Barefoot Shoes

Adidas Toe Shoes? Meet the AdiPure Trainer Barefoot Shoe

See “update” section below!

Everyone is getting on the barefoot bandwagon these days. What more, given the burdgeoning success of Vibram FiveFingers — the original toe shoes — not to mention the uber-economical-(though-functionally-infer…

See “update” section below!

Everyone is getting on the barefoot bandwagon these days. What more, given the burdgeoning success of Vibram FiveFingers — the original toe shoes — not to mention the uber-economical-(though-functionally-inferior) Fila Skeletoes, which brought mass distribution and mass marketing to the toe shoe market mix, is it surprising that finally a big shoe manufacturer decided to run with toe shoes in lieu of releasing yet-another-Nike-Free (cough Reebok RealFlex, Skechers GoRun cough)?

It’s almost like “barefoot shoes” are a recognized segment of the footwear market these days. What gives?

More photos, video, more after the jump!

Photo via CounterKicks.

Introducing the Adidas AdiPure Trainer. Adidas just announced these guys today and there’s been a decent amount of press due to an AP article on the matter. Here’s a clip of the “adiPure” news via Sarah Skidmore of the AP:

The world’s second-largest athletic company unveiled its first “barefoot” training shoe Tuesday, which is designed to mimic the experience of exercising barefoot while providing the protection, traction and durability of a shoe. The Adipure Trainer, which is a cross between a glove for the feet and a traditional shoe, hits U.S. stores in November priced at $90.

The barefoot shoe is part of a strategy by Adidas, which is based in Germany, to expand into the U.S. where rival Nike dominates. Adidas joins a list of athletic makers trying to tap into the small but burgeoning U.S. market of fanatical runners and gym-goers who swear by shoes designed with as little material between the wearer and the ground as possible.

The Adidas AdiPure Trainer toe shoes mark the first entry by Adidas in to the five-toed footwear market.  Photo credit: Associated Press.

The Adidas AdiPure Trainer toe shoes mark the first entry by Adidas in to the five-toed footwear market. Photo credit: Associated Press.

“People who believe barefoot is the way to go…are very emphatic about it,” said Matt Powell, an analyst with industry research organization SportsOneSource Group. “They want to spread the message. It sounds religious but some of them are evangelical about it.”

Here is a video of some exercises you could do in “barefoot shoes” — mind, none of this will come as any surprise to just about anyone of us, but imagine how many people will now be exposed to the concept of “toe shoes” through Adidas. For those of us who “grew up” with Vibram FiveFingers, are you ready to have people ask you about your Adidas toe shoes?

Check it out:

While details are still emerging on the Adidas Adipure, what we know today is that they are going to be making their way into stores at a pricepoint of $90 in four different colorways. Stores that are expected to carry the Adipure toe shoes include The Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Foot Locker.

What do you think? Just by the looks of these, I’m optimistic they are more flexible (and comfortable) than the Fila Skeletoes. It’s interesting that they went with a strapless design for the upper of the adiPure. I’m also wondering if the soles on the adiPure are intentionally not rising above the ends of the toes so as to ensure they aren’t running afoul of any intellectual property questions (and avoid a lawsuit by Vibram).

If you hear anything about the adiPure, send it on in to us or comment below.

I have to admit: I’m pretty curious to try these things out! What do you think?


Photos from Gizmodo of the Adidas Adipure toe shoes.

Photos from Gizmodo of the Adidas Adipure toe shoes.

Seems someone at Gizmodo got their feet into a pair of Adidas AdiPure.

Here’s the essence of the Gizmodo write-up — see if you don’t find it a bit … well lacking in detail:

So how do they feel? Actually good. The shoe’s upper is similar to low profile water shoes (better quality, natch)—elastic, stretchy and hardly noticeable around the top part of your foot. I do, however, feel a bit of restriction around my toes. The ethylene and vinyl acetate midsoles—essentially a ton of foam cells that contain air—are perfect though. When your foot lands, the foam compresses and the air gets pushed out, then sucked back in. Unlike Nike Frees which focus on re-creating a barefoot (read: less shock absorbent) feel, the Adidas Adipures provide a cushion so you don’t feel every jagged edge of the ground. But it doesn’t try to overcompensate on that cushioning, so when you’re doing exercises like box jumps you’ll feel your toes and feet searching for balance, trying to grab the ground. It’s like doing brand new core exercises for your feet—working the important little muscles that mean more than the big swooping ones.

