There really isn’t a silhouette that adidas has released in the last year that doesn’t have an element of Yeezy associated with it. That’s not completely true, it just feels that way. The Tubular Rise is a completely new creation from the three stripes, but at it’s core is a familiarity that adidas isn’t straying far away from.
I understand that commercializing the Yeezy line would defeat the hype associated with the line. In the last year or two we’ve seen the Tubular Radial, Tubular Shadow and several colorways of NMDs that appear to be heavily influenced by Ye. That’s not a bad thing. The various versions of the shoes allow for the introduction of kicks that carry an element of cool at a fraction of the cost. This new shoe however isn’t an entry like the Shadow or Radial. The shoe features primeknit and midsole molding that appears to be an exaggerated form of the blocks/cubes on the NMD R2. The suede panel above the medial, translucent molding is definitely reminiscent of the side panel on the 350.
What I really like is the subtle overbranding taking place. Yes, that’s an oxymoron, but it’s true. The three stripes appears all over the shoe. Unlike with the Yeezy which appears sans logo (I know the one logo on the inner suede panel), this shoe allows the design to tell the story although it is monochrome in appearance and at first glance the three stripes aren’t evident. When you look closer the molding features three wavy lines, the suede medial panel has three stitched lines, and the heel counter “strap features three stripes. It’s a dope way of integrating the brand into a shoe that appears to lack overt branding.
I said in a recent article that adidas has to land on a GR that captures the imagination of the market. NMD is releasing in too many colorways and is losing some of its pull. As the winter arrives we will all begin shelving our runners and rocking more Timbs and many adidas heads will revert to sneakerboots which Nike is doing well with the Flax/Wheat Air Force 1 and Lunar Duckboot. The Tubular Rise has an opportunity to use a premium waterproof and suede construction with a sticky gum outsole to remain relevant in the fall and winter months.
I guess if you asked me the question, “Will it sell?” I would say right away that it should, but it won’t and I hate to say that. It won’t sell because like it’s predecessor the Tubular X at 180.00, the Rise will be competing with Timbs and that Flax Air Force 1 which Nike is about to run in the ground by doing an Air Jordan 1 Wheat version and a restock on the Air Force 1, both at a smaller price. If this shoe chimed in at 130.00/150.00 for the premium waterproof version… and it had a solid campaign. I think it might perform well, but the Tubular X in it scares me. What do you think?