Nike Air is popular for a reason. It’s an ever-evolving platform with a design worth celebrating whether you’re a sneakerhead or an average user. This year, Nike decks out the Air Max Spring 2021 collection with three key silhouettes: the Air Max 2090 EOI, the Air Max Viva, and the VaporMax Evo.
First in the lineup is the Air Max 2090 EOI (Evolution of Icons), taking inspiration from classic Air Max’s shoes. The hybrid subtly incorporated details from Air Max 90, Air Max 180, and the Air Max BW.
Meanwhile, the Air Max Viva follows recursive developments of specific women’s Air Max models. The Viva included a cushioned midsole and a magnified Air Max Unit in the heel. Also, it comes with two laces for styling — a speckled midsole and a two-tone rubber outsole — complementing its leather, closed mesh, and nubuck detailing.
On the other hand, the VaporMax Evo explores a bolder style for the VaporMax. When you look closely, the silhouette actually fused details from classics like the Air Max 90, Air Max 93, and the Air Max Plus.
Price and availability
The Air Max Spring Collection 2021 will be available throughout Spring 2021. (Obviously?!)
- Air Max 2090 EOI — PhP 8,295
- Air Max Viva — PhP 7,345
- VaporMax Evo — PhP 10,545
adidas UltraBoost 21 review: More boost, more fun
Casual and performance hybrid
It’s a new year which means it’s time for a new UltraBoost and this one’s the best one yet. Today we’re checking out the adidas UltraBoost 21.
The UltraBoost 21 dropped globally this January 28th priced at US$ 180, with a full release of more colorways on February 4th.
Here in Malaysia, the UltraBoost 21 is now available in physical stores as well as our lockdown opens up slightly.
Brief Ultraboost history
Ever since they were announced in 2015, the Ultraboost has always been my go-to everyday sneaker because they’re just so comfortable to wear.
In the last two years adidas has been pumping out two different series of UltraBoost. On one side we have the older, UltraBoost 1.0 to 4.0 retro-ing and releasing in a few newer colorways under the “UltraBoost DNA” branding.
Initially, adidas just kept making small changes to the shoe every year from the UltraBoost 1.0 to the 4.0. They were mostly just changing the knit pattern of the upper which wasn’t really that big of a deal.
However, the DNA models are more for people like me who want the retro style of the OG UltraBoosts and want the comfort of the Boost midsole and Primeknit upper, but just as casual everyday wear sneakers.
But, on the other side we have the UltraBoost year models which are more performance oriented as running sneakers. This started in 2019 when adidas redesigned the Ultraboost to create the Ultraboost 19 which was a huge change in the line and created a lot of controversy with Ultraboost fans at that time.
A brand new change
This is because, initially, the Ultraboost was more of a casual lifestyle pair first, casual running sneaker second. But this changed with the UB19 when adidas decided to focus on making a more performance oriented running sneaker. It created a bit of drama amongt Ultraboost fans because the silhouette of the shoe really changed compared to previous UltraBoosts.
So we saw the Ultraboost 19 in 2019, the UltraBoost 20 last year, and this year, 2021, it’s the UltraBoost 21.
And boy, has adidas really evolved the silhouette here, with even more Boost than ever before and a LOT of major tech improvements as well, including a new Torsion system, also making use of more sustainably sourced materials in the upper.
With all of that, you have to admit, the UltraBoost21 looks like an aggressive running sneaker through and through.
We got the launch colorway to check out which is Cloud White / Core Black / Solar Yellow. It’s a sweet colorway with these hits of neon yellow on the upper and pink on the sole.
Coming to the shoe itself and starting with the upper, adidas is using a brand new knit material called PrimeBlue — a new version of adidas Primeknit which uses recycled materials like Parley Ocean Plastics in the yarn.
According to adidas, over 50 percent of the upper is made from textiles and over 75 percent of that textile is made up of the PrimeBlue yarn. adidas has also said that they didn’t use any new polyester materials on this shoe so this might just be the most sustainably made UltraBoost so far.
I love that adidas is focusing on using recycled materials more, we saw them work with Parley for years now but it was mostly for special limited edition sneakers or apparel. This is the first time we’re seeing adidas work with Parley on general release sneakers, so to see them stick to this sustainability philosophy for one of their most high-profile shoes, that’s awesome.
