Adidas has a lot to celebrate.
2014 marks the brand’s fifth anniversary working with AKTIV Against Cancer, a program founded by late Olympian and marathon runner Grete Waitz and Helene Aanesen. It’s also the 30th anniversary of the Adidas Originals running shoe inspired by Waitz.
Now, with the release of the Grete 30 Boost this year, Adidas will work to support cancer research by donating 100 percent of proceeds from all AKTIV products sold during this year’s TCS New York City Marathon Expo.
“We haven’t had a second version of the Grete shoe [until today],” Adrian Leek, GM of running at Adidas, told Footwear News. “We have Boost innovation, which has the highest energy return in the industry, and we have a new seamless upper [in this model]. Any athlete would be proud to wear them.”
“Some people think all top athletes have specially made shoes,” Waitz’ husband, Jack, explained to FN. “[Grete] never wore specially made shoes. She wore [them] straight from the box.”
Jack Waitz, who works closely with AKTIV, said there isn’t enough knowledge about how vital exercise is for cancer patients. His wife, a silver medalist at the 1984 games who was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, was instructed to “rest up for chemotherapy.” While she followed instructions for a while, Waitz explained, she eventually started working out and realized she was able to do things she didn’t think possible.
To aid AKTIV’s mission, Adidas is asking for consumer participation. For every social media post using the hashtag #mystepmatters, the brand will donate $1 to the cancer research charity.
“Globally we’ve raised $3.3 million in the last five years,” Leek said. “We intend to raise more through awareness.”
“[Grete] will never see these shoes,” Jack Waitz said of the reissued Originals, “but i know she would have loved them.”
The New York City Marathon is this Sunday, Nov. 2.