Adidas Tubular Shadow Knit
It all began in 1990 when Adidas designers took inspiration from car tires’ tubing in coming up with a performance shoe with maximum grip and traction. Initially called as the Adidas Radical, the prototype model utilized inflatable rubber airbags with valves that require an external pump attachment.
Two years later, the Three Stripes released in a limited quantity of 500 pairs the beta version of the Radical known officially as the Adidas Radical X-29. Its sole featured four separate air chambers that were adjustable through an integrated pump and a digital LCD pressure gauge. Given its top-of-the-line technologies, it was well-welcomed by the sneaker market.
In 1993, Adidas launched the Tubular line using all the technologies from the Radical prototypes. The pioneer model from this line was the Tubular 2, which features an external pump, two (instead of four) adjustable airbags on the heel, and an EVA foam cushioned forefoot. The Tubular 4, on the other hand, had an apparent resemblance from the beta version of the Radical as it featured four separate air chambers and an integrated pump on the side.
Another model and unfortunately the last one of the line that also features an external pump was the Tubular 2 XTR. Envisioned to be the more advanced model was the Tubular 4, but the technology it required had not existed yet back then. Despite having been considered as a shoe line ahead of its time, the Tubular line was one of the few that belonged in the unpopular bracket that had to be put away into the archives.
Then 2014 came. Adidas VP of Global Design Nic Galway was browsing through the brand’s shoe archives when he envisioned a potential from the Radical prototype. He decided to strip back the Tubular to its core and eventually came up with the Tubular Runner as the first shoe to debut under the relaunch of the Adidas Tubular line. It features a new EVA foam cushioning, welded overlays and neoprene underlays, a sock-like construction, and a Tubular sole. It became a tremendous success that several more shoe models under its umbrella were launched such as the Tubular Defiant, the Tubular Doom, the Tubular Nova, the Tubular Radial, the Tubular X, and the Tubular Shadow.
In 2016, the Adidas Originals launched the Tubular Shadow as the newest addition to the Tubular line. It is a low-top sneaker with a minimal silhouette, an asymmetrical design, and of course, a Tubular sole. It initially released in two colorways with different upper materials – the black one in a perforated leather upper, and the tan colorway in a woven upper.
One of its variations is the Adidas Tubular Shadow Knit, which features a two-toned knitted upper in a diamond pattern, a burrito tongue for a snug fit, an EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning, and a Tubular outsole.