As the 2020-21 NBA preseason gets underway this Friday, Adidas is hoping to soon change the game with its innovative Futurenatural technology that's all about fit, debuting as part of James Harden's upcoming Vol. 5 sneaker.
According to a press release, Futurenatural is "designed to mirror an athlete’s speed and quick change of direction" and features a single-piece upper and outsole mold that adapts to the wearer's foot and their unique movements.
The R&D process behind Futurenatural involved scanning and studying over 1,000 hoopers' feet, from weekend warriors to NBA mainstays. The result is a build that's supposed to be extremely close to the shape of an actual human foot.
"Futurenatural is a new process for the creation of shoes, and is a perfect technology for Harden Vol. 5 with James’ dynamic style of play and moves on the court being unlike any other player," said Rashad Williams, senior director of footwear at Adidas Basketball. "James offers feedback from a design and feel standpoint, which is extremely important during our creative process and it ultimately led us to develop the Futurenatural technology to match his game."
Not only is the technology in the colorful sneaker advanced but Adidas instituted an entirely new manufacturing method for a truly seamless look and feel. While brands typically use glue to attach the upper to the outsole, the Futurenatural design requires the textured upper to be forged with the outsole using extreme 360-degree pressure and 135-degree heat.
In a tweet, Harden called the Vol. 5 his "personal favorite" among his line of signature sneakers.
It's expected to hit stores in early 2021. Will Harden still be on the Rockets at that point? Las Vegas appears to think a trade to either the Heat, the Raptors of the Nets could happen soon.