Adidas Skateboarding is taking the sport on a different kind of grind, where style and performance are on equal ground. It’s what the new generation of skaters, as well as those who simply favor the look, are demanding — and the sportswear giant has an answer for consumers in its 3ST collection.
The line comes after two other new silhouettes that debuted this year, including the ’90s-inspired City Cup and the monochromatic 3MC.
Following the 3ST 001 and 002 styles, the latest iteration of the 3ST range is aptly titled the 003 “Future Cup.” The kicks drop Sept. 1 and retail for $90.
The styles in the 3ST family were developed in tandem since fall 2016, when Adidas Skateboarding designer Scott Johnson initiated the concept while at the brand’s headquarters in Germany.
“It’s one of my first projects coming into the brand where we figured out that less is more and fewer key Adidas elements,” Johnson said. “We’re evolving the 3ST franchise with fun stuff to come with traditional things, as well — it’s a nice balance.”
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Designed with a one-piece suede upper and perforated three stripes, the kicks are designed with a bootie construction that’s versatile enough to be worn in three ways.
“I like to flip it up so the tongue gets higher and it makes it rad,” explained Johnson. “Everyone loves to express the way they lace up or wear it loose — I wanted to speak to both of those sensibilities.”
The 003 cupsole enhances conditions for stability, and the textured sidewalls and gum rubber wrap add durability. The toebox is built to resist abrasion through the brand’s adiTuff technology. For 360 board control, Johnson constructed a tight-fitting last so the upper sits low and close to the foot, he said.
The result is one of Adidas’ most durable skateboarding shoes. Extensive testing was done through pro rider Miles Silvas and amateur skaters, Johnson said.
“It’s not just about getting them on one person but many people — we test with a team that beats them up,” he added. “These kids skate in them more than our pros. It’s not only durable, but designwise, it speaks to them. I’ve seen companies that make products that don’t make sense because it has no connection [to consumers]. We had Miles skating for wear and tear, and feel — and give him the sense of ownership within the creation stages.”
After putting the 003 through wear testing, Johnson found that the eyelets kept breaking at the bottom. “We made it slightly asymmetrical to alleviate the problem,” he said. The eyelet design is a first for Adidas Skateboarding.
“Essentially, it was a happy accident, but when you look back at the archive in soccer — it’s a big component. We felt that this simple change speaks to the inspiration but also has a purpose. We didn’t design it to look like something else, but again, it spoke.”