So if I’ve got the Gizmodo author right, he thinks that Nike Frees “focus on re-creating a barefoot (read: less shock absorbent) feel” whereas Adipures “provide a cushion so you don’t feel every jagged edge of the ground.” Yet Nike Free 3.0s, the most minimalist of the Free line-up, are cushy enough to block ground feel almost entirely. How could the AdiPures, which appear to be much more thinly soled than the Frees, still be so plush as to be more cushy than a pair of Nike Frees? I’d be amazed (and perplexed as to why) if Adidas pulled off this feat.

Meanwhile, how do you mention Nike Frees in the same sentence as the Adidas AdiPure toe shoes and not mention Vibram FiveFingers? I don’t get it.

What catches my eye most from the Gizmodo piece is the photo of the toe shoes being worn, shot from above. Anyone else feel like the AdiPure toe shoe pockets extend a bit past the ends of the toes? One issue with all shoes — one solved by adding “toe spring” by traditional footwear — is that the fronts of the shoes can “snag” on the ground due to the shoes reducing the dorsiflexing of your toes. FiveFingers do this from time to time, which can cause the toe to bend under the foot and snag the concrete/ground, resulting in a tear to the upper fabric (hence the addition of “TPU toe protection” on models like the Bikila FiveFingers). Anyway, it seems the rubber wrap around that you get with FiveFingers may have been a design feature to reduce extraneous toe pocket material off the end of the toe pockets on toe shoes (there’s just no easy way to say that). I wonder if this will be a problem for the Adidas AdiPure shoes.

Update 2 – video

More on the adipure via Stack magazine’s video featuring Mark Vestergen (NFL, pro-athlete trainer) and founder of Athlete’s Performance:

I’ve tried to round up all the relevant info out there on the Adidas AdiPure toe shoes here, but owe thanks and mention to other discussions about the shoes around the web. For further reading, check out: Yelling Stop, RunBlogger, CounterKicks, Nice Kicks, and Zero Drop.

By Justin

Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad of three, working from Atlanta. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.

51 replies on “Adidas Toe Shoes? Meet the AdiPure Trainer Barefoot Shoe”

Its funny how VFFs were criticized not long ago and now everyone is trying to copy them. I don’t think anyone will out-do VFFs though.

If it gets them (VFFs) more widely accepted, then I’m all for it. Wonder if the high end specialty running shoe stores will carry them. Most of the ones I’ve been into with my VFFs on discount the minimlaistic shoes. In reality though I think it’s because they don’t want to lose dollars. With Addidas on the bandwagon now, I’d like to hear their excuses. One store clerk almost cringes everytime I wear my Classics in.

Wow, the adidas look really cool…I’ve always had a problem with the design of vibrams. they look….weird. I don’t know how they pick their patterns and colors, but they just look strange, and it’s only been recently that the colors and patterns released look more normal…i definitely prefer the way these adidas look, but I prob couldn’t get them unless they introduced laces for my big, wide feet. =

Come November, I’m going to bring my 3 pairs of VFFs to Dick’s Sporting Goods to compare them. They look pretty nice. Can’t wait to try them on!

WOOHOO! Those look awesome 😀 I know I will be trying them. I hate having the straps on my KSOs… they’re unnecessary for me as my feet have slightly higher insteps than normal. Plus these look super squishy and soft 😀 I’m not really a huge fan of the KSO material myself.

These also are WAY more attractive than most VFF models… but some of Vibrams 2012 shoes look killer as well… let the battle of attractive five toed shoes begin!

Am I the only one who thinks these are cheesy looking? Especially in the 2nd, non -marketing picture of the shoe in hand. Looks like a prop off the set of an old sci-fi TV show…


What happend to the lawsuit against Fila! Maybe Vibram and Fila are still in court while another company sneaks their product to the market before Vibram can stop them.

