An out-of-this-world collaboration
We might say that we’re willing to go “to the moon and back” for a special pair of sneakers, but thanks to Adidas you may not even have to travel that far. The brand has just announced a multi-year partnership with the International Space Station (ISS) to explore the boundaries of product innovation, human performance and sustainability – or in other words, to test its sneakers in outer space.
Adidas will work closely with the US National Laboratory onboard the ISS, managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), to improve design and engineering. The initial phase will see Adidas testing its Boost technology without the distraction of gravity.
This partnership could influence the performance and comfort of existing models and inspire new products. Adidas has worked with the ISS before, and in October sent soccer balls into space to explore their flight characteristics beyond an Earth-based wind tunnel.
In future phases, Adidas also plans to research elements such as human performance and sustainability while leveraging the space station. Insights from the strenuous physical training regimen developed for astronauts to endure the harshest of conditions could also allow Adidas to apply potential learnings to athletes.
James Carnes, vice-president of brand strategy for Adidas, said: “Working with the ISS will help Adidas set new standards in performance innovation. This partnership not only allows us to co-create improvements to sport performance but to explore processes and design that could be applicable to our dedicated efforts in sustainability as well.”
Adidas will send its signature Boost pellets and footwear to the ISS National Lab via a future SpaceX cargo mission, with testing to begin as early as 2020. Astronauts will conduct experiments away from the Earth’s gravity to test the possibilities of producing Boost midsoles with regions of different particle sizes – something that could optimise performance and comfort.