Kellen Fredrickson // May 8, 2018
Over the past two years, adidas have exploded onto the streetwear circuit. In many ways, they’ve defined it.
Boost technology in particular is absurdly popular. The NMD-R1 and R2 iterations are a staple among sneaker and streetwear enthusiasts, boasting a blocky and angular styling that incorporates the unmistakable sculptural fronts anchored to the midsole.
The Ultraboost model has received multiple interpretations, including laceless, cageless, primeknit, and upscale luxe tooling – all typically drawn with more attention to clean lines and a distinct lack of angularity.
Truthfully, Boost soles are probably the most ingenious and novel innovation that adidas has delivered in the past decade.
With Nike being a clear victor in the era of flynkit vs. primeknit, the introduction of Boost in the models aforementioned as well as the notorious Yeezy line marked a clear shift in the direction of sneaker styling and construction.
We’ve heard it negatively labeled Styrofoam, told that it doesn’t seem durable, that it’s blocky, and ugly, and everything else.
But to set the record straight, Boost is simply comfortable, and the fact that its aesthetically forward-thinking is an added bonus.
However, nothing is eternal.
It’s probably unpopular opinion, but to us the utilization of the technology on many of adidas’ in-house offerings are limiting in the creative execution of Boost soles. It has becomes stale, like just about anything enjoyed without moderation.
Worth noting is the fact that collaborations with major industry players like Alexander Wang and the Y-3 in particular are more avant-garde in their stylistic interpretation of Boost, mixing the material with other midsole construction to create contrast and coziness in a cohesive package.
But the standard lines always seem to falter a little on taking that idea out of the box.
Which is why the POD-3.1 is so damn cool.
In a way, the split sole screams of Rick Owens and even in some ways Raf - reminiscent of the high fashion ideal for visually striking street footwear.
Though it’s unclear if the front sole is Cloudfoam or something similar, the split between the cleanly, smooth front and the unmistakable boost in the rear is killer.
On top of that, the minute colorations on the heel and top of the shoe in contrast of the white are an added touch of polish.
The difficult part with a lot of the previous attempts at split soles has had to do with the fact that those sneakers missed the mark a bit when it came time for the upper of the shoe. Either too angular, or completely rounded.
The POD-3.1’s have some angles for sure. But they are incredibly cohesive with the streamlined shape of the overall form.
The heel tabs are a bit Yeezy-esque. The stitching, the size, the placement. But it works.
These are some utilitarian looking tech runners with enough stylistic finesse that if you were to throw ‘em on with some of your higher echelon threads, they would still rock.
Equally tight, throw a pair of denim on and these would finish off any streetwear look in the game.
This is an enjoyable departure from the typical releases we’ve seen for Boost tech – a stylistic sphere a bit overcooked in recent seasons.
Keep an eye out for the new POD 3.1’s from adidas, it’s looking like we’re going to have a chance to get our hands on them before long.