The new Adidas Ozweego, a retro sneaker with an eye on the future

Topics Shoes | adidas

Sneaker silhouettes are almost like good wine now — the older, the better. Adidas has gone back more than two decades for its latest “dad sneaker”, the Ozweego. The Ozweego was first launched as a dynamic running shoe back in 1996.

A big draw among runners at the time, Adidas delivered four versions of the shoe, before choosing to discontinue the range in 2000. The new Ozweego is inspired by the 1998 Ozweego 3, a well-cushioned, super-lightweight runner that promised supreme shock absorption.

Twenty years is a long time in the athletic footwear industry, where modern technology and trendier designs have introduced people to greater comfort and style. Plus, it’s almost impossible to recreate anything iconic — apparently nothing, no matter how good, can replace the original. At the same time, it’s only right to concede that Adidas has done a splendid job with the new Ozweego. This is a wonderful reinterpretation of an old silhouette, smartly revamped to give the sneaker a very contemporary look. What’s more, it’s available in nine exciting colourways.

The redone silhouette comes with a unique eye stay panel and a one-of-its-kind translucent nylon tube that runs through the side of the laces. The upper is made up of lightweight mesh, silky suede and TPU overlays. Adidas’ trademark adiPRENE cushioning technology makes up the midsole, with a standard rubber outsole rounding things off.

In terms of style, the Ozweego has a lot going for it. The leather tongue with the Adidas Originals logo is a lovely addition; 

the decorative lining — which glows in the dark — around the ankle and the laces is another excellent modern touch. But more than anything else, the Ozweego is built for maximum comfort, and the adiPRENE technology ensures exactly that. It’s the kind of ridiculous comfort that I’ve never come across in a proper running shoe, let alone a lifestyle sneaker. You can wear this pair as long as you want and your feet won’t complain. And while Adidas has explicitly — and repeatedly — stated that this is not a sports or jogging shoe but a “fashion forward sneaker”, running in it might not be such an unpleasant experience after all.

The Ozweego will also delight a lot of people with broad feet. It’s not the most snug, but offers the kind of terrific breathability that will allow you to keep the pair on for long hours. It’s unusually wide and slightly sloping structure, however, does occasionally propel your foot forward despite you trying your best to keep it steady. But that’s taking very little away from a uniquely modern sneaker, one that perfectly fuses retro elements with a brilliant futuristic design.

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