Adidas unveils its new Sub2 marathon shoe ahead of Tokyo Marathon
Chris Chavez, Sports Illustrated
The quest for a sub-two hour marathon takes another step forward on Friday with Adidas unveiling its adizero Sub2 marathon shoe ahead of Saturday’s Tokyo Marathon. The shoe, with a distinctive blue colorway, will be worn by former world record holder Wilson Kipsang in the race.
Adidas has been working on the shoe for the past two years after the concept came to mind after the 2012 London Marathon, which was won by Kipsang in 2:04:44.
“Around the London Marathon in 2012, we started thinking about Sub2 as a concept and Adidas’ role in achieving what was deemed impossible,” Adidas global general manager André Maestrini said. “We began creating a shoe that could enable this, and Wilson is the perfect athlete to test our innovation in a race environment. We’re incredibly excited to see where this can go.” Nike has joined in the race for a sub-two hour marathon with its own respective project titled Breaking2, where the sportswear giant is training the first sub-two-hour marathon runner and developing its own respective footwear for an attempt to break the barrier later this spring.
What’s so special about the shoe?
One of the adjustments to the adizero Sub2 is the debut of Boost Light innovation. With cushioning made of hundreds of tiny foam pellets aimed at reducing impact while in action, Adidas’ Boost technology has caught on within the running and fashion circles. The shoe’s upper is composed of one single layer of ultralight fabric and weight-reduced mesh with internal reinforcements. The mesh has Microfit technology, which is developed to create the best support, comfort and fit for high-speed road racing. A Continental Microweb improves upon Stretchweb, which was Adidas’ technology developed for the Boost, to improve the grip for any kind of race day conditions.
Adidas’ internal research concluded that Boost can improve running economy by 1%. The new Sub2 shoe’s weight has been reduced by 100 grams and could lead to another 1% improvement in running economy. The Adidas adizero Sub2 will be available to the general public later this year.
"The goal is to be 100 grams lighter than the latest Adizero edition," says Matthias Amm, Adidas' global running category director. "The current shoe that Wilson Kipsang is wearing is around 150 grams."
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