As mentioned before, the upper for my pair of adidas NMD R1 is Primeknit, a material that is giving some serious competition to Nike’s Flyknit counterpart technology. It’s super breathable and stretchy, making it easy for almost anyone to fit right in. In the summer I was able to get a pair of NMDs with the regular mesh the brand is using for many of their releases for this sneaker. They are $40 cheaper but even it it’s two tone circular you still don’t get the same experience as with the Primeknit. I ended up returning them, as I felt I wasn’t getting the best of these sneakers. For the adidas NMD R_1 there are no support cages (like with the Ultra Boost or the XR1) so there is a downside with the Primeknit when trying them in the gym or even for long distance running. There is not enough support of some serious exercises in these so you will want to stick with using them causally where they are at their best.
With virtually no seams, the upper delivers a sock like feeling. The lacing system is made of grommet panels for a custom fit. The branded heel panel is molded and also there is a heel pull loop that ads utility and style to the shoe.
The adidas NMD R1 features the BOOST midsole, the revolutionary technology the brand came up with only a few years back. The side plugs that were inspired from the classic sneakers mentioned before is what gives this shoe a distinct vibe in the BOOST line of shoes. The brand ditched this detail in for the NMD R_2 released in 2017 with little success. Other than their design purpose, the EVA plugs are meant to add some support on the lateral sides.
The BOOST midsole for the NMD’s is not as soft as the one used for the ULTRA BOOST. This has a lot to do with the lack of side panels and the support the midsole has to make up for the upper construction. While some complained about this aspect, adidas seems to have found the right balance for all the elements of this design. As with most of the other shoes in this line the insole is molded and perforated, giving a glimpse of the white BOOST midsole. The rubber outsole follows the same pattern, while adding durability and traction. Personally I prefer the density of the BOOST midsole on these as it feels more supportive on long walks and even short runs.
The reason why the adidas NMD R1 is so popular is because they are, indeed one of the most comfortable athletic sneakers on the market. Over the time many have preferred wearing classic sneakers in the detriment of the more modern trainers. They were looking for a stylish, classic look while not experiencing the best comfort available in our times. With a whole new look, the NMD’s has the perfect balance of a classic looks and modern technology. While you can get a great run around the block in these and get some attention in the gym, you’ll still get the best of them as casual sneakers.
After only a year after its release the OG versions of the adidas NMD R1 was already “retroed”. That says a lot about the legacy these sneakers already have after such a short period of being on the market.