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Adidas Adipure Trainer Barefoot-Style Running Shoe: Yet Another Fivefingers Clone?

Looks like Adidas wants a piece of the Fivefingered shoe pie. Nick Pang over at and Bill Katovsky at Zero Drop just sent me a photo of their newest minimalist shoe, the Adidas Adipure Trainer. Looks like the fact that Vibram, make of the Vibram Fivefingers, is suing Fila (who released a four-fingered shoe called the Skeletoes) for patent infringement isn’t scaring Adidas away from attempting to capitalize on the toe-shoe craze. Will be interesting to see how this plays out…

Adidas Adipure Barefoot Black RedAdidas Adipure Barefoot Blue Gray

Men’s (top) and Women’s (bottom) Adidas Adipure Trainer

Below are some photos from Gizmodo:

Adidas Adipure Sole

Adidas Adipure Gizmodo

Below is the text of a short article about the Adipure Trainer as posted on Yahoo! News:

“Adidas is going barefoot.

The world’s second-largest athletic company unveiled its first “barefoot” training shoe Tuesday. The Adipure, which will be in stores in November for $90, is designed to mimic exercising barefoot, but with the protection, traction and durability of wearing shoes.

Adidas, which is trying to expand in the U.S. market where rival Nike dominates, is the latest athletic company to capitalize on the small but burgeoning market for so-called minimalist shoes. These shoes are a fraction of the $22 billion U.S. athletic shoe industry, but sales of them have more than doubled in the past year. Those who wear the shoes say they force them to rely on the body’s natural movements and avoid injury. Critics say the shoes cause muscle injuries that running shoes do not.”

You can now purchase the Adidas Adipure Trainer for yourself at Finish Line. They are also available for sale at

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. Scott Douglas says:

    Has Vibram made any noise about inov-8’s toed slip-ons?

    • Surfing_vol says:

      If laughter counts as noise, yes.  Doesn’t mean they won’t sue, though.

    • Pete Larson says:


      I think the patent infringement that Vibram is claiming against Fila has to do with how the outsole curls up in front of the toes or something along those lines, not the presence of toes themselves. Aside from the presence of toes, not a lot of similarity between the Inov-8 shoes and the Fivefingers. Haven’t heard much good about the Inov-8’s, all of the reviews I’ve seen say they turn your feet into a sweaty mess.


      • Fred Brossard says:

        I do think that having separated toes can count as patent infrigement. If it was the case, the (hand)glove market will be saturated with complaints :-)

        • Arve Bersvendsen says:

          The separated toes themselves would not be enough, no, as a patent should not have been granted for that alone, due to prior art. Here’s an example from the “Married with Children” episode named “God’s shoes”,… where Al Bundy is showing off individually-toed shoes.  (That being said, it’s a bit hard to tell from the video, but it may also appear as if the outsole covers part of the foot, as said in the abstract of the Vibram patent.

  2. Joe Garland says:

    Irony alert: The company that purports to have the footwear that’s closest to running “naturally” requires patented technology to do it.

  3. Surfing_vol says:

    Wow.  Does the sense of being underwhelmed come through?

  4. It’s no more a clone than every other shoe out there.

    • Vibram is the first company to have success selling a five-toed design, but that shouldn’t mean they own that market forever. The human foot has five toes, so it’s only logical that all shoe companies should be entitled to make a shoe with five pockets.

  5. Kevinwschell says:

    Think these will end up in Adidas’ “Originals” catalog some day?

  6. Fred Brossard says:

    I’m a bit disappointed. A few months ago, I had a discussion about minimalism with a few French adidas representatives. They told me they were working on a project to be launched end of 2011, which would be quite similar to the Saucony Hattori. I don’t really see any thing of that kind.

  7. Pete, before I start: for the past week or so, when trying to type in the ‘comments’ box at the bottom of the page, it will not let my mouse click on it, hence my lack of comments for a while.  I’m thinking it must be my PC or other people would not be able to comment at all?…

    For people who wear VFFs and other toe shoes, why are separate toes better than a very wide and spacious forefoot?  I do love my split toe ZEMs, but I cannot see a point of any more toe separation that the ZEMs provide.

