Adidas Is Launching Sneakers Into Space to Put Its Tech to the Test

Adidas is putting its technology to a test that’s out of this world — literally.

The German sportswear company announced today that it will test products in the extreme conditions of space through a multiyear partnership with the International Space Station U.S. Laboratory.

Adidas is the first brand to put footwear technology to the test in space, according to the brand. As soon as 2020, the sneaker giant will send its Boost pellets and footwear off as part of a SpaceX cargo mission, giving the company the opportunity for examination without the distraction of gravity.

Through its experiments, the company will determine whether Boost midsoles can be produced with regions of different particle sizes, a change that could theoretically lead to increased comfort and performance.

While the footwear has yet to be launched into space, Adidas tested soccer balls in orbit earlier this year, when they were sent up as part of a SpaceX cargo mission. The brand also expects the space station research could have sustainability benefits, with findings potentially applying to Adidas’ circular manufacturing processes.

“Working with the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory and [the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space] — one of the most advanced facilities in the world — will help Adidas set new standards in performance innovation,” said Adidas VP of brand strategy James Carnes in a press release. “This partnership not only allows us to co-create improvements to sport performance but to explore processes and design that could be applicable to Adidas’ dedicated efforts in sustainability as well.”

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