adidas adizero Q&A with Melanie Knopp & Fabian Schweizer
Written By: SportsShoes
We interviewed Melanie Knopp and Fabian Schweizer, the adidas Concept Testing Manager and Director of Athlete Services, to find out more about the two exciting new releases within the adidas Adizero shoe range, the Adios Pro 2 and the Boston 10.
Hi Melanie and Fabian, thanks for taking the time to answer some important questions about the new adidas Adizero range - we’re all very excited about the release of the four new styles.
Please could you start by explaining to our customers how each of the new shoe models fit into the Adizero range? Specifically, which type of runners are they aimed at and what purpose does each shoe serve?
Melanie: The whole Adizero range is a wide range of shoes with all the technology that we’ve previously seen in the Adios pro. So, they have the energy ride technology, as well as the soft foam and the highlight of the range is the Adios Pro 2. This shoe was specifically made with insights from elite athletes and we’ve also tested it with our consumers too, so it’s aimed at supporting runners at every level who are looking to achieve their personal bests.
We also have the Adizero Boston 10 and the focus here is as a training shoe, because it was created to be a bit more durable than the Adios Pro 2. It uses a more durable foam; the Lightstrike EVA, which compliments the Lightstrike Pro foam that was previously used in the Adios Pro. We also have a full outsole made from Continental rubber, again making it more durable and also flexible for different surfaces, but still using the energy rods in its construction. And so, the Boston 10 is the everyday, versatile, yet lightweight running shoe intended for training purposes.
Thanks for the detailed description and overview, the whole range looks incredible, especially when you see them together as a collection, with each shoe aimed at serving a different purpose.
Can you please explain how each shoe differs from its predecessor? For example, what differences and improvements can we expect to see when comparing the Adios Pro and the Adios Pro 2.
Melanie: We used some of the feedback from the previous releases, particularly insights from elite athletes. For the Adios Pro 2, we have re-sculpted the midsole so that the energy rods are visible and you can really see and appreciate the technology that’s inside the shoe. We also removed all the unnecessary details out of the upper to make it a zero-distraction shoe, designed to take a runner all the way from the start to the finish line. We also added a piece of Continental rubber on the tip of the toe, allowing for additional traction when you’re accelerating, for example. All of these features help to make the Adios Pro 2 a much lighter and higher performing version of its predecessor.
In terms of the Boston 10, it’s very different to the previous generation, because we significantly updated it using the new innovative technology that is now available to us, therefore allowing it to fit within the Adizero range.
Photo credit: adidas
Obviously, there was an enormous amount of research and development involved in creating this range of Adizero shoes. Please could you give us an insight and explanation into this process? For example, we know that the new adidas 4DFWD was developed after years of research, design and rigorous testing. Was it the same with Adizero?
Fabian: Adizero has such a rich history, starting very early in the 2000’s and followed by Haile Gebrselassie and Dennis Kimetto breaking and setting new world records. So, ever since we’ve had the chance to work with some of the best athletes in the world, we have specifically looked at these elite performances and put these insights directly into the product.
My first time in Kenya was 2014, where we worked with Dennis Kimmetto and really looked into sub-2 hour for the marathon, which was more of a different concept back then. Now, a concept like this, with the original release of Adios Pro, is something new that we have worked on and previous generations have always informed the next generation. Sometimes it looks like a revolution, but usually it’s more of an evolution. For example, the Adios Pro 2, is an evolution of the Adios Pro. We have taken something which is already great and made it even better. Of course, this is always a challenge, but we’re very comfortable and confident in saying that we think we’ve succeeded in what we originally set out to do.
Can you explain how you have been able to test the products? Especially given the restrictions on travel during the global pandemic.
During the testing and development phase, we have worked with various athletes on both elite and consumer level. We brought Kenyan athletes to our headquarters and to our sports science labs right after the Prague marathon last year. We looked into hundreds of different prototypes that we were testing, in order to find out what works, and I mean what really works and how can we make it even better. And then, of course, taking these insights forward to develop the next prototype. With the pandemic, obviously we had an issue with travelling, especially meeting in countries like Kenya, the US and Japan, so during this time we were really leveraging video conferencing calls and utilising online sessions.
One example of athlete testing that might be of interest to you is the development of the Avanti track spike. We have a rich pool of track testers, which includes UK athlete and 800m runner, Jamie Webb, who was really helping us with this project. Even though he isn’t a 5K - 10K runner, he does regularly train at distance, so he was helping us with the fit of the shoe and giving us a greater opportunity to really understand the product. It’s safe to say that all of our shoes are rigorously tested over a period of time in order to create and develop the very best products that we can.