Adidas Launches Barefoot Training Shoe

Adi is going barefoot.

This November, Herzogenaurach, Germany-based Adidas will be debuting the AdiPure trainer, a five-toed in-gym shoe for men and women designed to promote strength and dexterity in the feet.

At a press launch in New York yesterday, trainer Mark Verstegen, New York Giants wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan and U.S. women’s national soccer midfielder Heather O’Reilly were on hand to demonstrate the shoes, which the brand said will allow athletes to improve balance, toe and foot strength and flexibility in the gym.

And while running styles may come in the future, for now, David Baxter, VP of sport performance for Adidas America, which developed the shoes, said the AdiPure style is meant for training only. “It’s an additional piece of equipment,” he said.

The shoe, which features a quarter-inch EVA midsole with rubber for grip, is priced at $90 and will deliver in four colors for men and two for women. It hits Nov. 1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Foot Locker, Sports Authority and Shopadidas.com.

The AdiPure trainer will join other multi-toed offerings on the market, including the five-year-old Vibram FiveFingers line and Fila’s Skele-Toes product, which launched last February. And competition among brands has been heating up. In July, Vibram filed a lawsuit against Fila for allegedly infringing on its patent for footwear with individually articulated toe pockets design.
However, Baxter said he does not anticipate any reaction from competitors in the space. “We’re not trying to trample on anyone’s intellectual property,” he said.

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