Size and fit

The Adidas Tubular Shadow Knit is available in men's sizing. Like the Tubular Shadow which it was based on, it has a low-top structure that allows flexible ankle mobility. 

The knitted upper, along with the burrito tongue construction, conforms to the feet for a sock-like, snug, and comfortable fit. The upper material also allows sufficient room around the toebox, which just makes it an ideal shoe for wide-footed wearers.

Adidas Tubular Shadow Knit Style

The Adidas Tubular Shadow Knit is aesthetically similar to a highly-sought and successful model from the brand's collaboration with Kanye West, the Yeezy Boost 350, primarily because of its shape and knitted upper. Due to such resemblance, consumers sometimes refer to it as the "Poor Man's Yeezy" or as the cheaper alternative to Yeezy.

Its style depicts the borderline between street style culture and high fashion, therefore versatile enough to be worn on the streets or a runway. Although a pair of slim-fitted jeans or jogger pants will highlight its shape better, it will still look great when paired with other types of clothing.

Notable Features

The Adidas Tubular Shadow Knit, as the name suggests, features a two-tone knitted upper for greater breathability, flexibility, and a lighter feel on the feet. It is often compared to the Yeezy Boost 350 because of the aesthetic similarities sans the Boost technology. Other features that stand out in this shoe are the Tubular sole unit and the edgy-shaped midsole.

Adidas Tubular Shadow Knit History

It all began in 1990 when Adidas designers took inspiration from car tires' tubing in coming up with a performance shoe with maximum grip and traction. Initially called the Adidas Radical, the prototype model utilized inflatable rubber airbags with valves that require an external pump attachment.

Two years later, the Three Stripes released in a limited quantity of 500 pairs the beta version of the Radical known officially as the Adidas Radical X-29. Its sole featured four separate air chambers that were adjustable through an integrated pump and a digital LCD pressure gauge. Given its top-of-the-line technologies, it was well-welcomed by the sneaker market.

In 1993, Adidas launched the Tubular line using all the technologies from the Radical prototypes. The pioneer model from this line was the Tubular 2, which features an external pump, two (instead of four) adjustable airbags on the heel, and an EVA foam cushioned forefoot. The Tubular 4, on the other hand, had an apparent resemblance from the beta version of the Radical as it featured four separate air chambers and an integrated pump on the side.

Another model and unfortunately the last one of the line that also features an external pump was the Tubular 2 XTR. Envisioned to be the more advanced model was the Tubular 4, but the technology it required had not existed yet back then. Despite having been considered as a shoe line ahead of its time, the Tubular line was one of the few that belonged in the unpopular bracket that had to be put away into the archives.

Then 2014 came. Adidas VP of Global Design Nic Galway was browsing through the brand's shoe archives when he envisioned a potential from the Radical prototype. He decided to strip back the Tubular to its core and eventually came up with the Tubular Runner as the first shoe to debut under the relaunch of the Adidas Tubular line. It features a new EVA foam cushioning, welded overlays and neoprene underlays, a sock-like construction, and a Tubular sole. It became a tremendous success that several more shoe models under its umbrella were launched such as the Tubular Defiant, the Tubular Doom, the Tubular Nova, the Tubular Radial, the Tubular X, and the Tubular Shadow.

In 2016, the Adidas Originals launched the Tubular Shadow as the newest addition to the Tubular line. It is a low-top sneaker with a minimal silhouette, an asymmetrical design, and of course, a Tubular sole. It initially released in two colorways with different upper materials – the black one in a perforated leather upper, and the tan colorway in a woven upper.

One of its variations is the Adidas Tubular Shadow Knit, which features a two-toned knitted upper in a diamond pattern, a burrito tongue for a snug fit, an EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning, and a Tubular outsole.

Additional Info

  • This shoe also features an Ortholite sockliner.
  • The Adidas brandings on this shoe are minimal, visible only on the tongue and the heel.
  • The shoelaces are rounded and match the color of the upper.

Rankings

How Adidas Tubular Shadow Knit ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 47% sneakers
All sneakers
Top 50% Adidas sneakers
All Adidas sneakers
Top 48% low sneakers
All low sneakers

Popularity

The current trend of Adidas Tubular Shadow Knit.
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Author
Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.