In a rather interesting turn of events, the adidas NMD almost never took off. The initial friends and family tier release was an attempt to stoke the embers spat from the flames of the predominant BOOST-equipped shoe of this era, the eponymously big UltraBOOST.

However, an inevitable celebrity endorsement and a myriad of reposted images across social media resulted in a renewed fervour for the 'Nomad'. And such a befitting name for the breakout silhouette from The Brand With The Three Stripes: the NMD_ moved from potential mass development hell to more generous pastures and set itself up in an era of #BOOSTvibes and #TeamCozy.

So, it is somewhat ironic that the phenomenally successful R1_Primeknit ventures into a mini-capsule dubbed “Stealth” when it is set to have countless pairs of eyes affixed firmly on it.

Primeknit or PK is a heavily customisable material to produce shoe uppers. Like many knitted fabrics, patterns and weaves can be adjusted to influence the flexibility, elasticity, rigidity, breathability and perhaps most importantly in the sportswear realm, aesthetic.

So for this latest iteration of PK uppered NMD R1, the synthetic welded overlays are eschewed for embroidery-like striped zones, revealing a subtle callout to the iconic stripes. In addition to this stealthy branding (hence the name), these striped areas provide structure and durability to an upper that would otherwise be too sock-like and fragile.

With this venture into relatively unchartered territory for the brand with weave tweaks, adidas goes the whole hog and experiments with colour combinations through the knit – an area that they previously have tip-toed around in monochromatic variants of PK NMDs.

The NMD_R1 can no longer be considered a shoe out of reach for the masses – and that works in its favour. Accessibility to new and innovative footwear should not be an alienating process as that would be the direct opposite.

Thanks to this, the R1 sole unit that was once met with varying degrees of derision and even mockery due to its resemblance to a popular children’s building block toy, is now the proof in the pudding that new-age technology can be wearable and not juvenile. People are clearly wearing the NMD for both its comfort and looks.

There is a lot of potential in Primeknit and BOOST. Thankfully adidas is exploring their options and Hype DC proudly brings this innovation to Australian shores.

adidas NMD

adidas NMD

adidas NMD

adidas NMD

adidas NMD

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