I am an advocate of comptetion. It promots better products and force manufacturer to lower their prices.

Still I like vff more (more styles and colors). I am actually waiting for Spyrido the 2012 model, very attractive.

Good luck to all.

Still no design for those of us with a longer second toe. I’m interested in trying the Vibrams but the few times I’ve tried them, if I get the toes long enough they end up being too wide. More competition is better- but I hope it results in more size variety.

wtf is that guy talking about in the exercises. he mentions a checklist of 45 things to do before you just step up on a box !! lol

I dont understand how they can call them “barefoot shoes” if they have cushion?!?!!?!??!?! they are padded with foam! NOT HOW ARE FEET ARE MADE! I hate companies that try to inmate but get it all wrong. I would be fine with some competition but they are bluing the lines of what is a true barefoot shoe. I.E. no cushion, heal lift, and major flexibility! They people who are new to minimalist shoes buy them (they’re cheaper) and then wonder why they get hurt and dis on minimalist shoes. uhh bugs the crap out of me!

my point of view:
adidas woun’t make the grade when it comes
to barefoot shoes AND design, compared to
VIBRAM. why? -because even in vibram’s first models you could feel and see the
heart&soul they put in it.
adidas tries to get her share in that market but they’ll end up with their
cheap rubbery-wet plastic-lookin barefootshoes.
just my thoughts, never tried them on.
call me a fanatic but vibram’s my b-f shoe. by the way, i’m not working for vibram, the NB minimus is also in my list, though i’d use them more for casual use.
also judging by that commercial video promoting these shoes, they took the
bare foot notion and kicked it in the butt(heel?). wait, is that a video calling young men to join the marines,
or join the wrestling team?
adidas people, i know you are reading this: bare-foot activities are all about harmony and letting go, not worries and being powerful,as that man in your video states.
actually, that video is so WRONG showing
a muscular (probably from some elite soccer team) showing us his abilities
bossy “coach” that spores him (and even slaped him once…) to jump skip and…
so why can’t he do it totally barefoot?

true b-f shoes idea is mostly about doing activities out-doors, connecting to nature and getting your minimum protection wearing them.
the shoes should be your second skin.
in a way that you run and forget about them.
so what have you, adidas done???
just the other way round.
change your videos and ads to portray
more nature-oriented images and ideas.
just my thoughts, hope it helped you to improve your

your friend from russia

now that we see every major brand making a hit on the b-f trend,
imagine all-stars canvas-made b-f shoes// gives me the chills…

Imagine how furious Vibram is now..and this time it’s not Fila they have to worry about sueing, but one of the major sportswear leader. Good luck with that lol

When I used to play soccer, Adidas was my go-to company. I still have my old cleats with those familiar stripes that define Adidas.

But this…. well…. what is the point of toe shoes that PROTECT you from ground feel? Unless they are marketing these for mostly gym shoes, then yeah, I can see a market for it. But as far as running and other “barefoot” activities… I don’t think these will make the cut. I am curious about the thickness of the sole. The side shot makes them look pretty hefty. The top view, where the sole seems to go past the toe… I can foresee trouble tripping over those for those who are guilty of dragging their feet (yours truly included!)

I am sure I will at least try them on when they are released. But I wonder how flexible the upper material is? I have high arches, and something like this, if it doesn’t give enough, won’t even be able to comfortably get them on.

For those screaming “patent lawsuit!” Again, based on my reading of the Vibram patent:

The Vibram patent talks about a shoe with toe pockets, where the sole wraps around the front of the toes, and the sole cups the foot. Otherwise, there is plenty of prior art mentioned in the Vibram patent with regards to just toe shoes. The patent is mostly about the addition of the way the sole wraps around stuff.

The Fila shoe simply removes a toe pocket, but keeps this sole wrapping element (particularily on the toes).

Based on the pictures above, the Adidas shoe clear does not wrap around the toes 9but it is unknown how much wrapping the sole does around the heel).

