Adidas announced Friday one of the main cogs in its quest for a sub-two-hour marathon. The sportswear brand unveiled the Adidas Adizero Sub2, a 150-gram (5.3 oz.) racing flat. Only one has been made to date.
Wilson Kipsang, who is running the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday, will debut the shoes in what will be a highly-touted world record attempt. The Kenyan, 34, predicted that he will run 2:02:50 on Sunday, which would be a seven-second improvement on the current best held by Dennis Kimetto.
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“Adidas Adizero Sub2 is a significant milestone in the brand’s Sub2 programme and central to the future of Adidas Running,” said Adidas Running global general manager André Maestrini. “Around the London Marathon in 2012, we started thinking about Sub2 as a concept and Adidas’ role in achieving what was deemed impossible. We began creating a shoe that could enable this, and Wilson is the perfect athlete to test our innovation in a race environment. We’re incredibly excited to see where this can go.”
Nike, like Adidas, is also working on its own sub-two-hour marathon project which features athletes Zersenay Tadese, Eliud Kipchoge and Lelisa Desisa. There is expected to be a marathon record attempt sometime this spring. Nike’s two-hour quest is named Breaking2.
The Adizero Sub2 notably features what Adidas calls Boost Light, the company’s lightest-ever foam which comprises the shoe’s cushioning system. The upper is made of a single layer of mesh. Adidas claims that the shoe improves running economy by two per cent. Note that almost three minutes would need to be taken off the current world record for an athlete to break two hours in the marathon.
The Sub2 shoe is expected to be released publicly in late 2017. “The shoe was created for community runners and world class athletes alike, to deliver faster times and break records,” reads the Adidas press release.
Adidas athletes have dominated the men’s marathon in recent years. The previous five marathon world records have been set in Adidas footwear (Haile Gebrselassie twice, Patrick Makau, Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto).