Clean as it can be: adidas Originals Powerphase Grey One
The adidas Originals Powerphase is a bit of a blast from Three Stripes past. If it looks familiar at first glance, it should. This shoe is reminiscent of another, perhaps more recognizable model to some fans. You wouldn’t be faulted for images of the Reebok Workout coming to mind.
Here’s the thing, the Powerphase started its life as the latest in a line of creative gaffs from the YEEZY label. Of course, the sneaker community wasn’t about to let the connections to the Workout model slide. The Powerphase was initially dropped as part of Kanye’s Calabasas label and was mocked up and down your favorite social media platform.
However, there wasn’t much else of a story here. The Powerphase did indeed come shortly after the Workout Low back in 1986. But, this was in response to a larger trend at the time. Reebok had started to seize on a then-surging lifestyle and wellness market. Everybody was getting their sweat on and heading to an aerobics class. All brands – including adidas – wanted a piece of it.
For its part, the Powerphase did meet the functional requirements of the time. A traditional leather upper comes together with lateral and toe-box perforations. A fairly orthodox lace enclosure brings it together. Under your foot sits a fuss-free rubber cup-sole – another notable trend of workout shoes from that time. For impact protection, this adidas model, of course, sported an injected EVA midsole.
All in all, the Powerphase comes back to us as a potent sampling of nostalgic design. The combination of leather uppers and durable rubber soles is one that seems to still pull its own weight. Much like the Stan Smith, it’s an enduring silhouette that doesn’t need a whole lot in terms of coordination and styling.
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