Adidas is literally taking its innovation to new heights with the announcement of a multi-year partnership with the International Space Station (ISS) National Lab.

Using technologies created by NASA, the Three Stripes will be the first brand to test footwear in the intense microgravity conditions that outer space has to offer with the intent of improving the future innovations to benefit the athletes on planet Earth. The partnership was hinted at earlier this year thanks to leaks of the upcoming Adidas Ultra Boost 2020 that featured the agency's branding emblazoned on the tongue and the insole of the unreleased style.

“Working with the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory and CASIS, one of the most advanced facilities in the world, will help Adidas set new standards in performance innovation," says the Vice President of Brand Strategy for Adidas, James Carnes. "This partnership not only allows us to co-create improvements to sport performance but to explore processes and design that could be applicable to Adidas’ dedicated efforts in sustainability as well.”

Beginning as early as next year, Adidas will be sending its flagship Boost technology and footwear up to the ISS National Lab during a future SpaceX cargo mission. The Astronauts in the station will then execute a series of experiments without the distraction of Earth’s gravity to shed light on whether it’s possible to produce Boost midsoles with regions featuring different particle sizes, which was something that scientists speculated could optimize footwear performance as well as comfort. 

In future tests, Adidas also plans to explore human performance and sustainability by taking data from some of the strenuous physical training regimen developed for astronauts, which may also allow the brand to apply potential learnings to athletes.