From 3D printing to self-lacing shoes, it’s hard to argue that the athletic footwear industry is outpacing competing divisions when it comes to the early adoption of new technologies. Further proof of that fact is Adidas’ latest Gazelle concept sneaker, which features Alcantara, an innovative material used to cover surfaces and shapes.
The Carbon Neutral material is the result of a proprietary technology commonly used in the automotive, interiors and yacht industries. Applied in fashion with the Adidas Consortium, the Italian-made luxury material is used as a leather alternative on the Gazelle’s upper.
The Alcantara version of the Gazelle is a collaboration between Japanese retailer United Arrows & Sons and Italian menswear retailer Slam Jam. The two companies were exploring how to repurpose high-quality materials for a product that would strike a chord with fans of contemporary sneaker culture.
In addition to the Alcantara upper, the Gazelle concept features 100% cotton Ikeuchi Organic toweling for the interior of the sneaker. It also has a tongue borrowed from the adidas Samba with co-branding on various parts of the shoe. The result is an understated sneaker with a subtle, low-key elegance.