The FIT: adidas ClimaCool Ride

by May 04, 2011

by Sandy Dover / @SandmanSeven

In the NBA world, athletes in that particular universe are subject to physical rigors that most laypeople cannot comprehend. For the elite basketball player, his/her body is his/her literal temple and principal livelihood, and while the roughly 400 players in the NBA put their bodies and minds to the test daily and yearly, those outside of that realm (in the so-called real world) also have become just as conscious about their fitness and health. The FIT is a series that will concentrate on the Fuel, Information and Training (F.I.T.) that it takes for both NBAers and laypersons to be at their very best in the world, as well as focusing on the literal Food, Intelligence and Technology that also comes into play in our physical fine-tuning โ€“ because after all, without having the vital fuel, guidelines and tech advancements to feed our bodies, help us better absorb and process whatโ€™s necessary, and make the labor efficient and effective, we donโ€™t have much to advance our collective health and performance. The FIT is here to bring to light what can make us all the uniquely tuned creatures that we presently are and can continue or aspire to be.

With an increased look from shoe companies on training (and why now and not all other times, I do not know or understand), there has been some particular brands that have been stepping up their own approaches to getting people in the right product to get fit. Importantly, running is a big part of training, in the various forms that it manifests itself. With large campaigns on training being ran by Nike and Reebok, who has singularly begun to take over that particular segment of the shoe sales by shoe group, adidas has responded with its own leap into the foray, but by hitting a niche. That niche is lightweight, highly breathable running shoes with great comfort and have formed itself into the image of the adidas ClimaCool Ride.

There are a lot of things to love about the ClimaCool Ride. For one, it’s literally super lightweight. Weighing only 8.9 ounces, the shoe itself wears like slippers in weight. It’s totally composed of strong mesh with jersey-like holes in the upper. The footbed, the insole is characterized in the same way and is thin but resilient. Secondly, because of the many jersey mesh holes, it’s incredibly breathable. Just wearing the shoe feels like you’re doing yourself a favor, and you really are. The air passes through the shoe just barely moving; it’s a good feeling.

What also stands out is that the ClimaCool Ride is really, really comfortable. adidas hasn’t really played this up much, but the CC Ride has adiprene+ in the forefoot and adiprene in the heel (adiprene being adidas’ patented foam insert cushioning technology that is injected or inserted into their shoes), with the added benefit of using durable adiWear rubber on the outsole (which is all one piece, but zig-zagged out to create a highly flexible last that allows the shoe to maintain great transition on runs and general wears and ensure that the foot moves accordingly).

From a style standpoint, the Ride holds more than its own. The low-profile, deep black on the sunshine sole of the Ride is something that is definitely rockable (and I know this is a goal of the brand with the three stripes). The toe is sueded and super soft with the open cell mesh dominating the entirely of the upper. Supportive TPU stripes across the foot encourage support in the shoe that otherwise might be absent.

On a general wear, the Ride is more than adequate, but running is where they were put to the test. In my testing (I had the beautiful black/sunshine pair), the Ride proved to be all that I presumed them to be and all that adidas has said that they are. I was greatly encouraged by runs on concrete, a brief foray in grass, and an even briefer foray in gravel (though I’d prefer a more traditional outsole if gravel and sand would be my more consistent terrains — and they will not be). The comfort, the flexibility and breathability of the Ride made me confident and assured in my running, and helped to encourage me in my new running gait (forefoot/midfoot first, instead of the wretched heel strike gait that many runners have been brainwashed into for the past 35 years or so). From running in this shoe, my feet felt well, but there is one caveat about the shoe that can be altered, and it’s not really the shoe itself.

The Ride’s insoles feature rows of holes in fours that are perforated through out indiscriminately of the forefoot, arch and heel. I had no issues with the holes being in the heel and midfoot, but because of some holes being present in the strike zone of the forefoot, I felt some slight discomfort from the abrasion of my feet upon the insoles, added by the holes having void space and my skin taking some punishment. I recommend using the stock insoles for non-run wear or for light runs and using a close variation of the stock insole, but only without the forefoot perforations, so that there might not be any possible rubbing to the underfeet.

Just to see if there was any other issues, I took a run in the Ride with no socks, and to be honest, they felt great. I do believe that wearing these barefoot wouldn’t be much of an issue, and I actually enjoyed the time I ran in these more without socks, but if you do wear the Ride in that way, I’d suggest packing socks along just in case (also, the issues I had above with the Ride sockliner came when I wore socks). And since I’m mentioning the shoe still, I must say that the impact protection is great. The heel elevation is very low and the instep and stance of the Ride is pretty close to being parallel to the ground from the toe through the heel of the shoe; it’s neutral, so that’s great for me as a re-taught runner in training (forefoot/midfoot first, people! THEN, your heel!).

Simply put, I am very impressed by the adidas ClimaCool Ride, and the ClimaCool series as a whole has a bright future on the market and on the feet of future wearers.

(A special thanks goes to the very good people at adidas for their valued contribution to this review.)

Photo courtesy of CounterKicks.

For more insight about the creation of the ClimaCool Ride, see CounterKicks’ interview with the adidas’ Director of Running here.

Sandy Dover is a published novelist/writer, artist, and fitness enthusiast, currently working toward getting board certification as a fitness trainer. You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline, as well as at Facebook and Twitter.