    Since I could not comment on the last post, I will say some things about TP Vivobarefoots.  I ordered Ultras a while back, skeptical of the foam-like upper.  I was proven wrong, and the Ultras have far exceeded expectations.  Construction is top notch, and the design is both clever and useful.  After running in trails or dirt, just hose ’em down and they’re dry in five minutes.  Great shoe.  On the way to me now are a pair of Aquas I got from theClymb for ~$60 (retail $150).  Can’t wait, in the words of Bart Scott.

    By the way ZEMgear is coming out with a running ZEM soon, but I love my Ninja Originals.  Have about 200 miles on them so far.

    • Pete Larson says:


      No idea what’s going on – other comments seem to be coming through ok.
      I must admit to liking the Vibrams, but not sure I think the toe pockets are all that necessary. Sometimes I think they actually restrict toe movement more than anything else, which can be a bad thing. I do agree with you on Vivobarefoot – great shoes, and the Ultra is one of my favorites!


    • I’ve gotten a pair of VFFs and refer to them as my “remedial” shoes. I have little toes that were almost tucked under the toes next to them, maybe from gowing up always in shoes. The separate toes help to spread my toes, more than just going barefoot would. I actually only wear the VFFs to work and casually. I now run mostly in Adidas Rockets, and one day a week barefoot. The VFFs are remedial also in that having no heel keeps my Achiles tendon strectched out, which is helping me recover from AT from last year.

    • Todd Siechen says:

      Simple answer to your question about the separate toes – for the same reason our foot wasn’t designed with all our toes fused together. I mean do we really need 5 separate toes for our feet to be functional? Think about it.

  8. Teamcavetoad says:

    I love that the blurb from Adidas states that they mimic the durability of running shoes to protect feet. Like what, our feet will suddenly wear out if we don’t wear shoes to protect them? All I can picture when I read that is a bunch of runners running on sandpaper and having their feet wear down to stumps because they didn’t have shoes to protect them. 

    • I highly doubt that our feet would “wear down to stumps” if we ran barefoot, but I don’t doubt that cutting your foot on some possibly infectious sharp object would stop you from running for some time. 

  9. Adizero, Adipure…What will be next? AdiPose?

  10. Anders Torger says:

    I think it is a mistake making toe shoes from a market perspective. Surely vibram fivefingers is a hit, but if you aim at runners I think there are more people interested in minimal “normal shoes” than in toe shoes.

    But well, this is aims to be a gym shoe, perhaps the toe approach is more suitable there.

    • Pete Larson says:

      I would agree, but supposedly these ar designed for he gym and not running. Not sure that makes much difference. I tend to find that the toe design restricts rather than helps toe movement.

  11. Marthawelch79 says:

    you have a great blog, I have bookmarked it into my favorites as it has helped me alot in writing my literature review. I wil also recommend it to my friends.Thank you

  12. Well successful brands are always being copied.

  13. Whotrustedus says:

    I’m seeing web ads today for the Adipure Trainer.   they are marketing it as a shoe for the gym.

  14. adidas promo code says:

    Adidas at least try to make good shoes which is naturally good for feet and every finger and I like this shoes. This is not Adidas concept but they are promoting it.

  15. So I should spend $90 on a pair of shoes which make me feel like I’m barefoot instead of just going barefoot? Call me crazy, but that sounds ludacris.

    • They are not as good as barefoot, but a good idea if you prefer not stepping on spits, poops, … 

    •  yea ur either slow or too cheap. it give you a barefoot feeling but also protection…most important you dont get calus at bottom of your feet

  16. sdfgfgsfdgfdg

  17. I currently own a pair of vibram 5 finger shoes as well as every conceivable pair of racing flats and many neurtral running shoes. I thought I’d give these a shot in the gym yesterday and I was actually surprised. The rubber outsole griped very well when doing plyometrics and actually felt slightly more cushioned than my vibrams when doing an easy 2 mile tempo run. I haven’t been a big fan of the adizero running line but i must say that these trainers are pretty comfortable.

