Shoemaking is an art! When it comes to performance shoes, technology also plays its fair part. In recent times, we have seen tiny foam beads being used in the midsole, but Adidas has gone beyond that to woo the niche community of runners with its Alphaedge 4D shoes.
What's the USP?
The highlight of the shoe is the midsole. It's not just the lattice-structure design that catches your eye but also the technology behind it. The midsole, made using the new 3D-printing technology, provides multi-directional support to your feet.
Adidas collaborated with Silicon Valley-based Carbon on the 3D-printing technology to print midsole with light and oxygen using ‘Carbon Digital Light Synthesis’.
The technology uses digital light projection, oxygen-permeable optics and programmable liquid resins to print polymeric products, and data to customise the sole according to your needs.
However, this is not the first instance of 3D printing being used in a shoe; Under Armour had also done that about two years ago on a very limited stock.
The AlphaEdge 4D’s high collars make slipping in your feet a bit of a task but what is good here is that the slip-on design hugs your shins well and gives you stability during your run.
The outsole is based on Continental’s tire technology, but you need to be careful on slippery surfaces. The individual-based focus makes it easy for athletes or amateurs to avoid excessive strain during training.
The midsole material doesn't look soft, but it is one of the best we have seen in a shoe — it collapses where it needs to.
The insole is well padded but you will have to avoid compression socks or other thick socks, as the slip-on design makes it tough to wear these shoes.
The shoe might seem a bit heavy to some, considering there are several lightweight options available. So, it remains to be seen how serious runners react to the weight of the AlphaEdge 4D. So far as we are concerned, we found it comfortable during light to high-intensity training sessions. It offers optimum flexibility and reduces pressure on heels and toes during quick movements.
The web-like structure of the midsole is a magnet for dust and tiny stones which tend to stick in — freeing the sole of these might take some of your time and effort.
The Alphaedge 4D is an ideal shoe for training and high-intensity workouts, but the experience might not be the same for everyone during long running sessions, thanks to its weight. The midsole does a great job of absorbing the impact. However, a price tag of Rs 27,999 might seem intimidating for its midsole technology, especially as Pegasus and Joyride products are available for almost half the price.