Initially designed for sports use, sneakers have been diverted from their primary function. Nowadays, their technical performance is often forgotten, but they are still technological gems that deserve to be deciphered!
The sneaker as an innovator from the start
The very first sneakers were already innovative with the vulcanization of rubber. As technological advances went hand in hand with the development of sports activities, it was during the 70s and 80s that sneakers experienced a real technological turning point.
Nike made its first major breakthroughs with the Cortez and Waffle, before the introduction of the Air-Sole in 1979. In the 80s, adidas unveiled Torsion technology, paving the way for today's sneaker game, where every manufacturer now has a research and development department.
The latest technology for kicksThe adidas BOOST sole and the Nike FlyKnit upper are the hallmarks of 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 always 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 heart of the challengesToday, the innovation of our lifestyle sneakers revolves around sustainable development. While many brands have launched with an eco-friendly promise, such as 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 made a name for itself with its "Move to Zero" collection, demonstrating its ambition to achieve zero waste. A major concern of our time, ecology should be at the heart of future innovations in the sneaker game!
What innovations do you predict for the sneaker?
Infinitely adjustable sneakers, connected sneakers, new vegetable leathers... What innovations would you like to see develop on the market?