AS 2017 drew to a close, Adidas’ new silhouette, the Kamanda, began popping up across social media platforms. On-foot photos depicted what may be a slightly more ‘football’ orientated addition to the Prophere, taking Adidas’ renowned gum sole and quite literally spreading it across the sneaker’s upper. In essence, 2018 has been embraced and welcomed with open arms whist a step is taken away from boost, towards wearability alone.
As is obvious, this isn’t a standard rendition of Adidas’ football/casual range. The black nubuck upper is of a far lower profile than a standard Gazelle, for example. Working toe to heel, there’s evidence of instep support. In a similar fashion to the Tubular range, the toe box is dressed with an embroidered stripe pattern which backs onto another feature; Three Stripes. This trademark detail is formed by a sequence of precise perforations, excluding the use of large embroidered strips to tarnish what is an incredibly streamline shape.
Closer to the heel, “KAMANDA” is embellished and finished in a golden foil. This is once again, most commonly seen on their casual range of sneakers; evidence of sticking to the brand’s roots whilst pushing for a new, reinvented target audience. Now, a new iteration of the tongue, or be it lack of that brands seem to be siding towards. Instead of loopholes, light padding and the brand logo, a thick, elasticated mesh layer fills the void beneath an altered lacing system; potentially removing the need for laces altogether. Either side of said mesh layer, sits a series of eyelets formed from fabric piping.
Onto the lining now, where a distinctly premium feel is certainly present. First off, the ankle is lined in a black leather, transitioning to a light padding appearing beneath the elongated tongue. Carrying the premium feel throughout, Adidas decided to drape their standard insole in a white, long-haired suede. Not only does this add to comfort, but forms a plain however textured bed and subtle backdrop for, once again, “KAMANDA” to be displayed.
Overall, the structure if the shoe internally is very similar to that of a Prime Knit NMD; of course laces could be of use, but due to the nature of this material tongue it keeps the foot planted whilst walking around.
Lastly, and perhaps the most talked about aspect of this particular sneaker- the sole unit. For those that are fond of Adidas, and have been for many years, this ‘waved’ texture is one that is most commonly found on the underbelly of a Samba silhouette. We have been presented with their glorified rendition of an armadillo’s hindquarters- and we like it. Three Stripes wanted to move away from hype built arounds Boost Technology, now that the patent has ended, so in the words of Global Product Manager, Christopher Wheat:
‘To try and bring product that is less about hype and more about the scene, the community and product integrity.’
The purpose of this swollen gum sole doesn’t stop at comfort. As it encroaches over the toe box, structural aid is integrated to prevent the foot from lifting as the wearer moves around. Introducing a personal opinion, the exaggerated outsole is certainly one to be influence by Adidas’ Yeezy range. By replacing an iconic trait, i.e. boost, with another recognisable feature in which to carry a silhouette, was a brave move from Adidas. Many were perplexed by the decision against using Boost in their Prophere model, however the elevated sense of quality on this pair surpassed that of the above with ease. It simply makes sense.
To conclude an in depth description of what has potential to be one of Adidas’ most profitable silhouettes of 2018; it’s a huge step away from boost, but definitely one to appease those who are into sneaker quality opposed to hyped products. It is inevitable that the shoe itself will be released in a huge variety of colour ways, modified styles and of course collaborations; seeing as both C.P. Company and Dragonball Z have been teased already.
Though it’s early days, the model itself hasn’t even hit retail shelves and won’t do until SS18, social media and influencers alike have been striving to get their hands on a pair. Bare in mind, not every silhouette becomes and instant classic, especially in the case of Yeezy 750 OG, Turtle Dove 350, etc. These are the pairs that will be at the top of collectors’ lists, reinventing a runner, casual or even gym wear sneaker into something to influence the sneaker-market as a whole.
Adidas have a lot happening in 2018, and it’s a pleasure to say this is only the start of things to come.