This crazy sci-fi-looking shoe, on sale starting August 1, promises "explosive energy" in the form of 16 "blades" along the bottom of the shoe. (Don't worry; they're not sharp. They're like hard, plastic fins.)
Rather than propel runners straight upward, the blades compress and release energy at an angle to push you forward, says Mikal Peveto, Adidas America's Director of Running. Compared to traditional foam midsoles, the shoes "return" more of the energy that goes into each footfall, meaning that it takes less energy to actually push off on the next step.
Bottom line: You're helping to spring yourself forward without using as much of your own energy as you normally would. (Translation: Possibly seconds shaved off PRs.)
Walking around in the shoes feels kind of like levitating above the ground or standing on a springy diving board, Peveto told me. And that's a good thing, he insists: Despite all the noise that barefoot running has made in recent years, the majority of people still want comfort and cushioning when they run -- especially people who don't identify themselves as hard-core or competitive runners.
The Springblade will retail for $180, and Peveto says it's a good shoe for everyone but the most severe of pronators, whether you're a mid-foot or a heel striker.