Earlier this month adidas announced that it was going to the International Space Station (ISS), and today the company is celebrating that milestone by unveiling a commemorative Ultraboost model.
On November 6, adidas announced its multi-year partnership with the National Lab aboard the ISS, which is run by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space. The project was established to research product innovation and sustainability, but also plans to study how those fields impact human performance in sports.
The research is significant in that it marks the first time footwear will be tested and developed in space.
This comes in the wake of the first flight performance test of adidas soccer balls in microgravity, conducted on the ISS in October 2019. Next up, adidas plans to test Boost technology with equipment that will be delivered to the National Lab on a SpaceX cargo flight chartered by NASA in early 2020.
This explains the creation of the new Ultraboost 20.
In its promotion of the special edition sneaker, adidas hyperbole suggests that the Ultraboost 20 is comparable to the spacecraft used to reach the ISS in that both are exclusively constructed of uniquely purposed parts. When it comes to those components in the adidas Ultraboost 20, each “has been maximized for a specific performance-driven function.”
According to adidas, the new Ultraboost 20 was created through rigorous stress testing, research, and the feedback of thousands of runners who tested the design. adidas claims that the result of its efforts is the “ultimate combination of comfort and responsiveness.”
As for the shoe’s aesthetics, it drew inspiration from the National Lab – and its location in space.
The key talking points of the new adidas Ultraboost 20 include:
The Primeknit upper is manufactured using Tailored Fibre Placement (TFP), an evolutionary upgrade when compared to the Ultraboost 19. The data-driven process lays down fibres with greater accuracy, and is said to create an upper that “delivers calibrated support and a flexible fit for each runner’s foot.”
The Boost midsole has been further optimized to increase the return energy of every stride to help propel a runner forward.
A familiar Continental rubber Stretchweb outsole continues to be used to provide the Boost midsole with durability and maximum traction on all surfaces.
Another carryover is the use of the Torsion system, the lightweight spring in the shoe’s sole that enhances support during foot strike and helps to transition the shoe to its push-off task.
Leading up to its space adventure, adidas studied how astronauts prepare for the physical and mental strain of living in space, and used this information – in collaboration with EXOS (a world-leading human performance lab) – to create a workout program for runners that simulates what it’s like to train as an astronaut.
A limited number of special colourways will be released today with an official global launch to happen on December 6, 2019.