adidas have really put together a formidable collection of sneakers based around the AZX line. Attracting some of the best names in streetwear, the letter’s Q-W have really pulled in some heavyweights consisting of Dave’s Quality Meats, Alife Rivington Club, SneakersNStuff, Crooked Tongues, Undefeated, VA and Wood Wood. So hard to pick a favourite, but I am definitely fond of Wood Woods piece while the vibrant colors of ARC and UNDFTD’s final outcome very impressive. Set to release on October 18, take a close look over the page.
Dave’s Quality Meats‘ ‘Q’ choice to pick the slimline ZX 90 design means a shoe that’s perfect for everyday wear, and well suited to cycling via some stylish applications and utilitarian additions to this contemporary Torsion runner. Reflective mesh and paneling means extra visibility, while the mix of sky blue, bright red, light green and black is a unique but aesthetically pleasing one, with a matching lace for each colour. These New Yorkers are professionals when it comes to collaborative footwear, and from the choice-of-model to the minimal branding, thinking differently again for this opportunity has made for another classic.
Alife Rivington Club’s premium approach to footwear, branding and retail extends to their ‘R’ addition to aZX. On a quest to offer an antidote to the obnoxious footwear on offer elsewhere, their ZX 7000 stays tasteful, with deep reds throughout on an upper constructed from nylon mesh, leather and suede. A simple concept expertly executed, it gives this key moment in adidas running innovation a rugged, eyecatching look that blends two key shades, with undeniably classy results and the laces to match. Bringing the best out this silhouette, the Alife crew have delivered another makeup with panache.
Sweden’s SneakersNStuff team’s respect for the ZX 450 shines through in their take on this classic runner, transforming it into an autumnal hometown salute as the ‘S’ in the aZX alphabet. Shades of green, including the classic adidas fairway on the stripes, ghilly lace and heel tab, constructed from nothing but waterproof materials, with an unexpected but particularly complimentary orange appearance on the outsole that stays in line with the shoe’s legacy but carries an intensely personal vision. Fallen leaves decorate the footbed, while branded lace tips and reflective forefoot panels complete a premium makeover.
Representing for the ‘T’ in aZX, Londons’ Crooked Tongues crew opted for the top-of-the-line ZX 9000 model for its Soft Cell, sci-fi styling and Torsion technology, with a makeup that lets the yellow of the outsole bar application spill into the midsole and side panels. With cues from legendary running makeups, the black reflective stripes and paneling don’t lose sight of the unbeatable performance heritage, while grey suede, carbon effect and differing mesh textures are complimented by a plethora of custom tipped lace options, a reverential homage in the lace jewel and custom designed Torsion psychedelia on the footbeds. A perfectly balanced, menacing love letter to the ZX series.
Undefeated’s trademark mix of performance and cutting edge design is at work on their ‘U’ interpretation of the ZX 8000. Taking the Torsion runner and giving it a clean, contemporary look, by starkly contrasting two key shades – bright orange and dazzling rave green on the footbed and Torsion bar itself, the mix of materials, – meshes and suede, completed with nylon stripes makes winning strides towards authenticity and innovation. Minimal branding, beyond the distinctive bars on the tongue indicates a retailer quietly confident of their winning form, and finished with a collection of laces for three very different looks, they remain unbeaten.
Tokyo’s Styles and their VA store concept takes the ‘V’ space here, with an athletic version of the ZX 9000, that takes simple concept, and pulls it off in…style. With a name like that it was inevitable. Marl and dark grey sweatshirt materials and colours adorn the upper, while the white on the midsole sets things off strikingly. Velour stripes and a spot of bright, reflective yellow is a perfect finish, while the decision to make the Torsion bar fluorescent is a brave and effective move that makes them stand out as much as they did in their late 80’s heyday. Unorthodox materials, plus branding on the heel, tongue and a lace jewel makes for a well-executed variation on a favourite.
With a famed sense of style and the avant garde when it comes to sportswear, Wood Wood keep the surprises coming with their ‘W’ ZX 9000 – it’s a clean design that’s wearable with just about anything. Light grey toward the forefoot and lacestays, and an iron grey white and red toward the rear, there’s a playfulness at work with the finger signs and tongue detailing that differs between the right and left foot, and a choice of lace jewels that can be switched from the traditional to something a little more art-driven. Opting to add a WW to the stitched model name on the side maintains the elegance of both partner and product, completing a clever, flattering makeup with across-the-board appeal.