Following the success of court classics of the 1970s that struck a chord with both athletes and style-conscious casuals, a new breed of athlete was emerging. With running quickly entering the global stage, a new formula was needed to bring optimum performance to a brand new game, heralding in a brand new age of athletic footwear. In 1986, the adidas ZX Series was born.
From the humble beginnings of the ZX 500 model, the ZX Series championed road-tested technologies and forward- thinking creativity, and over the next three decades would create iconic silhouettes such as the ZX 700 and the ZX 8000. Committed athletes quickly adopted the Series’ forward-thinking technologies into their daily regimes, while head-turning subcultures soon fell for the family’s trademark bold colourways and space age aesthetic.
Whether breaking a personal best or making a statement on the streets, the ZX Series stays true to its task and true to the Originals story of pioneer athletics with a progressive aesthetic. Thirty years down the line, the story is still being written.
Dripping with the original ZX DNA of the 1980s, the ZX 100 was a crisp, calculated runner that stepped softly and spoke clearly with a blend of classic casual style and a newly emerging aesthetic that would soon form the foundation of 90s running trainers.
Contrasting the futuristic ZX ‘000s that had yet to come, the ZX 100 used fluid lines and organic design that complimented the spirit of the times.
Its classic mesh-suede construction was balanced with a cool selection of colourways that let the wearer do the talking and was soon making regular appearances on the terraces; most notable were the shoe’s new suede window panels that framed its iconic 3-stripes and tasteful pops of colour around the heel and top eyelet.
The true success of the ZX 100, however, was its accessible cross-culture silhouette that made it as comfortable in the stands as it did on the track. It was a sign of things to come and demonstrated what it takes to make a true iconic trainer; intuitive technology and natural style.
Pushing further into the future with the ZX Series, the new ZX 630 presents a contemporary take on classic performance footwear. With subtle nods to models across the ZX Family, this new silhouette takes a classic suede-mesh construction to create a ZX shoe that’s true to the times.
With its heart in the origins of the ZX Story, the ZX 630 takes classic 80s aesthetic with organic lines and a rugged outsole that’s built to perform.
Clean colour bases are offset with crisp accents on the laces and 3-stripes while a classic TPU heel clip sets the tone with no hesitation. All of this is rounded off with classic EVA-injected outsoles and a cushioned mesh lining.
With its bold, angular silhouette and outspoken aesthetics, the ZX 630 is immersed in the vibrant subcultures that made British sneaker culture matter. Tuned to the past with a contemporary touch, the ZX 630 culminates as a symbol of classic performance footwear for the trendsetters of today.
ZX 5000 Response
With a stripped down structure and a commitment to the future, the ZX 5000 RSPN was a bold reinterpretation of the ZX ‘000 aesthetic that dominated the landscape when it released. The shoe returns for 2014 in vivid new colourways and all of its original edge.
Starting with a classic construction of mesh with synthetic suede panels, the iconic ZX ‘000 cage was stripped from the heel and replaced with a slick leather tag, while the introduction of an inner sock brought the series into the modern age with an unparalleled fit. The shoe also incorporated aspects of 90s trail running shoes such as a rugged outsole design that was fine-tuned for optimum responsiveness.
Capped off with floating 3-stripes and a clean run of colours, the ZX 5000 RSPN was a contemporary approach that stayed true to the ZX tradition of technical trainers that kept turning heads.
Firmly familiar even today, the release of the ZX 700 in 1985 was far from a quiet affair. Bold and boisterous, the shoe took the classic runner silhouette and brought it to life.
Eyes set firmly forward, the ZX 700 took stylistic cues from 1984’s ZX 500 silhouette with brand new materials and an aggressive design aesthetic to produce a totally new shoe.
In the ZX 700’s upper, a combination of polyester mesh and polypag foam offered a lightweight and versatile runner while new synthetic suede on the reinforcement panels maintained the shoe’s road-ready resilience as well.
Moving onto the midsole, a combination of polyurethane and EVA provided reflexive cushioning and rugged durability in all the right places, and a combination of traditional and ghillie lacing systems complimented subtle adjustments in the heel-stabiliser to shed vital weight and provide the wearer with the best possible comfort and support.
As is the case with many iconic runners, the shoe was also a winner in the style circles. Bold two-tone colour schemes were splashed with the contrasting 3-Stripes mark, heel-tab and midsole accents that brought the shoe to life, and the introduction of reflective inserts on the heel and toebox marked a development that would bring real benefits to athletes on the road and a dazzling new look to the stylists on the sidewalks.
Almost thirty years on, the ZX 700 regularly appears in the marketplace, demonstrating its continuing cultural presence. With its jagged wave-profile outsole and daring angular aesthetic, there was no way the ZX 700 was ever going to be less than larger than life, and it was precisely this spirit that made it a trainer of the choice for cultures that lived the very same way. That being considered, it’s no surprise to see the heart of the ZX 700 still beating thirty years later.
