Interview by: Juan Carrillo


During last week’s adidas x Parley “Run for the Oceans” 5K Run event, KicksonFire was able to chop it up with Matthias Amm, adidas, Product Category Director for Global Running. Matthias is one of the integral minds behind projects surrounding some of your favorite models such as the Ultra Boost, Pure Boost, and even special projects such as anything Parley and the adidas AM4LA.

We had the chance to speak with him and ask him a few questions about the future of the Parley x adidas partnership, what makes the adidas SPEEDFACTORY so special and how the Parley x adidas shoes have improved since its inception back in 2015.

What makes the adidas AM4 model so special and what differentiates it from models such as the Ultra Boost and Pure Boost? 

The idea was to expand to new territory, local production and future production. We want to localize the demand. If a shoe is made for the US, we want to produce in the US, which in returns saves us on shipment time, etc. This is why the SPEEDFACTORY was created.

The adidas SPEEDFACTORY AM4 City program was created to make shoes specifically for the surroundings of each respective city. For example, the adidas AM4LA shoe was given more ventilation zones to battle the California heat. The AM4NYC was done in a Black colorway to represent the fast paced lifestyle of the city. With SPEEDFACTORY, we are now able to customize much more faster than Asia.

What does that mean for the future Ultra Boost and Pure Boost line?

Nothing. The SPEEDFACTORY is simply an addition to our ranges.  Once SPEEDFACTORY is fully set up, perhaps an Ultra Boost SPEEDFACTORY program could be in the works.

What have you enjoyed the most during these past three years with the adidas partnership with Parley?

Changing our way of thinking and our way of approaching things. The best part is finding and improving ways of creating shoes that are both eco-friendly and sustainable while also being innovative. Over the past three years we’ve found really nice ways of launching new technology that are also remain environmentally friendly which in return shoes that that innovation and sustainability can go hand-in-hand.

KOF: How does the first Parley x adidas model compare to the newest creation?

We went from using plastic bottles from gill nets, which was not a good technique for mass production, to using knitted technology (Primeknit) where the process of using recycled bottles on the shoe is made much easier. Not only does the shoe perform, but we want to let our consumers know that the shoe they’re wearing is also doing something good for the world by preventing bottles from going back to the ocean.

What can we look forward to in the future of the Parley x adidas partnership?

Exciting projects! We’ve launched 5 million pairs (Parley) this year, but that’s not the ceiling. We really want to make Parley the standard for all of our knitted shoes. We also want to figure out ways to use other biodegradable materials aside from plastic. We want to find ways to use other methods that don’t require plastic. We need to create new innovations that we have not thought about yet. That’s what’s really exciting for the future.

What other adidas models can we see take part in a Parley collaboration in the near future?

We’ve released the NMD, Deerupt, we’ve created footbal jerseys, training hoodies, back packs but there’s much more to come. Parley used to be at the bottom of the supply chains, we’ve gone from creating 1 pair in 2015 to releasing 5 million pairs this year. We are scaling up, it will take a little bit of time, but Parley will definitely be a staple in adidas shoes moving forward.


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