On October 1, 2013, Kenyan runner Wilson Kipsang set a world record time of 2:03:23 in the Berlin Marathon while wearing a pair of adidas running shoes. But these weren’t just any adidas. Kipsang’s running shoes had a special ingredient in the sole – the Continental Traction Compound, an advanced silica-based material made by tire manufacturer Continental.
It wasn’t the first big win for adidas and Conti – in the 2012 London Marathon, both the men’s and women’s winners were wearing Continental tires on their feet, so to speak.
If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Tires are built for strong grip on a variety of surfaces, in a variety of weather conditions – qualities you also want in your running shoes. If your shoes have excellent grip, you have better contact with the surface you’re running on, and since you’re not losing energy by slipping around, the improved traction can translate to faster race times.
But you don’t have to run at world record pace in order to get your hands on a pair of adidas sneaks with Conti technology built in. We chatted with Frank, a friend of TireBuyer, who runs in adidas Supernovas with Continental Traction Compound soles. Frank says he feels like these shoes give him “better grip than my old shoes” and that he’s “very pleased with the cushion in these shoes.” He also hopes that having some rugged tire technology in his soles will make these shoes last longer than the average pair of runners.
Adidas currently has more than 80 different running and trail running shoes featuring Continental Traction Compound soles, including the popular Supernova, adizero, and Terrex lines. This winter they’ll even be branching out into snowboarding boots — winter tires for your feet!