adidas NMD

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    adidas NMD


    Designing a new pair of sneakers often just means building on something that already existed. Many of the trainers we know today actually have roots in the past going back decades. Many started out on concrete, grass or gravel, in the form of sports shoes. When you create a shoe in this way, success is never guaranteed. For that reason, the achievements of the adidas NMD look even more impressive. The trainer, which saw its release in 2015, isn’t connected to any particular sport. It’s a shoe for everyday life on the streets. This new model was meant for ladies and men, boys and girls, available in mens and womens, even junior, toddler and baby sizes. It was designed for those always on the move, the city nomads. And this is where the NMD got its name. Looking at the shoes, your initial thought may be that they’re running shoes, and it’s true that many have said the adidas Nomad is great for running, though they were not originally designed for this purpose. A special submodel, the adidas NMD Runner, was released especially for runners, with an sporty look. After the model’s initial launch, artists and fashion brands had their turn to make a collection of their own. Designers set out to capture the youth, kids wearing grade school sizes, who wanted to get their hands on this new model at a good price. Regardless of specifics, whether the designs are exclusive, bright and eye-catching limited-editions or more mellow, cheap ones, or even the classic adidas Originals NMD, there will always be people who will want to buy the adidas NMD when they go on sale. 2015 was a great twelve months for adidas. The German brand launched the Ultra Boost and the NMD in the same year. The source of the success in both cases was similar. Both shoes had a midsole with Boost technology. Boost consists of high-pressured foam balls that provide extreme cushioning and bounce for the foot. Great for running and walking, especially in combination with the stretch mesh and the Primeknit upper, a flexible and strong knit fabric that supports and cradles the foot at all times. What separates the NMD from the Ultra Boost are EVA panels on the side. These are incorporated within the Boost foam for support and durability. On the bottom of the shoe, the outsole, normally rests a Continental rubber outsole, providing great grip. This shoe came from the mind of legendary adidas designer Nic Galway. His goal was to make a shoe where every stitch, line and panel had a purpose, every single part of the trainer should have a specific role. And above all, the shoe had to embody the brand in every way. This goal was reached not only in the Nomad, but also in follow-up models like the adidas NMD R1 and the R2.

    The first adidas NMD was a mix of red, blue, and white, with a black upper. Today, that first model still exists in the form of the NMD Original (OG). It has the classic style and original colors. What Galway wanted was to make the shoe recognisable and, more importantly, to distinguish it clearly from the Ultra Boost. One reason it didn’t look like it was because the NMD didn’t have a midfoot cage. Secondly, the colour patterns and options were different. Indeed, the Nomad was given an all black version coloured in Triple Black and an all white Triple White. It even had a Triple Red version in all red and Triple Grey, in block grey, not dissimilar to the industrial-looking Trace Cargo. The most remarkable thing here is that even the Boost sole got the same colour. In other colorways, like the navy blue and orange ones, the midsole kept the classic white design. That also goes for the yellow and purple, which also have a glow version. On the subject of colourways, adidas brought up a great Sunglow design in block pink. This shouldn’t be confused with the salmon pink model which is known as the Rose Gold, or with the light version of the Peach. Pretty close in shade to this is the off-white Talc, which has the appearance of tropical beach sand, and is one of the lightest versions of all the models with a brown or beige tan. Along with these colourways, adidas incorporated some impressive prints. Camo came along in the form of green, black or grey camo-style Primeknit, seen, for example, in the Glitch. Very similar to this model is the Oreo, with a slightly different pattern. A little more garish but still in the same vein is the Zebra. The same base print was used in the ‘Tri Color Pack’ in a colorway honouring the red, white and blue history of the adidas NMD. The NMD was even given an extra thick, comfortable, warming jacket for cold weather called the Winter Wool. Similar to this is the Gore-Tex version, which has a waterproof layer on the shoe. In other cases, the Continental outsole was replaced by a brown gum sole. Primeknit made a mesh or suede upper possible, with some models even given reflective panels.

    Alongside these already impressive variants of the shoe, adidas designed NMD models which completely changed its initial look. And this was already happening in 2015. The NMD made its debut with two possible uppers, a stretch mesh or a knitted one. The latter, called the NMD Primeknit, caught the eye of many sneaker lovers, and was praised for its unmatched fit. In autumn 2016 the world saw the launch of the new NMD XR1. The shoe had a supporting frame round the foot which the laces were tied to. It also had a high top version, named the XR1 Winter. High topped models were rare for the adidas NMD, though there was a mid-sized version called the NMD CS1. What’s remarkable about this City Sock is the slip on design. This sock-like design was also brought to the NMD CS2, which has fabric wrapping round the foot. A Kith x Naked collab was launched, referencing both fashion brands, was very nicely done featuring light pink. On the subject of collaborations, adidas has always been keen on working with other brands, artists and even films, as was the case when they teamed up with the Star Wars franchise. Probably the most famous collab was done with musical genius Pharrell Williams. The custom line the superstar made was called the Human Race, a shoe celebrating humanity itself. The colorways of this shoe were really sharp and bright, especially the tie dye version. Numerous collabs with Japanese brands show off adidas’ love affair with that country. In 2016, the Nomad had a collab with Japanese clothing brand Bape, resulting in a camo model with olive green and other subtle colours such as khaki. It also had a collaboration with fashion label Mastermind Japan. In 2018, adidas announced they were going to work with a Tokyo-based streetwear brand, resulting in the NMD x Neighborhood. Adidas even honoured the city of Tokyo itself, with a design that covered the shoe in text, just as was done with the Whiteout. The most unique releases from the German brand are available from shops known as adidas Consortium outlets. Here, you find Limited edition models and collabs with artists, fashion labels and other remarkable companies such as the models listed above.

