via Counter Kicks
adidas is no stranger to big market share in the running category. The German giant holds the number four spot among the top 10 running company dollar earners, largely on the strength of its Microbounce, Powerbounce and adiZero lines that have contributed to the brand’s recent revitalization. We held a Running Now Q&A with Mikal Peveto, adidas America Head of Running, to find out what adidas Running has been up to lately, how adidas develops a running shoe, what the brand thinks about the emerging minimalist trend, and how the brand plans to expand adidas Running in the near future."
CounterKicks: What is adidas’ design philosophy?
Mikal Peveto: At adidas, we strive to follow Adi Dassler’s legacy. He created 31 standards for his products, brand, and business. Those standards are why the brand is so strong to this day. Six of those standards come together to create our design philosophy. They are: Only the best for the athlete; Lead, don’t copy; Quality and Creativity go hand in hand; Always attempt to simplify every process as far as possible; Functionality, fit, weight, aesthetics and quality make an adidas product; And finally, Our products must always be recognizable as adidas products.
CK: Discuss adidas’ running shoe categories and models. What do they offer runners?
Peveto: Our performance running shoes are segmented by foot type and runner type. Pretty standard fare. Stability is the largest segment of performance running, but means very little outside the running industry. The neutral, or cushion, segment is growing in the performance sector and dominates in other sport categories such as basketball or tennis. Lightweight styles are our most dynamic and outside of toning, it is the fastest growing segment of performance footwear. Runners and athletes are realizing that they can still have all the protection and comfort they seek without all the bulk. adiZero is our collection of lighter weight running shoes.
CK: Take us through the process of how an adidas running shoe is designed. What inspires the designs? Is there a team of designers for each project or are the projects assigned to an individual designer?
Peveto: I’m no designer but man would I love to be! The process starts with a market assessment: what is working, what is not, what trends are on the horizon. Then a line plan is established and briefs are written. The idea is to clearly communicate the market need, the financial goals, the competitive set and the unique point of view for the individual products. Then the magic happens. Each team of designers and each individual designer is as different as the inspiration that fuels them. I’ve worked with designers who have been inspired by nature, by structures, by cars – they love cars! – and I’ve worked with designers inspired by a deadline.
CK: What’s the story behind Microbounce/Powerbounce Tech? How did it come about?
Peveto: Bounce, Micro and Megabounce were an evolution of our a3 (a-cubed) technology. The idea is that with minimal amounts of foam in the midsole you get a very consistent feel and ride out of your shoe. TPU, the material the Bounce elements are constructed out of, does not break down like EVA foam does, so the life of the midsole is exponentially longer than traditional foam. It is also not affected by heat and cold, so in the dog days of summer or the dead of winter your shoe feels the same. With Powerbounce, the cross bar (colored piece in the element) is tunable, meaning we can make the medial side stiffer
Read the rest here