Thursday while working from home I received a knock at the door, opening it to find a courier holding a nondescript brown paper bag, I signed on the pad and wished him a pleasant ride back up to London. This isn't the first time adidas have sent pairs down by bike but it's generally for some extra special.
Inside the bag was a plain box, again nothing fancy but I already had an idea what it contained, that being a very special pair, the #AM4LDN which stands for Adidas Made For London a shoe crafted from the brands new state of the art Speed Factory facility.
Now this a project I have a good insight on as originally I was drafted to help design the London pair. The team was setup to include a wide range of skillsets and consisted of runners, editors, graphic designers and photographers.
I was chosen as the "Footwear" guy, I guess to make sure that whatever we produced was a shoe that people would want to buy at the end of the process.
I must admit I was very, very hyped over the initial emails and meetings but things fell apart and HQ wanted to take a different route using runners only so me and the others got axed, I'm not sure why but being honest I felt honoured to even be asked and no bad vibes were ever felt.
So fast forward to now where I'm holding the final creation in my hands, it's a wonderful moment but you can't really talk about this shoe without going into the creation process behind it as that is such major element of the story.
Nearly all shoes from big brands take many months to produce before hitting the shop floor, it's a very long process that includes design, R&D, testing, shipping and much more. Speed Factory manages to cut this down to a matter of days, utilising small robotic factories that can be placed in any major city allowing a straight to consumer approach, right now the applications are limited and can only be used for certain styles of shoes but this is soon to change.
Looking closely at the #AM4LDN pair you can tell where processes have been cut and new ones created to save precious time, support straps are bonded to the upper and heel so the shoe can loose a support cage and heel cup. The straps are also used to tighten the shoe though the laces which sit very nicely (something a lot of brands tend to forgot about). Under the sole is a torsion bar for added stability and this is visible through a cut-out in the Boost which looks great. Finishing everything off is a NFC chip in the tongue which should take you to a website, I've had a few pairs with this tech and being honest I've never used it.
Take a look at my photos below and thanks for reading,