Adidas' new shoe has the sole of a mountain bike tire

Adidas' Terrex X-King trail-running shoes, complete with "new tire" whiskers on the treads
Adidas' Terrex X-King trail-running shoes, complete with "new tire" whiskers on the treads
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Adidas' Terrex X-King trail-running shoes, complete with "new tire" whiskers on the treads
Adidas' Terrex X-King trail-running shoes, complete with "new tire" whiskers on the treads

Just how similar are an air-filled mountain bike tire and the flat sole of a shoe? Well, Adidas and Continental apparently believe that what works on one should also work on the other. To that end, the two companies have collaborated to produce the Terrex X-King – a trail-running shoe with mountain bike tire lugs providing the grip.

The shoe features the same tread pattern and rubber compounds as found in Continental's popular X-King tire. According to that company, the tire is designed to simultaneously maximize traction and durability, while minimizing rolling resistance. Adidas guarantees that the shoe will provide "ground penetration for grip at full speed."

Although the Terrex X-King was first introduced as a concept some time ago, it is finally making its way to stores this month. It will be priced at US$160.

Source: Adidas Outdoor

Tank treads have great grip too, so why not make a shoe out of tank treads? Or how about ping-pong paddles? Or how about those anti-slip mats that keep cutlery in place in your kitchen cupboards? Because that would be silly. MTB treads are designed for the very specific dynamic forces applied to a wheel. In fact, there are often even differences between front and rear treads/compounds--not to mention the obvious different treads/compounds for different terrain and types of riding. Sure you would still get plenty of benefits by putting it on a shoe, but I suspect that the benefits are not as ground-breaking as the manufacturer suggests. This seems, instead, like a brilliant act of cross-promotional marketing. I love the "minimizing rollinng resistance" bit...as if high rolling resistance is the key factor in preventing us from achieving our optimal trail-running efficiency. Perhaps I might be missing something, but is there is a large population of individuals whose feet have a convex arch where rolling is more efficient? I can certainly see fad-chasing bikers and mall-shopping suburbanites harboring fantasies of becoming the next eco-challenge star buying these up.
Sk8dad. That is a very well thought out comment and you bring up excellent points. Think about this. Adidas, being a multi-billion dollar company with a very long and rich athletic heritage spent millions of dollars developing and testing this shoe while partnered up with another multi-billion dollar company who has also poured millions of dollars in r&d for not only this shoe but also their rubber compounds and tread patterns. These companies are full of people waaaaaaay smarter than you who spent countless hours just sitting around thinking up shit to add to the development of this shoe.
Keith Reeder
"Tank treads have great grip too" No, they don't.
Bob Flint
Of course the "whiskers" alone create the illusion of a tire....as can be seen on most commercial tire molding processes. The rubber compound also squeals when you sprint or change direction suddenly, as in coming to a sudden stop on asphalt and leaving skid marks???
Looks very good. Now somebody needs to make a bike shoe with these treads. (For those who don't know, most bike shoes have little to no traction - so when you get off your bike you can find to hard to climb a hill for example.)
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