    NMD R1

    Quite soon after the launch of the initial model in 2015, a new edition, the adidas NMD R1 was presented to the world. The remarkable thing about this particular shoe? It had no ‘tongue’. The shoe instead had a sock-like design. This special design made the shoe fit even more comfortably, also thanks to the stretch mesh upper and the groundbreaking Boost technology. This technology consists of foam balls that are squashed under immense pressure. The resulting material gives the wearer a bouncy yet stable stride. The success of this technology was so big that adidas decided to keep the midsole exactly as it is. What did change over the years is the upper. This was replaced with Primeknit, another impressively groundbreaking technology launched in 2012 to make the running shoe more lightweight. Combining that with Boost resulted in the NMD R1 PK. The last two letters stand for Prime knit, the material which forms the entire upper. And of course, we can’t go any further without mentioning the NMD R1 STLT PK. This is a Primeknit model with a recognisably detailed pattern which only the advanced technology of Primeknit is capable of producing. The initial idea of NMD designer Nic Galway was to make the shoe as simple as possible. This meant it would only feature design aspects that would add to the way the shoe performed. The NMD R1 wasn’t much different. This model also pared things down to the essentials. For example, the deliberately lightweight design is a lot less thick than the NMD R2. Over the years, several adjustments have been made to the sneaker. Different colourways were added, such as the Monochrome Triple Black, the Blackout, and the Triple Red. Editions were also brought out in silver, burgundy and beige, all available in mens and womens sizes. Adidas launched the appealing Firestarter colourway, with charcoal upper and red details, and the Rainbow, featuring a pretty rough mesh with an underlying rainbow pattern. The full possibilities of the Nomad can be seen in the Blizzard, a block tone version, white, like a snowstorm. In the same vein you also have the Sesame and the Datamosh. This last one has a remarkable print that looks like weather data coming through on a radar screen. Adidas brought out some limited edition R1’s too, such as the Japan which honoured the country where a lot of NMD collabs with brands and stores came from. The new year in China was celebrated as well, with the Chinese New Year edition. For a long time, the model stayed close to the initial design, which we know as the adidas Originals NMD R1. But over time, more fundamental design changes were brought in as well. In 2019, slightly different panels were added to the R1. In early 2020, a different heel counter with a band around the back of the foot came in. This was for a follow-up to the R1 called the NMD R1 V2. As the adidas NMD R1’s legacy gradually increased with new volumes, another NMD shoe appeared on the world stage.

    NMD R2

    In 2017, two years after the launch of the R1, adidas decided it was time for something new. This meant the arrival of the adidas NMD R2. The basic idea of the classic NMD and the R1 was to keep things simple, staying close to the pure essentials. The NMD R2 slightly stepped away from this idea. This model was a bit bigger, literally. In the midsole, there was the beloved Boost foam. The designers decided to make it a lot chunkier and increase its height. Additionally, the heel was given some extra padding, resulting in a tighter fit round the ankle and Achilles tendon. Next to that, the heel counter of the adidas Originals NMD R2 looked bolder. For example, the tab at the Achilles got bigger and now connected all the way down to the Boost outsole. The NMD R2 can be seen as the larger cousin of the R1. The trainer is also different in the materials used. The initial model was given a stretchy mesh upper. Not long after, Primeknit made an appearance on the sneaker. The knitted fabric proved to be popular with both men and women and was destined to be part of the R2 as well. Going for a Primeknit model opened up some exclusive colour patterns. The shoe did get classic All Black and All White versions, but the knitted material allowed designers to intricately place specific colours in certain areas. These possibilities also inspired them to make other special editions. Like the White Mountaineering, which has a Primeknit base with three white stripes crossed over the front foot, or the knitted models with a more sock-like fit around the ankle. The most unique selling point of the adidas NMD R2 is the combination of size and slimness. The model was launched in a time when increasingly extreme designs were getting more popular. The NMD R2 managed to find a middle way, where the chunky design of the Boost midsole and the slim and subtle upper were merged together.

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