Adidas has no shortage of iconic sneakers. The Superstar, the Stan Smith and the Samba, among countless others, have been entrenched in the global zeitgeist for over 40 years. As much as these silhouettes have done for perception of adidas across generations, the new ZX Flux will someday join their ranks — or even surpass them.
It’s a bold statement — one that a certain duo from Hollis would have a beef with. Even its own designers aren’t willing to go there just yet. But consider the context: after years of conceding ground to various competitors, the launch of the ZX Flux has played a huge role in restoring adidas’ chops among the holy trinity of consumers, impressing a new generation of athletes, sneaker-heads and trend setters.
Many saw the shoe’s launch as a direct response to the success of Nike’s Roche Run. But to claim its rise is based purely on drafting behind another brand’s lead is asinine. The ZX Flux project was actually born from the adidas ZX 8000 running shoe launched over 25 years ago. It’s also no coincidence that the shoe’s deconstructed aesthetic, defined by the heel stabilizer cage at the rear and an aggressive sloped toe, meshes well in an era where understated sneakers are making regular appearances far beyond the street. Minimalism is, mercifully, in again.
Judging by the steady blitz of new ZX Flux colors and special-edition collaborations released this year, stripping a sneaker to its bare DNA also leaves ample space for creative interpretation by both shoe designers and consumers. The launch of the #miZXFlux app, which allows buyers to have any non-copyrighted image printed directly on the shoe, is easily the most impressive example of customization in the sneaker game to date.
The dictionary defines flux as “a continuous moving on or passing by”. Which describes adidas’s latest creation as well as the times: the push for constant evolution is both the single biggest challenge to maintaining success today and the solution to finding it. The ZX Flux has miles to go before reaching the heights of other sneakers before it. If it ever does get there, though, staying the same won’t be the reason.
Upper: one-piece mesh or one-piece textile and synthetic upper
Sole: ZX 8000 midsole and outsole
Heel: molded TPU heel cage