Far from the bare essentials

Adidas Adipure Trainer

September 16, 2011 Sports and Outdoors By Photo by Adidas

When it comes to gear reviews, you often find yourself asked to test products that challenge personal biases. My opportunity came in the form of the new and soon to be released Adidas Adipure Trainer ($90). Simply put, I couldn’t see myself wearing, liking or even needing a barefoot trainer — despite being convinced it’s a trend worth looking into.

I’ve trained in bio-metrically correct, natural footwear for a while now, but the Adipure Trainer (Available November) is on an entirely different level. Think of it as a glove for your foot — which is exactly how they fit. Engineered specifically for the gym, with only a quarter-inch profile and a sock-like stretch upper, the Adipure trainer is virtually molded to your foot. The combination of independent toe separation and a highly flexible sole allows your foot to move, bend and flex to engage muscles in your toes, feet, calves and even your hips that you didn’t know you had. An EVA midsole provides cushion and traction and makes the trainers surprisingly comfortable (weighing in at merely 5.8 ounces). The toe separation takes a little getting used to, otherwise the fit and feel were perfect. For me, the soles were the deciding factor. They provide just enough cushioning for running, jumping, lunging or whatever you can throw at them, so you never feel any hesitation about going full throttle. That’s often the difference between a good workout and a great one.

With several weeks of training in the Adipure Trainer I have to concede that my preexisting bias has been demolished, alongside the bonus of some of the best workouts I’ve had all year. When used for strength training, high intensity circuit work or even intervals, the Adipure trainer made an immediate difference in both the feel of the workout and the impact on my body. These aren’t just like working out in bare feet, they’re better. No sliding, no shifting, no movement at all — just security. That’s impressive for a stretchy shoe with no laces. Turns out your body is pretty adept at stabilizing itself when given the chance.

Editor’s Note: Some tips from my experience with these trainers: start slow and ramp up as your legs and feet adjust. Your muscles will need time to adapt and strengthen, no matter what kind of shape you’re in. They’re also machine washable (cold/hang dry) which will keep them from getting too manky.

Buy Now: $90 (November)
Also available at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Finish Line, Foot Locker, Sports Authority

Patrick Tuttle

I joined the gang at Gear Patrol because I believe that as men we often settle for less than the very best lifestyle we can attain. It’s been ingrained into our psyches to forgo certain products, services or lifestyles because they don’t fall within some antiquated male paradigm. Bunk. It’s time as men to stand up and redefine what’s rightfully ours. Much of what I have learned to this end has come through advice from guys who had the experiences and knowledge I was seeking. My only regret was not learning it sooner. Now I feel it’s my obligation to pass along what I know. I’m not saying I have all the answers but I’m happy to share what I’ve learned so far. On a more personal level, I live an active lifestyle and focus on my health and wellness as a means to sustain the frenetic pace. I also suffer from a case of golf-itis and spend a lot of my free time perusing that passion… ok, obsession. I aim to incorporate relevant fitness and golf content into Gear Patrol’s expanding coverage of all things male. Like the rest of the crew I can’t stand over-hyped, under-performing products. None of that crap will be perpetuated here.

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