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Forget your Reebok Pumps or your Nike Shox..


Guest krie
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Adidas puts computer on new footing

By Michael McCarthy, USA TODAY

 

NEW YORK — Hoping the new Adidas 1 will be to the sneaker industry what Apple's iPod has been to digital music, Adidas will put on sale March 18 what it bills as the world's first computerized "smart shoe."

 

The 'Adidas 1' uses a sensor,a microprocessor and amotorized cable system.

 

But consumers will decide whether the bionic running shoe's $250 price tag — four times the average shoe purchase at stores such as Foot Locker — is a smart idea.

 

Adidas claims its new shoe, already profiled in Time and Popular Science, delivers on its promise to automatically and continually adjust itself to a runner's size, pace, terrain and even fatigue level.

 

The Adidas 1 uses a sensor, a microprocessor and a motorized cable system to automatically adjust the shoes' cushioning. The sensor under the heel measures compression and decides whether the shoe is too soft or firm. That information is sent to the microprocessor and, while the shoe is in the air, the cable adjusts the heel cushion. The whole system weighs less than 40 grams.

 

Batteries are included: replaceable lithium batteries estimated to be good for 100 hours of running. Users can turn the shoe's brain off — when it's off, they're regular sneakers — to save battery life. The chip also shuts itself off, keeping the same cushioning, if a runner walks more than 10 minutes.

 

Adidas' computer-driven shoe — three years in the making — is the latest innovation in the $16.4 billion U.S. sneaker industry, following other technology-driven shoes such as the Nike Shox and Reebok Pump.

 

Predicting Adidas 1 will turn the industry "upside down," communications chief Uli Becker says it rolls out worldwide by April 1. The primary sales targets: hard-core runners — and 17-year-old boys looking for the newest, coolest shoes. "This is new territory ... that we want to define," says Becker.

 

But will consumers shell out $250 for a pair of sneakers? Maybe.

 

Shoe fanatics have been known to drop $300 to several thousand for genuine 1980s-vintage Nike Air Jordans.

 

The top-end running shoe from New Balance lists for $199.99. With runners typically replacing shoes by 500 miles, the $250 Adidas could push costs to 50 cents per mile, though the company says Adidas 1 cushioning will outlast traditional shoes.

 

A retail expert says that's beside the point. "Yes, there will be price resistance. But there will be plenty of people who have to be the first on the block to have them," predicts Marshal Cohen, chief analyst for NPD Group.

 

Bob McGee, editor of Sporting Goods Intelligence, says the "retro" shoe trend is waning and performance sales are heating up, allowing higher prices: "People are going back to running shoes and basketball shoes."

 

Adidas is spending an estimated $20 million on the roll-out. Film director Spike Jonze has created several cinematic, big-budget TV spots with ad agency 180/TBWA San Francisco. The theme: "Impossible is Nothing."

 

In the first TV ad, the shoes tie themselves onto the feet of a young man waking up in darkness, then light up new worlds for him with every step. There are no star athletes — the campaign "tries to make the shoes the hero," says Chuck McBride, creative director of TBWA/Chiat/Day North America.

 

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the big mistake......

 

they aren't basketball shoes.

Seriously, the only people who drop that much cash on sneakers

are the 'urban youth' (read: black) market and they wont be buying

pure running shoes. I just dont think they will fly.

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Guest imported_Tesseract
Originally posted by yanceypants@Apr 7 2005, 03:45 PM

running shoes are not usually the coolest looking things anyway, i would sport these when i ran, not for $250 though

 

Hmm, i dont think i ever came a across a bad looking air max

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Originally posted by Tesseract@Apr 8 2005, 11:01 AM

Hmm, i dont think i ever came a across a bad looking air max

 

 

cloth_big_447.jpg

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air_max_total_365_iii_silber_001.jpg

 

^ going jogging on the moon?

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That last silver pair is just straight ugly. On the other hand I kind of like those hi-tech runners, I like shoes that are either so simple a blind indonesian ape could make them, or so teched out they look like marty mcfly came back with them after shopping on mars.

 

 

They are pricey.

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