So every one of the UltraBoost 21s you buy will be using recycled plastics from the ocean. I love that adidas is doing this.
But of course, the next logical question would be — if the knit here is made out of plastics, how does it feel?
Honestly, it feels the same as standard primeknit. It’s just as soft and stretchy, and just as breathable. It is a little bit thicker but I think that’s by design. It’s your usual sock-like fit UltraBoost upper.
Some design updates
Coming to the toe-box area, you’ll see the new knit pattern that is similar to previous UltraBoosts except that the knit pattern and the ventilation holes marked by the neon yellow here kind of extends along the upper towards the mid-foot of the shoe.
You’ll also see these heat-pressed details that outline the ventilation holes. I assume these are just aesthetic but they might also add some structure to the upper.
Coming to the midfoot area, you’ll see the semi-translucent TPU midfoot cage that looks similar to the one on the OG Ultraboost. It now has a more aggressive, updated design with these three individual opaque black stripes to make the adidas three stripes symbol.
Instead of being sown into the midsole, this time around the midfoot cage has been shown into the lower part of the upper instead. I’m not too sure why adidas decided to do this, but I do think it looks really cool, and hopefully we won’t see it affect the structure of the upper after a year or two of wearing these.
On-feet, it doesn’t really feel any different on the sides vs older UltraBoosts.
Moving upwards, weaving through the midfoot cage are these flat white laces. What I thought was interesting is that out of the box, the laces come laced up through all but the top row of eyelets. I’m not sure why adidas did that, it does feel more comfortable laced that way, but my OCD made me lace them up all the way when I wore them.
I think the top row is for people who want a more snug fit. If you want a more comfortable fit, stick with the way it’s laced out of the box.
Underneath the laces, there’s the PrimeBlue upper. It’s a one-piece booty construction so there’s no separate tongue here. And at the top of the tongue area, is this white patch with the adidas Performance branding debossed in black.
Cups your feet nicely
Coming to the inside of the shoe, you’ll see the exposed knit edge of the collar of the shoe which is surprisingly comfortable and doesn’t rub against the back of your ankle, even with low no-show socks.
This is mostly thanks to that padded neoprene portion at the back of the shoe. This extra padding around the heel feels great against your foot but also makes your foot feel more secure in the sneaker as it pushes it forward.
Apart from that your foot is up against the raw primeknit of the upper in a sock-like fit, which is in this neon yellow color here. Using a thicker primeknit material here means the shoe contains your foot a lot better. You won’t have any moments where your foot slips over the midsole.
At the bottom is a neon yellow insole, which says PrimeBlue in a hot pink color.
Moving along, coming to the back of the shoe, the upper extends upwards to act as a pull-tab, just like we’ve seen on UltraBoosts previously. And just like previous versions, this is really comfortable and doesn’t rub against or irritate your achilles which is super appreciated.
Coming to the heel counter, this has also changed dramatically vs the UltraBoost 19 and 20. Instead of being just an outline, it’s a solid TPU element like on OG UltraBoosts, but it is much smaller and doesn’t spill over onto the Boost midsole.
On the lateral side you’ll see the new UltraBoost branding embossed in all-caps. Except for the “r” which is lowercase technically, which is definitely triggering my OCD.
On the medial side there’s no branding but you’ll see this “Primeknit” branding debossed into the upper material. I dont think I’ve ever seen adidas actually put their primeknit branding anywhere so that’s interesting.
The UltraBoost 21 features a full-length Boost midsole, with this kind of speed-line running along the side of it. But, what’s new here is that there is 6 percent more Boost used than the UltraBoost 20. That already had 20 percent more Boost than the Retro UltraBoosts, so that’s a lot more Boost.
But if it’s just 6 percent more than the UltraBoost 20 from last year, why does it look so much more?
This is kind of a bit of visual trickery by adidas. With the UltraBoost 21, you’ll see that the back of the midsole curves up a lot more dramatically, which makes these easier to run in.
But when you slide your feet into this shoe, it actually sits deeper in the midsole, so that the heel of your foot is kind of surrounded by the Boost all around it. The Boost is not just under your foot but more like cupping your foot.
This is for just the heel area, while the midfoot and fore-foot of will still have Boost primarily underneath it.
