Sneakers at the heart of innovation

Initially designed for sports use, sneakers have been diverted from their primary function. Nowadays worn in everyday life, their technical performance is often forgotten, but they are still technological gems that deserve to be deciphered!

The sneaker as an innovator from the beginning

The very first sneakers were already innovative with the vulcanization of rubber. The technological advances going hand in hand with the development of sports activities, it is during the 70's and 80's that the sneakers know a real technological turn.

Nike made its first big moves with its Cortez and Waffle, before the introduction of the Air-Sole in 1979. In the 80s, adidas unveiled the Torsion technology, paving the way for the current sneaker game where each manufacturer now has a research and development department.


The latest technologies for kicks

The adidas BOOST sole and the Nike FlyKnit upper mark the 2010s. The two sportswear giants have since redoubled their inventiveness, with the three stripes introducing 3D-printed soles, the Swoosh the self-lacing sneaker and recently the "hands-free" sneaker.

On the performance side, innovations are still coming. The latest example is the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%: equipped with a carbon plate, this running shoe has allowed runners to set records, to the point of being the subject of an investigation that led to a regulation on the use of carbon!

Ecology now at the center of the challenges

Today, the innovation of our lifestyle sneakers revolves around sustainable development. While many brands have launched with an eco-friendly promise, like Veja, adidas has partnered with Parley for the Oceans by unveiling a 100% recyclable Futurecraft.Loop running shoe and inaugurating a Primegreen range.
Nike also illustrated itself with its "Move to Zero" collection, testifying to its ambition to reach zero waste. Major concern of our time, ecology should be at the heart of future innovations on the sneakers game!

What innovations do you predict for the sneaker game?

Infinitely adjustable sneaker, connected sneaker, new vegetable leathers... What innovations would you like to see develop on the market?

picture of author