Sneaker Freaker X adidas Torsion Integral

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It goes without saying that teched-out runners from the mid-80s to the mid-90s is where our sneaker heart lies. No disrespect to all the usual suspects in that category, what we really love is to see an extinct gem unexpectedly brought back from the grave. We’ve often pondered how and why certain shoes are retro-ed and others are left to rust in peace. The answer is that there is no answer. Who knows?

When adidas broached the idea of reviving the Torsion Integral a year or so ago, there wasn’t any hesitation on our part. ‘Sounds good!’ we said, barely able to restrain ourselves from an impromptu outburst of Tourette’s. After some polite conversation over a wiener schnitzel, it was handshakes and high fives all around. Eleven years after our first magazine was released, the Integral would be the basis for the first ever Sneaker Freaker x adidas colab. Not a moment too soon!
There was unanimous agreement right from the start on the idea of a double pack. Sneaker Freaker and adidas would both create a version of the Integral, both linked by the common application of tone and materials. Two shoes, one sneaker heartbeat. It’s a swinging ‘upover-downunder’ marriage made in retro runner heaven.

Our starting point was simple. Basically, we thought it was high time we brought a thumping black midsole to the party. That big slab of ink can be a brutal foundation, so we splattered it with a fine mist of wintery white speckle so crisp, it’s criminal. From there it was a simple process of adding layer-upon-layer of luscious mint and cool grey, with a sly hit of Sneaker Freaker red in the Torsion bar. It’s a deceptively simple and supremely balanced combination.

Like all adidas Consortium releases, the materials travel first class all the way to the bank. The suede on the tongue and heel is so dark and mysterious it’s like staring into an infinite abyss. The mint nubuck is dynamite, the grey leather is the spark and the rugged mesh toebox provides the exclamation mark. Bang!

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Released in the late-80s, adidas Torsion is a plastic arch support system that is embedded in the sole of the shoe. Essentially it’s a bridge between the toe and the heel that supports the midfoot, minimises flex and enhances push-off. Torsion has been used in pretty much all types of shoes within adidas, but the distinctive ‘dumbbell’ design is most widely associated with the ZX series of runners and of course the Integral.

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