Will Adidas Consortium 4D be the 2018 comeback for Adidas?
Some months have passed since Adidas announced the Futurecraft 4D, a futuristic sneaker-line featuring a midsole 3D crafted with light and oxygen. Initially released at the beginning of the year as a limited NYC release with a $300+ pricetag, consumers expecting some revolutionary level of comfort on par with the advent of boost, were a little bit disappointed. Despite the creation of the new midsole designed to account for the wearers height, weight, and foot movements; comfort was a little less impressive than shoes adorned with boost.
Then silence, the three-stripe brand appeared to have gone back to tweak missteps due to the lackluster consumer response. Many collectors eagerly awaited a European release, but their expectations were disregarded. This remained the trend for several months at least, until Adidas teased its latest Consortium collaboration with four shops worldwide. Three of the four lucky stores will have the opportunity to offer the 4D technology for a market outside of North America. Footpatrol from London, Invincible from Taipei, Kith from NYC and Sneakersnstuff from Stockholm are the lucky stockists for the upcoming Adidas 4D offering.
At the moment, there is no specific information about this upcoming project. But the real question is: will Adidas be available to make something new and exciting after months of Nike supremacy? In the last three years, the German giant’s footwear success has coasted solely on market saturation of color variations of its best sellers: the Ultraboost, NMD, and Yeezy variants. In 2015 the R1s and the Yeezy Boost 350s were the perfect “check” for overtaking Nike with something fresh, but what’s new and exclusive soon becomes tired and repetitive without a quality refresh. Adidas decided to “drench” the market with new colorways of the NMD/Ultraboost every weekend since late 2016. Adidas managed to destroy any innovative caché the boost wave brought in search of a mass flood that ultimately is sitting on many stores shelves. Similarly, the Yeezy market dried up with resellers squeezing out regular consumers and enthusiasts. During this boost wave, Nike silently regrouped until their retro silhouette offers reigned supreme once more. Listening to consumers, Nike managed to revive archived shoes with original shapes, colorways, and materials. Meanwhile the new models by the brand with the three stripes (Iniki, Deerupt, Prophere) didn’t earn a full appreciation by sneakerheads community as they seemed to be half-assed attempts at reworking the NMD, Ultraboost, and Yeezy silhouettes.
When 4D Futurecraft images appeared, many thought that this could be the innovative step Adidas needed to keep pace with Nike and Jordan Brand. So, after months of silence, could this Consortium project of one of Adidas’ most coveted silhouettes of the year be a new turning point in the never-ending battle between the Swoosh and the Stripes? Time will tell.
Written by: Francesco Sannicandro