The new adidas Springblade Razor looks like no other running shoe with its 16 individual blades on the sole and a sock-like upper that locks feet in place.

The Springblade Razor, which adidas unveiled in July of last year, is now available to buy. Although the upper looks pretty similar to many other running shoes, the sole is certainly unique. In order to propel runners forward and also provide a cushioned run, adidas’ designers and engineers created 16 forward angled blades for each shoe.

“Springblade’s progressive look and blade technology are radically different than any running shoe ever created. At the same time, adidas’ goal is to create a beautiful performance shoe designed to be simple and intuitive,” says James Carnes, global creative director of performance at adidas.

He explains that the nearly transparent design of the blades was inspired by the idea of levitation and the concept of having springs under your feet.

“Every aspect of Springblade is engineered to reflect extensive athlete insights to help make them better. For design inspiration, we drew upon everyday objects that deliver explosive energy return –everything from springboards to pole vaults and motorcycle suspensions,” he adds.

The shoe has been six years in the making and during that time hundreds of materials were tested until the design team settled on a high-tech polymer. Following further rigorous ballistics tests to check the durability of the material, each blade was then individually tuned in geometry, thickness and position for each phase of a runner’s stride.

All this effort has resulted in a sole that adidas claims is seven times more temperature resistant than shoes with adidas’ standard EVA cushioning.

When first revealed, the upper was made of mesh; however, over the past six months, the adidas team has been working on sock-like Techfit technology. This technology, which features a unique web design, hugs the top of a runner’s foot, locking it in place to harness the energy beneath it. As well as support, the upper is also breathable.

The Springblade Razor – which is available in four colours for men and three colours for women – has gone on sale in the US, with other countries following later this year. 

Check out the video behind adidas' inspiration.

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