  18. I have a 15 year old that runs Cross Country and he wants the adipure trainer.  What would be a good cross country shoe for him?  He wears spikes for the races.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Don’t think this shoe is intended for running, and have not tried it myself. Are you looking for something for everyday training? Roads or trails? If he really wants a barefoot style shoe like the Adipure, he might check out the Merrell Barefoot shoes or the New Balance Minimus. But, care needs to be taken in shoes like this as it can take a bit of adaptation to get used to them. Pushing too hard can result in injury.

  19. which one is better, adipure or vibram komodosport?
    email me at

    • Yinglee83 says:

      I got them bith. The komodo has a 3mm sole inwhich the adipure seems like a 4mm+. So if your looking for more of a barefoot experience, komodo. But i must say i love the adipure for its thicker and more cushioned sole. If your goin by looks, id say komodo. If you going by durability, i would strongly say adipure (despite just getting them i can already tell.

      • If you’re going for durability wouldn’t the fivefingers be much better? I’ve done over 1500km in mine plus a lot of speed work on the track, when I’m not using spikes, and they’ve only just started wearing out, I figure another 100km or so before they’re done.

  20. dalefonta says:

     I like to go barefoot but my feet are tender. Just got the Adipure Trainers. Wow….I’ll be back, I’m going to the gym

  21. The adidas adiPure shoe is not a running shoe, it’s a training shoe meant to be wore in the gym to train muscles that are normally not ultilized while in a bulky shoe. 

    • gigantic gastrocnemius says:

      This is so much bullshit. I’ve been using these shoes for running for about a month and there is no reason to not run in them. They are durable and protective. They’re called barefoot shoes because they are meant to be a substitute to running barefoot. It’s all about patience, technique and vigilance. Running barefoot does put a lot of strain on your leg muscles, but as far as exercise goes this is a good thing. I may add that I also use them at the gym.

  22. Hell yeah,I think this Adipure would do great for my capoeira training,can’t wait to get them.

  23. mattiasmarois says:

    i don’t see the problem with other companies wanting to use make five finger shoes, i mean if people where retards and made it illegal to copy anything, we’d be stuck with ONE company per product, and most likely wind up getting ripped off big time! due to the fact that companies would have no competition! adidas MAKE ALL THE FIVE FINGER shoes you want, keep prices in chek!

    • Patents are only protect the invention for a certain amount of time and they are what promote invention. Without patents inventors would have no gain from anything they created. A company could wait for someone to invent something and copy that for themselves without ever spending a dime on research and development… Basically patents allow for a period of time to earn the money lost in R&D but when they end it’s fair game again.

  24. Cammans says:

    where can i buy them
    please sent me an e-mail if you know the adress

  25. I own a pair of Adipures, I find they are comfortable for running on indoor surfaces or outdoor terrains (I have used them on pavement as well as on compacted natural terrain, I have yet to use them on soft terrain like sand). I find they are also useful for stability in yoga and weightlifting. They allow my toes to spread out giving more surface area to the bottom of my foot; this gives me more stability and balance. No you don’t need to spend $90 to have a pair of shoes that make you feel barefoot when you could just go barefoot, but for those of us who run in places where there is a potential for broken glass, fishing hooks, or other possibly infectious sharp objects, it is nice to have some protection on the soles of your feet. Also I highly doubt that our feet would “wear down to stumps” if we ran barefoot, but I don’t doubt that cutting your foot on glass would stop you from running for some time while it heals. 

  26. shiekh shoes coupon says:

    Yes I have a pair of these and they are very comfortable.

  27. Has anyone experienced injuries from wearing these barefoot shoes? I’ve read multiple articles that say they actually have a higher risk of injury: http://losangelesconsumerattor

    • Interval Training Exercises says:

      I’ve been using the 5 fingers for several months now with no issues although it has mainly been for gym use. I actually feel far better from using them. The injuries from running may come from people not changing their running style to be more on the front of the foot and the biomechanical studies I have seen seem to indicate that there should be less stress with this style – http://barefootrunning.fas.har

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