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Air cushions, Gel Pods, Pumps, Torsion bars, Progressive-rate polymer columns - all make a pair of trainers sound great (and sometimes confusing) and for sure more comfortable. But in reality,...

Guy Brighton
  • 10 september 2004


Air cushions, Gel Pods, Pumps, Torsion bars, Progressive-rate polymer columns – all make a pair of trainers sound great (and sometimes confusing) and for sure more comfortable. But in reality, they mean nothing unless your body and structure is based on Mr/Mrs average. Everyone weighs and carries themselves different to the next person, so cushion support can’t ever work efficiently for every person. Until now.

When we first saw the home computer we would never have thought it could get as powerful, swish looking and as small as it is today. We definitely would never have thought that a running shoe could contain it’s very own computer.

Engineers at Adidas have designed the “1”. Now classed as the world’s most technologically advanced shoe, the “1” boasts a closed loop system, sensing the level of shock to the foot and via an inbuilt computer consistently adjusts the amount of damping to keep the cushioning level within an optimal preset zone. No matter what terrain, pressure or running style, the system will adjust to any need required.

Just below the runner’s heel is a sensor and not too far away under the midsole is a magnet. On impact the sensor measures the distance from top to bottom of the midsole determining the degree of cushioning to be implicated.

This measurement takes place around 1000 times a second and relays the information to a 20-MHz microprocessor located underneath the shoe’s arch. This mini computer can make up to 5 million calculations per second.

The Adidas system operates via a replacement battery that lasts for 100 hours of running time. It is also the only shoe to ever come with an instruction manual on a CD!

Set to hit stores this December, Adidas have benchmarked a retail figure of $250.

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