Sneakers dominantly take their heritage from running, basketball, skate, tennis, training, hiking, and football. Still retaining a few of their performance-based technologies, these sneakers have transcended their respective niches and have successfully and popularly transformed themselves as staples of fashion footwear.
Sneakers designed for a laidback, "cool" vibe that is built for lifestyle wear right from the get-go.
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Brands are now blending elements of performance and casual appeal in basically every sneaker. One can hardly go wrong with a sports-inspired sneaker or a simple casual shoe.
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The story of the ZX started in the 1980s. It was the time of technological breakthroughs: the first IBM personal computer, the camcorder, the DynaTAC cellphones, and more. Everything was grounded in tech and science and so why should shoes be exempt?
True to Adidas’ athletic heritage, the very first ZX—the ZX 500—started out as running shoes. The concept behind the ZX was to adapt each model to a specific type of runner so that everyone would be covered, from leisure joggers to competitive marathoners. Cushioning, padding, and the like were adjusted in different key areas of the shoes depending on the type of runner they were intended for.
During this era, numerous shoe advancements were made. The ZX collection was one of those that introduced a wide array of models with highly technical designs, and this aggressive output would continue for 5 years.
Aside from the amazing tech breakthrough outputs they put forth at the time, the ZX series also changed the way the running industry perceived how the shoes should look. The ZX 500 paved the way for stylish runners that could seamlessly metamorphose from being sporting shoes into lifestyle sneakers depending on the occasion.
Today, the ZX series has been revived by the Adidas brand, no longer as running shoes, but as lifestyle kicks. They may be behind when it comes to modern technology, but they are certainly in step when it comes to fashion.
The Adidas Originals ZX Shoes: Sports-Turned-Lifestyle Kicks
These Adidas ZX shoes for men were remastered and brought back as a general release in 2018. Contemporary elements such as Boost soles were added with EVA inserts strategically placed at the heels and forefronts of the midsoles as a nod to the model’s illustrious ancestor. The outsole studs were removed and replaced instead with typical outsoles with large gaps for grip and traction.
If you’re looking for all white Adidas ZX shoes, this model has them as well as a few others.
Grey/Cloud White/Clear Orange
Core Black/Core Black/Flash Red
Core Black/Cloud White/Core Black
2. Adidas ZX 280 SPZL
These ZX shoes by Adidas were first released in 1986 and were board lasted for improved stability. The uppers were formerly dressed in metallic nylon and suede velour fabric. The soles featured dual-density microcellular EVA. These kicks were geared to withstand extreme training.
The release of a beloved vintage silhouette is always welcome, but when you add the SPZL mark on it, the model becomes doubly impressive. The ZX 280 SPZL is a one-to-one facsimile of that classic but, in character with SPZL makeovers, now come with updated and more premium materials. The shoes are covered in textile while pigskin suede fabrics provide the reinforcement.
Spezial sockliners were added to the mix, along with Adidas Originals logos stamped on each of the tongues. An extra pair of teal laces came with the shoes.
3. Adidas ZX 700
The Adidas ZX 700 shoes which debuted in 1985 were created for high-mileage runners. The original Adidas ZX sneakers combined a traditional lacing system with the ZX 500’s plastic lace loops for a unique way of securing the feet. The kicks also had integrated biomechanical technology designed to reduce the risk of over supination or pronation. This tech allowed the shoes to move in harmony with the body as the user runs.
The heels and toes of the model featured reflective inserts while the outsoles contained a wave profile that delivered good shock absorption while providing excellent traction.
The lifestyle version of these Adidas ZX sneakers for men featured most of the details of the original but added eyelets on the tongues to keep them in place. These are available in a wide variety of colorways to suit everyone’s tastes, from toned down to brightly-colored hues.
Blaze Purple/Yellow Ray
Solid Grey/White/Medium Grey Heather
4. Adidas ZX 700 IM
Unlike the Adidas ZX 700, the ZX 700 IM did away with the nylon and most of the suede. With this iteration, the shoes are now covered in single-layered mesh with patterned prints on top to mimic the styling of the original. Suede overlays were limited to the heels and above the tongues where the eyelets are placed.
