Adidas Attacks Running Shoe Business With Pure Boost Release

In February 2013, adidas unveiled a new line of running shoes within a heading of “Boost”, which the company considered to encompass game-changing innovation in cushioning that delivered energy return unlike any other shoe on the market.  In August, adidas began selling a runner-friendly Energy Boost shoe and a sleek and sexy Springblade with the intention of being disruptive with peoples’ feet.  Starting on May 14, adidas will offer a new running shoe and claims that it is the purest iteration of Boost.

The new adidas shoe is aptly named “Pure Boost” and is listed at a retail price of $120.  According to adidas, Pure is the first shoe with an entire Boost cushioning midsole, providing maximum energy return and comfort in a simple, pure design.

“There’s the energy absorption and energy returns that are legitimately unlike anything in the marketplace and superior to anything in the marketplace, but the real value is in how comfortable it is,” explained Mikal Peveto, adidas U.S. Director of Running to FORBES.  ”This new iteration is about immediate payoff, immediate sensation and looks stylish to boot.”

Running has become a main area of focus for adidas.  It estimates that over one-third of the business in athletic footwear is in running and ranges from people who define themselves as runners and those who often run, but do not categorize themselves as belonging in such a class.  Peveto is not concerned about the $120 price tag, and believes that the pricing is extremely competitive among the vastly expanding running demographic.

“Prices continue to rise in the marketplace;  actual units of running shoes sold is less, but dollars are up because prices are going higher in marketplace.  $120 is a sweet spot in particular in the mall,” said Peveto.  ”[We] worked very hard to get to this price point because we think it will reach a broader audience than our more expensive running shoes.  Athletes are wearing them right now and they love it.”

Athletes currently sporting a pair of adidas Pure Boost running shoes include wide receiver Sammy Watkins, No. 4 overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft selected by the Buffalo Bills and running back Carlos Hyde, a second round pick of the San Francisco 49ers.  Both NFL players are signed to endorsement deals with adidas.

Peveto told FORBES that creating the Pure Boost involved a very unique process.  The adidas executive board tasked the company with establishing a platform by utilizing the best of the talent that adidas has from a design perspective.  ”Kind of like The Avengers of design,” added Peveto.  Over the course of three months the team prototyped, going through multiple rounds of refinement with very little sketching involved.  Peveto explained it was “more of talking through, taping up, walking down to the sample room, making uppers, modifying those uppers.  What came out is this high performance shoe because of Boost, but also high styling because of this great collaboration.”

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