So what does this mean? While there is more Boost used here than any UltraBoost before, don’t expect it to be dramatically more comfortable.
It’s definitely the most comfortable UltraBoost ever, especially because of the improvements to the upper and the shape of the midsole. The extra Boost does make a difference, but all I’m saying is don’t expect something a HUGE difference with these.
Just saying that because I know a lot of people are going to see this chunky midsole and the way the Boost is sculpted here, and they’re going to expect a LOT. UltraBoost is already one of the most comfortable sneakers out there and this takes it forward a bit, but don’t expect something crazy.
Boost is a must try
In case you haven’t tried out a sneaker with Boost yet, I encourage you to go on over to an adidas store and try one out as soon as possible.
The big deal here is the cushioning and energy return. You can feel it absorb the impact as you run, and then spring back to return some of that energy to help you take off.
It’s this reason why Boost, and the Ultraboost series in particular is so popular amongst runners and gym goers. It’s not only one of the most comfortable shoes around but it also really helps with casual running or just every day walking around.
Moving downwards, you still have a continental rubber outsole but it’s an entirely new design. The rubber panels are in the usual black, along with this translucent white, and pink panels made up of continental rubber, which add a bit of pop to the outsole.
Instead of the usual Torsion Bar, adidas is using a new Torsion System called adidas LEP. This new redesigned ‘Linear Energy Push’ torsion system has a stiffer, reinforced material in the midsole to provide runners with less flex in the forefoot and increased responsiveness. You’ll see it here in this wishbone shaped neon yellow element.
This basically means that this shoe should give you more of a spring to your step than before and propel you forward on your runs.
Apart from that, you can see the exposed Boost, with the Boost branding towards the heel area.
I gotta admit, adidas did something pretty drastic with changing up the outsole and I love what they did with it.
Coming to sizing and fit, the UltraBoost 21 feels like it runs true to size. If you have regular narrow feet you can go true to size, but if you have wide feet like I do, you might want to go up half a size.
That being said, I’m a size UK 11 and adidas sent me a size UK11 and it fits great provided I dont lace up the top eyelets.
It’s always best to try the shoe on in a store first to make sure you get the best fit possible.
Coming to performance, I still think the UltraBoost is a great neutral running shoe. And the UltraBoost 21 is by far the most comfortable and responsive one yet.
Now, this is not really meant for elite runners, but if you’re looking for a comfortable pair of shoes to run in, or do any sort of workout that requires the cushioning and the responsiveness of the Boost midsole, this is a great shoe
The thing is, visually, it’s a huge difference in terms of design and materials but when you compare it to last year’s UltraBoost 20 in terms of performance, it’s just a marginal improvement in terms of cushioning and responsiveness.
That’s understandable because the UltraBoost 20 itself was also already a super comfortable, great neutral running shoe. And I’m not really sure what else adidas could have done to improve among it apart from the visual updates that the Ultraboost 21 brings.
There’s only so much Boost they can add before things get too bouncy and it feels like you’re talking on a trampoline, so I think adidas kept the balance well here with the 6 percent increase.
Is this your SneakerMatch?
At the end of the day, the UltraBoost 21 is an iterative but meaningful improvement to the Ultraboost performance line in comparison to the UB19 and 20 before it.
Visually, it’s a huge dramatic change while still looking like an UltraBoost, but also looking way more aggressive at the same time.
It is even more performance oriented, and even more comfortable at the same time. Honestly just go into an adidas store and try them on — I’m pretty sure you’ll walk away impressed. Maybe you’ll walk away wearing these.
If you have an UltraBoost 20, or a pair of UltraBoost 19 you might not see a huge difference when you try these on. But, if you have a much older pair of UltraBoosts or never tried on a pair of Boost shoes before, you will definitely appreciate how comfortable a shoe this is.
When it comes to casual running, or general exercise where you need to move a lot, I still think UltraBoost is a must-have shoe.
But even if you just want a comfortable pair of casual wear lifestyle shoes, these are just so darn comfortable that they’re perfect as all-day shoes as well.
And that has always been the beauty of the UltraBoost. It’s a shoe that adidas pitches as performance shoes for casual running and they work great for that. But, it’s also a shoe that’s just so comfortable that it just became a shoe people wore casually as well.