One of the lesser-known models from the ZX Series, few shoes can stake as big a claim on versatility as the ZX 710. First released in 1987, its silhouette serves up subtle nods to previous ZX concepts, ultimately presenting one of the boldest designs to come out of the ZX series.
Designed with all athletes in mind from the casual to the competitive, the ZX 710 model combined vital technologies with straightforward good design to create the optimum running shoe. A blend of mesh and leather on the upper ensured the shoe would be lightweight and breathable with Polypag PU material inserted around the tongue and collar for optimum cushioning.
Reflective panels on the heel tab, toebox and 3-Stripes also made welcome returns, while an updated dual-density sole used split tooling to implement a Dellinger web along the forefoot and a vital PU heel counter at the rear. A new eyestay overlay also brought the shoe into form with the foot to guarantee the best possible performance.
A true pioneer, the ZX 710’s striking silhouette ensured every aspect of the shoe was up to the task at hand, and happened to create a great looking shoe for the casuals looking for the latest hit. With its legacy most visible through the echoes of its influence in countless models that would follow, the ZX 710 now stands as a symbol of uncompromising aesthetic; one that does whatever is necessary to create the next champion.
One of the most distinctive silhouettes of the ZX Series, the ZX 750 was originally conceived as a contemporary update to the straight-up running silhouette of the ZX 700, but quickly captured the hearts of style-conscious casuals with its slick lines and bold colour combinations.
With the model 700’s athletic prowess reinstated in full, the ZX 750 model still boasts the most vital technologies in performance footwear, most notably the graduated dual-density midsole that used accented inserts to ensure that every element of the sole performed to its optimum potential.
Designers placed suede overlays in vital areas to make the shoe lightweight without sacrificing vital structure, and a lace overlay ensured that the shoe’s calculated fit could truly perform as intended. This was capped off with the seminal Torsion system and the now-iconic heel counter, molded from thermoplastic polyurethane to provide reflexive, reactive support.
What completed the shoe’s story was a colour palette to be envied. Bold colour palettes brought a depth of character to its no-nonsense silhouette, something that never went unnoticed with the straight-talking subcultures.
A confident blend of functionality and fresh aesthetics, there are few shoes that can claim to have shaken the terrain like the ZX 750 model did in all realms, from the track to the terrace; its story begins in the very foundation of the ZX Series, but with its eyes-forward approach to design, the ZX 750 model truly has a story all its own.
First hitting the streets in 1989, the ZX8000 was more than just a new shoe. Part of the progressive ZX ‘000 series, the shoe captured the hearts of dedicated athletes and street-level casuals the world over with its futuristic design and forward-thinking technologies.
The ZX8000 was a calculated and considered shoe, designed to bring the best performance out of every wearer with SoftCell technology in the heel for optimal cushioning on contact and a brand new Torsion system outsole that offered free independent movement of the forefoot and heel.
That being said, what really took the sneaker community by storm was the ZX 8000’s bold design and big looks.
The OG Aqua colourway’s contrasting panels of violet and lemon yellow within the 3-Stripes mark and now-iconic outsole tooling left an impression on the landscape that still resonate even today. Feet firmly on the ground, the shoe would make regular returns throughout the 90s in vivid colourways that never failed to set the streets alight.
A testament to the style-conscious creativity & pioneer spirit that runs through the entire ZX Series, the ZX 8000’s daring fusion of innovative new technology and instinctively clean aesthetics culminated in a shoe that left lasting impressions. From athletics to aesthetics, from record breakers to beat makers, it’s a shoe that lives and breathes the cultures that gave it life.
A modern interpretation of a street style classic, the ZX 850 was a reinterpretation of the classic ZX 800. This new model presented a combination of tried and tested technologies and straightforward style to satisfy both committed athletes and a committed street following.
Blending together the best of its brotherhood, the ZX 850 used a combination of vario and ghillie lacing as well as mesh and synthetic suede construction to make the shoe lightweight and breathable.
The series assumed a whole new air of style, however, with subtle accents along the side panel and 3-Stripes and an extended heel-counter that transformed the silhouette into something totally new for the 3-Stripe fanatics. The original ZX 800 would make serious waves only months later, the London Posse cementing its street credentials with full ZX 800 uniform on the back of their ‘London Posse’ 7”; a true founding father of contemporary British sneaker culture.
The shoe’s combination of action and aesthetic set a new standard in performance footwear and the organic lines of its intuitive silhouette can still be seen in the landscape today. As a tribute to a true pioneer, the ZX 850 represents a turning point that said the ZX Series had put its foot down as a pioneer of the next step.
adidas ZX series photo gallery
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