The advent of Adidas’s Adipure line-up is a timely reminder that the sneaker silhouette as we know it is subject to drastic and sometimes unrecognisable change. This evolution is and always will be driven by a basic instinct to innovate and incorporate the latest performance based technology in new designs. The 1991 Nike Air (Flight) Huarache is a case in point. By combining an exoskeleton support system with stretchy neoprene, the design gave birth to a whole school of barely-there shoes such as the Nike Air Rift, Nike Air Presto and arguably the Adidas Adipure. What distinguishes the Nike runners from the Adipure is their success at maintaining an appealing silhouette despite the radical changes. Regardless of the technology and fabrics incorporated by Adidas, its exact mimicking of the human foot is aesthetically floored. Shoe design over the centuries has obsessed over hiding and disguising the shape of the human foot. It is an insufficient attempt by Adidas to veil this new silhouette with a camouflage of new technology and fabrics. The silhouette is so blatantly resembling the foot’s exact anatomy that it will inevitably jar with peoples instinctive aversion towards the naked foot. What I would like to illustrate is that the silhouette has been increasingly overlooked and sidelined in its importance to the aesthetic qualities of the shoe. Thus, it is time we look past the excess of fancy materials and colourways as the indicators of success.
Taking the above image as a starting point, it's function is as a template, mimicking the shape of a human foot as closely as possible but still retaining qualities of a standardised shoe silhouette. This provides a neutral blank canvass where the material makeup of the shoe is immaterial. Painting the original colourways of selected models with distinguish one shoe from the other. It is also integral that the comparison be made with the original sneaker as below.