And the UltraBoost 21, checks all those boxes. Definitely recommended.
adidas Malaysia Tips from their adidas Running KL Captain
In case you pick up a pair or just need advice on getting started, here’s a few running tips by Awan, Captain of adidas Runners Kuala Lumpur.
For new runners
- Educate yourself on proper warm up & cool down steps through certified individuals. Warm ups are important to prepare your body and gradually increase the heart rate to propel yourself into the rhythm. Often mislooked by most runners, cool downs are equally important as it relaxes your muscles and lowers heart rate to return to your normal breathing rhythm.
- Start small by doing easy runs to build endurance over time and slowly increase your weekly mileage.
- Strengthen muscles and joints to improve race time and reduce risk for injuries by conducting simple body weights.
For avid runners
- Set a milestone for your training sessions, i.e setting a half year or full year objective and tracking your progress by monitoring running pace via device tracking systems.
- Understand one’s own running ability to improve performance by diligently doing running drills and weight lifting.
- Last but not least, follow a structured training plan to ensure a wholesome workout targeting each aspect of your body i.e nutrition, strength, recovery.
In case you’re a bit nervous about heading outside now, you can tune into the adidas Runner’s ARKL FB Page, where the adidas Runners Kuala Lumpur Core Team will be conducting Virtual Live Workouts to help improve your running journey.
Each month they have different workouts to cater to the demand of the ARKL members, so do keep an eye out on the announcement posting!
GlassesUSA.com unveils a collection of affordable, sustainable eyewear
You can virtually try a pair and get a prescription for free!
GlassesUSA.com, a disruptor in the eyewear space, launched their “Eco Conscious” category — a sustainable collection consisting of glasses made from ethically sourced materials. From upcycled plastics to bio-acetate, to natural materials like coffee and hemp, GlassesUSA.com brings together nine conscious brands offering sustainable yet affordable eyewear.
For instance, Ochis’ glasses are 100 percent eco-friendly, using coffee grounds, biopolymer, and flax.
There’s Hemp Eyewear, too, carrying the world’s first hemp fiber eyewear. Moreover, every frame is handcrafted in Edinburgh.
For those who care about the ocean, Waterhaul uses 100 percent recycled plastics intercepted from the ocean. Most of these recycled plastics came from 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear lost or discarded in the ocean.
If you like trees and nature, Woodie uses handmade material from 100 percent recycled wood. For each purchase, Woodie plants one tree.
Costa del Mar, on the other hand, showcases eyewear made from bio-based resin derived from Castor Oil. They also have a “Kick Plastic Initiative” to reduce carbon footprint. The initiative aims to protect the planet’s waters from the use of single-use plastics.
Another user of biobased materials including Castor Oil is Arnette, where cases are made from recycled ABS. Additionally, their microfiber cloths are made from 78 percent recycled polyamide.
Price and availability
Other brands include Stella McCartney, Muse, and SeaClean. Moreover, GlassesUSA.com stays true to its mission of offering affordable eyewear, making the sustainable collection available at varying price points with sticker prices ranging from US$ 74 to US$ 400.
But what sets GlassesUSA.com apart is its two proprietary apps: the virtual try-on feature where you can literally try the glasses you’re looking at, and the Prescription Lens Scanner App where you only need to scan your current glasses with the FREE app, so you can get your prescription. Both apps are available for use when shopping the sustainable collection.
The Nike Go FlyEase are for people who can’t deal with laces
Easy on, easy off
Have you always wanted a hands-free pair of sneakers? Yes? Apparently, you’re not alone as Nike decided to make the Go FlyEase.
That’s footwear convenience to the highest level. Making that smooth slip-on like motion is the bi-stable hinge. It helps secure the shoe in both its fully open and fully closed states.
This duality allows another signature detail: the Nike GO FlyEase tensioner. The tensioner’s unique flexibility super-charges an action many might take for granted (kicking-off a shoe) and completely reimagines this movement as basis for accessible and empowering design.
Nike sees this as a design that could be benefit everyone from a world-class athlete to someone who may have trouble bending over or someone who has his/her hands full.
The Nike GO FlyEase comes in three colorways:
- White, Celestine Blue, and Volt
- Black, Dynamic Turquoise, and Hyper Crimson
- Black, Anthracite, and Racer Blue
It is available initially via invite for select Nike Members, with broader consumer availability planned for later this year.
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