These look to have a bit of a heel on them. I wonder what the drop is. I agree with other comments about competition being a good thing. Not sure if these are infringing on Vibram’s patents or not. I also agree with Justin that the toe pockets look long. I am afraid my short toes would be swimming in those pockets. I also wonder about the elasticity of the upper material and if it will accommodate wider feet or higher insteps. These appear to be almost “Flow” like, minus the straps. Not sure if that is a wise choice of materials froma breathability standpoint.

@Jon M: I think they look cheesy as well…I much prefer the look of Vibrams.

I also think that at the pricepoint of $90 I really have no motivation to buy these instead of Vibrams. For the same price I could have another pair of Bikilas (which I currently own and love) or I could buy some Komodos for 10 bux more. For me, it’s no contest. I feel confident that the Vibrams are far better designed (better toe protection, strapping/lacing mechanisms, etc.). Admittedly, I can’t say this 100% for sure without trying a pair, but from the pics, I wouldn’t be motivated to buy a pair at that price.

Also, while I like the idea of a larger shoe company like Addidas making the barefoot movement more well known and credible to the skeptics out there, I worry that this could backfire as well. If these are at all lacking in design (like the Skeletoes), then there will be even more people who try barefoot running, o-lifting, etc. and give up on it because they were wearing a cheap imitation. I worry that too many imitations that are lacking in quality and engineering could hinder the barefoot movement and people will begin to chock it up to “just a fad” or “Just a gimmick” and will start to look at toe shoes the same way we all look at Easy Tones or Shape-ups (::shudders::)

Only time will tell though…I’m just as interested as everyone else to see how this pans out. Maybe the Addidas will be a pleasant surprise and benefit our cause 🙂

Set a pair of KomodoSport LS’s next to it and see which one you’d go for. Maybe the Adidas are über comfy too, but when you’re wading against the tide of traditionalism, I’ll take the shoe that at least looks good to boot.

can’t compete with out a vibram sole. no outdoors ppl would be able to make these last on rough terrain? ppl already eat through there hole vibram sole in a matter of seasons.

basketball shoes last not even a summer in normal walking conditions. i just don’t see why companies are trying to hop on the bandwagon when the first company to do it did and is doing it perfectly.

quit trying to make money off ppl who want a barefoot feel. just support vibram!!(talking to all companies copying VFF)

i would never purchase another toe shoe besides VFF.

though i will try different barefoot shoes such as merrell and NB.

one and only reason why vibram will remain the leading brand when it comes to barefoot shoes:
their soles are made from patented composite materials that even new-balance and merrel use for their
barefoot line.

and i must say they have earned that respect over the years.

wow adidas…i brought you the idea of going back to your original five finger idea and now it’s back…and I get no credit…@ssholes

the video clearly shows adidas doesnt get it. Not only are they late but the product lacks innovation. VFF and Fila Skeletoes have at least provided the market with a reason for being. Fila has done more for barefoot enthusiasts by opening up the market at resonable price points with an interesting twist by offering the easyslide four pockets. To me adidas just completely ripped off VFF with 5 pockets. What are they offering? Value? Innovation? Just my two cents, a big brand trying to push into a market already satisfied with two niche players.

All I’ve wanted for while is for Vibram to revolutionize the Classic for men(a slip on for men without straps or laces) but keeps redoing the Classic like style for the ladies(2011 models Jaya, Jaya LR 2012 model Classic Fresca ), and leaving the guys out. These (Adidas adiPure)may be my best bet!

It’s funny how a company creating classical running-shoes let a speaker explain to everyone how you should use your foot naturally.

Really like that. Vibram has done good. 🙂

Nevertheless, I’d rather run barefoot most of the time.

In a way, I am really pleased that a major shoe (how paradoxical is that? A shoe co going barefoot) company like adidas gets on to the barefoot movement. My guess is that with the “adi-Monster” on board, we can expect the barefoot movement to explode and you’d expect to see so many people come out in the open (like coming out of a closet) to endorse it, whereas now the opinions remain very divided with a majority still being very skeptical. So, I’d say this is a good thing. Vibram needs to buck up to keep their line ups trendy yet functional and as a user, I can only smile at the prospect of new VFF line-ups.

