words // Brandon Richard
From Originals to Basketball to Running to Soccer, adidas once again raised the bar in 2012. The shoes were lighter, the roster of athletes and celebrities grew and the campaigns blew us away. Before we see what the 3-Stripe Icons have to offer in 2013, let's take a look back at some of the best adidas releases from the past year.
Though D Rose is currently sidelined recovering from, adidas Basketball hit hard with the "Nightmare" Rose 3 over Christmas. Inspired by Tim Burton's classic holiday film, the NBC Rose 3 is dressed in purple "vertigo" synthetic leather with glow-in-the-dark highlights, a speckled midsole and Skellington striped laces. This release received the most fanfare of any adidas shoe on our blog and forums in 2012.
As a testament to how well the concept was executed, if the Rose 3 didn't exist, we'd certainly have to consider adding the Top Ten 2000 to the list. Equally as impressive.
When Big Sean returned to Detroit last month to perform and preview his upcoming sophomore album, adidas Originals celebrating by launching limited edition collaboration with the G.O.O.D. Music rapper. Dubbed "Detroit Players," Sean's red-based Pro Model 2.0 featured a red Italian leather and premium suede build with a debossed snakeskin pattern and gold plate details. Pairs were sold online and at Detroit area retailers and came complete with custom snake-printed packaging.
Arguments over when the technology was created aside, it was great to see adidas enter the 'knit' footwear market in 2012. The PrimeKnit was unveiled ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London and everybody from Gabby Douglas to Yohan Blake was seen wearing them. After a legal victory, we're finally starting to see the one-piece runner make its way to retail in a variety of colorways and 2013 may be even stronger for the model.
After appearing on the cover of Sneaker Freaker 25, the BAPE x UNDFTD x adidas Originals ZX 5000 became one of the year's most anticipated drops. The archive runner features BAPE's famous camouflage print with contrasting leather stripes, a white midsole and gum rubber outsole. Metallic gold branding on the heels gave the collaboration an upscale feel.
Perhaps preparing for the upcoming "Year of the Snake," adidas Originals went heavy with snakesin prints this past summer. One of the beneficiaries was the "Lab Green" Campus 80s Leather, which featured a tasteful amount of snakeskin leather on the heel that really stood out against the soft suede. The shoe was part of a three-pack quietly designed by longtime adidas Originals collaborator Kazuki Kuraishi.
James Bond and David Beckham continued to crank out great looks in 2012, the "Electric Lime" MEGA Torsion Flex topping that list. As functional as they are stylish, Beckham's MEGA Torsions are equipped with a breathable full ClimaCool upper and supported by a Torsion system and flexibile sole for comfort. This "Electric Lime" colorway did double duty as an eye-catcher and was worn casually by Becks throughout the year.
There's a good amount of energy behind the Torsion Allegra right now and the collaboration with Berlin-based retailer Solebox is the shoe everybody is buzzing about. Part of the storied Consortium range, Solebox slapped a mixture of black and grey tones on the shoe's upper, offset by bright red and neon green hits throughout. Material and color selections create a shoe that retains the integrity of adidas' archival classics, but is updated with a fresh modern look.
To celebrate their growing relationship with China, adidas Basketball launched the "Lei Feng" Pack in March. The adizero Rose 2.5 and adipower Howard 2 colorways were inspired by late Chinese national icon Lei Feng, a solider of the People's Liberation Army in China. Styling cues were pulled from his famous uniform and the principles he lived by. Faux fur lining represented his five-pointed star hat and screw embossing was symbolic of a journal entry made by Lei in which he expressed his desire to be a "revolutionary screw that never rusts."
In July, adidas launched its natural running shoe collection with the adipure range. Setting the pace for the group was the adipure Motion, described as the "beginners" shoe. Technology includes a PureMotion midsole, a second-skin forefoot layer and adiPrene in the forefoot. What separates the adipure Motion from the adipure Gazelle and adipure Adapt is the ability to enjoy the shoe for more casual affairs. Of course, if you're a serious runner, the other two silos will be right up your alley.
Also known as the "Baylor" Crazy Light 2, this colorway put the ultra-light hoop shoe on the map. The adidas Hoops team managed to get this one down to 9.5 ounces, helping the model top its predecessor for the lightest of all-time. Designer Robbie Fuller promised that the Crazy Light 2 would be lighter and brighter than ever, and no colorway captured that strategy more than "Electricity."
Though Shabazz Muhammad and Perry Jones were amongst the first to rock this colorway, it'll best be remembered being worn by Nick and various members of the sneaker media in the insanely competitive Crazy Light 2 Media Game.