very important (to have good running shoes). The key factor when running is to have the right footwear, if not, it can lead to injuries which can then cause the person to not be motivated or not able to run anymore. Test the running shoes before you buy them. How does the first step-in feel? If the shoe isn’t comfortable, you probably won’t wear it again – and having a good, supportive shoe will take you no matter how far you want to go.Charlotte Heidmann, Senior Product Manager of adidas Running.
The adidas range of shoes are divided into several pillars – Ultraboost, Adizero and Solarglide, to name a few – and every pillar targets a different set of consumers. The different shoes have different midsole technology and thus deliver different performance benefits.
But the new adidas 4DFWD gives runners an unmatched performance benefit over other running shoes in the market.
After analysing 5 million different iterations of the lattice structure and 18 years of real-world athlete data, the 4DFWD is the first to break through a barrier that has long prevented runners from reaching their full potential.
Using 4D technology, adidas worked with their global innovation partner, Carbon, to (quite literally) create a responsive midsole out of thin air.
Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis uses digital light projection, oxygen permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins to make a midsole that is scientifically proven to provide a forward motion benefit.
With the industry’s first bowtie-shaped lattice midsole, the shoe transforms vertical pressure into a horizontal force that gives runners a continuously smooth forward transition. The forward motion benefit of this shoe best comes to life especially if the runner is a heel striker – someone that lands with their heel first.
Created by adidas’ engineering team in Portland, the new 4DFWD midsole delivers 23% more cushioning compared to the previous 4DFWD model. The new 4DFWD also introduces a Continental outsole for a solid grip, even in harsh weather.
Charlotte’s role in the development of the 4DFWD is primarily to gather feedback from athletes and consumers to learn how adidas can further enhance the shoe. Most of the feedback received from the first generation of 4DFWD was that the shoe’s upper was not supportive enough.
Implementing their feedback, the all-new Primeknit+ and engineered mesh upper construction of the new 4DFWD provide an incredibly supportive and close fit. Primeknit+ provides a sock-like fit and is enhanced by a new integrated heel counter, while designed mesh sections offer support where runners need it most.
In line with adidas’ efforts to reduce plastic waste, the 4DFWD midsole consists of 40% plant-based materials made out of corn.
The upper is made with adidas Primegreen material which is a fabric made of 100% recycled polyester. Sure, buying a pair of running shoes won’t save the planet — but if you have to buy new ones, you might as well get them from a manufacturer that practices sustainability.
Although the 4DFWD is made for performance running, there is no skimp on the aesthetics of the shoe.
The consumer for 4DFWD is someone who’s really futuristic and interested in the most innovative running shoe that we have, and who also values the look of the shoe, because with 4DFWD you look different compared to everything else that’s in the market.Charlotte Heidmann, Senior Product Manager of adidas Running.
The new adidas 4DFWD launches in a number of colorways including a Carbon Cloud White and Impact Orange for men, and Grey Five and Cloud White for women. The shoe will be available online at adidas running shoes and in adidas stores from 1 September 2022.