I have several pair of VFF and won’t wear anything else. Threw out all my old running shoe. I hope Vibram sues Adidas the same as Fila. Vibram started the barefoot movement and everyone wants in on the action. Besides I think the Adidas look terrible. On the other hand that could also be good for Vibram

To all the idiots who think Vibram owns the world. If Vibram were the only Five Toe Shoe manufacturer that would be like Ford being the only auto manufacturer. Get the point? Probably not. The fact is, there are a lot of other Five Toe manufacturers already out there making much better quality shoes than Vibram. Vibram “attempting” to sue Fila? Are you kidding me? Good luck with that one. Even though Skeletoes are crap I hope Fila wins the case. As well as they should. If Vibram can’t handle the competition maybe they should get back in their Ford and drive back to Italy.

I’ve already seen these in the ‘common man’ shoe stores, meaning, they’re soon to be everywhere.

Personally, I’m kind of mad that they’re appearing everywhere. Call me elitist, but I know that the marketing power of Adidas will eventually establish these toe-shoes as the mainstream brand, and as a very loyal fan of Vibrams, I would rather they become the leading brand. I would hate for people to think that Adidas were the pioneers of such shoes.

However, it is true that competition breeds a better product, and these shoes really do look nice! However they aren’t quite as freely flexible as the Vibrams, and from the sounds of it, are going against the whole notion of ‘barefoot’ ground feel with the quite thick rubber. In fact, I think the only really flexible part is the EVA midsole. It’s like having armor plating on a leather coat, not the ideal flex of a proper barefoot shoe.

Hopefully Vibram can produce better and better looking designs, and maybe one day we can have toe-shoes become just as common as nike frees.

My opinion. I’ve wanted a pair of B-F shoes for a while. But I just never have been interested in Vibrams because of the strap and most of the models dont cover the top of the foot. These adipure’s sort of give me what I’m looking for. If you’ve ever kicked a soccer ball bearfoot you know how much it stings. And a strap being smashed against the top of your foot when you kick a ball as well isn’t such an entertaining idea either. The ground where I live is very hard, almost like concrete. So the no strap, cover the top of my foot, and has a little cushion = the best way to get ball work done with as little as possible. Cleats in soccer always try to get the best “bare foot” feel. These shoes will help with people wanting to work their game, not just in the gym. Am i the only one who can see that potential?

Most Vibram Fivefingers have a top covering material. Without a strap or way to tighten the shoe your foot will slip within it. Especially while running and changing directions (soccer). Depending on conditions I find that I have to adjust the tightness of my KSOs quite often. Especially when they get wet.

I actually had a chance to try a pair of these on recently while browsing in a “Footlocker” and here is what I found:
-While the general feel of the AdiPure is actually pretty liberating in comparison to “normal” shoes, it doesn’t quite match up to the VFF’s initially. There was a fair amount of cushioning in the arch that just bugged me *I’ve been running in my VFF’s for about three years now, won’t run in anything else… as of yet* Mind you, I switched to these from a pair of converse chuck taylor’s *basically no cushion there nor arch support*. That being said, I noticed that there was even a bit of cushion initially in my KSO’s when I recently bought a new pair and started running in them. However, it quickly deteriorated and got me back to that beloved cushion free and basically barefoot feel! So, I may wind up giving the AdiPure’s a shot after a while and give a more in-depth review for all you here on birthdayshoes! Until then, I’m going to keep looking up reviews and see what other people say!


What’s all the fuss? I bought a pair of Adidas because I couldnt find Vibram anywhere. I hoped I would be able to overcome the difficulty of putting my toes into the individual pockets. After a couple to weeks of struggling they now fit and go on as easy as a pair of gloves. I use them for everything from gym workouts to outdoor running on concrete and asphalt. No grassy fields for me. If they hold up I will wear them when I run the Chicago Marathon. So just pick the brand name you like and try a pair.

Hey, I never seen this website, always thought that vibram and adidas were the only companies to make toe shoes. Out on Guam (US Territory) they sell the Adidas Version for $90.00 US.
I had 2 pairs of the neon green. Awesome shoes really comfortable.

I’m trying to purchase a pair of men’s 8 1/2 adidas toe shoes! If anybody can direct me in the right path that would be great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *