’08 Adidas Adistar
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2008 Adidas Adistar
Retail – $199
As expected, Adidas updated their top-of-the-line shoe just before the Beijing Olympics. Gone is the 2004 Adistar. Hello 2008 Adistar!
When first seeing the shoe, my initial reaction was that it’s very clean and timeless. With a mesmerizing polished wood heel, striking white glossy leather, and an almost clear non-marking sole topped off with a splash of shiny chrome mid-sole. Wow! This shoe is beautiful.
First things first: we always check the dimensions. The overall weight was about average. Size 9 weighed in at 479 g. This is slightly heavier than the previous model, but it’s a whopping 23% lighter than the Nike Romaleos. Next, for quality control we weigh each shoe independently; they were within 1% of one another, which is an improvement. The 2004 Adistar had an overall pitch of ~ 8%. This remains unchanged.
During closer inspection, we noticed something very different from any Adidas shoe thus far. Past shoes were fairly straightforward: there was a wood heel, rubber sole, and a leather upper. Simple. Yes, maybe it had cosmetic accents of look-alike carbon fiber and mesh, but structurally it’s been the status quo. This new model marks a significant change for Adidas. Instead of using wood across the entire bottom wedge of the shoe, this time they incorporated a flexible mid-foot support code named Torsion-System that’s made from TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). Luckily they maintained the wood heel for both looks and performance.
The 2004 Adistar was made of a very soft kangaroo leather. This felt fantastic on your foot, but unfortunately it wasn’t very stable, so Adidas added three Velcro cross straps to help out. Fastening three straps was tedious. Each time Adidas releases a new shoe, they always change the strap. We’re excited this time–they went old school with a single strap reminiscent of earlier models. To help compensate for the minimization of straps and aid lateral support, they’ve made the entire upper with a polyurethane-coated leather. Another technique that Adidas used for support was by making their three stripe logo out of TPU and “welding” them to the leather. This new model has a lot of polyurethane.
When we first put the shoes on we were very surprised. They didn’t fit! This shoe has a unique toe box that’s square. We ordered seven pairs, and when the shoes arrived, we ended up playing musical shoeboxes. Instead of the lifters getting the shoes they ordered, everyone tried on a pair and took whichever ones fit. The lifters left out in the cold had to wait for their replacement sizes. The 2008 Adistar’s run one size big. Women are usually instructed to order 1 to 1.5 sizes smaller from men’s sizing; however, we would recommend 2 to 2.5.
When we finally could train in the shoe, we were pleasantly surprised. The leather didn’t feel super stiff, and they broke in very quickly. Adidas utilizes Birds Nest with Climate Cool. This is to provide enhanced cooling for your feet. It works very well. The single strap was a welcomed upgrade, and the added stability from the treated leather with the TPU support gave the shoe an amazing feel: flexible with excellent lateral stability, a true joy to lift in. The unorthodox toe box provided additional room. When we did a split jerk, our lead foot toes didn’t get jammed against the inside.
After eleven days of wearing the shoe, we started having doubts about all this new technology. Not just one or two, but three of the lifters broke their straps! I’ve never seen this happen on a Weightlifting shoe, new or old. For three shoes to break that quickly is unacceptable and obviously a design flaw. In the past Adidas used metal hoops that the strap would pass through, but on this upgrade, it’s plastic. If their motive was weight savings or cost reduction, either way — Fail. Adidas allowed no returns, so we had to repair them. Very inconvenient on a $200 pair of brand-new shoes. If you like your strap tight, then be prepared for a trip to the local hardware store.
It used to be that Adidas shoes were simple, yet stylish. The use of natural products like wood, leather, and cotton was standard. Longevity and quality were just as important as performance. A new day is upon us; modern, cheaper materials are sneaking in. TPU “welded” onto leather, Torsion Systems, and plastic buckles. The concern now is how long will they hold up to daily use? I guess only time will tell.
Meanwhile, if you’re in the market for a Weightlifting shoe that offers the ultimate in performance, style, and comfort then don’t hesitate. Even with it’s flaws, the 2008 Adistar remains the foremost Weightlifting shoe available today.