The first ZX 750s came out in 1986. These were geared for high-mileage runners who demanded a comfortable ride. Now under Adidas Originals’ collection, these ZX shoes stayed faithful to the retro but updated the materials for a more modern feel and comfort. The sneakers now sport engineered mesh woven uppers for better durability.
6. Adidas ZX Vulc
It was only a matter of time before the ZX was remade into skateboarding kicks and with the arrival of the ZX Vulc, skateboarders now have a piece of retro history while they ride their boards. The Adidas ZX Vulc took the ZX 750 and added vulcanized soles for board feel and grip.
The 2014 release featured new PU insoles, wider toe boxes, and thinner forefoot. The new silhouette also had arch supports and heel counters that prevented the sneakers from slipping off during maneuvers.
Solid Grey/Equipment Green/White
Special Editions/Colors and Collabs
Just like with any popular silhouette, a collaboration with artists, retail stores, or designers is the next step. Here are some cool collabs and special edition releases of the ZX series.
1. Adidas Rodrigo TX/Suciu ZX Vulc
In the spring of 2015, Adidas released special ZX Vulc shoes for men. The colorways were made for two of Adidas’ elite riders, namely, Mark Suciu and Rodrigo TX. Mark’s sneakers were done in soft shade colors accented with lime and gold hues. Rodrigo’s colors were done in bolder shades—black, white, and blue.
2. Dragonball Z x Adidas ZX 500 RM
In 2018, Adidas collaborated with the anime franchise, Dragonball Z. The whole collection featured seven sneakers that showed three significant battles in the show. Six of the shoes had heroes and villains while the seventh featured Shenron the Dragon.
Two shoes from the Dragonball Z series was about Goku vs. Frieza. The Goku shoes were represented by the ZX 500 RM. The low-top kicks were dressed in prominent orange uppers, blue 3-Stripes, tongues, and sockliners, and red laces reminiscent of Son Goku’s outfit in the anime. Dragonball Z graphics can also be seen on the Boost stabilizers, the heels, and medial sides of the shoes.
Adidas Originals ZX Flux Shoes
In 2014, Adidas added another silhouette to its ZX series. The shoes, the ZX Flux, were the first to be designed as an original although they were pretty much inspired by the ZX 8000. Basically, the ZX Flux shoes are stripped down ZX 8000s.
The shoes still contained certain qualities of the 1980s ZX silhouettes such as the heel cages and Torsion bars. However, one big difference is the uppers which are now done all in one piece as opposed to the old-school design of stitching together different fabrics and pieces.
Due to the popularity of these Adidas Originals ZX shoes, more iterations were launched by the brand soon after. The new versions differed in many ways ranging from patterned to printed uppers and with slimmer or regular builds to with heel tabs and without.
1. Adidas ZX Flux
The ZX Flux is the successful marriage of old-school running design with modern comfort and tech. These contemporary kicks featured reflective Xeno synthetic uppers which showed iridescent colors when exposed to the sun. The overlays of their ancestor, the ZX 8000, were done away with but the cages remained, although they would be now made of TPU or leather instead of the old ZX series’ suede.
The Adidas ZX Flux shoes have numerous multicolor, solid, and printed colorways available.
New Navy/New Navy/Running White
Post Digital Multi-Color
New Media Multi-Color
Photo Print Pack - This pack is comprised of three nature-inspired colorways with graphic prints. The colorways included are: Red Rush, Stone Garden, and Dead Woods.
2. Adidas ZX Flux ADV
Although the ZX Flux already had a low-profile construction, the ZX Flux ADV’s is even lower. The ZX Flux sneakers were also built with heel tabs and are dressed in one-piece mesh uppers with the feel of knit.
Core Black/Core Black/White
3. Adidas ZX Flux ⅝ TR
These mid-top ZX sneakers are a breath of fresh air against all of the low-top ZX models. Although inspired by a running silhouette, the shoes give off a rugged hiking footwear vibe. The sneakers are outfitted with boot grommets, heavily padded collars, heel pull tabs, mesh uppers, and deep grooves on the outsoles for exceptional traction and stability.
The sneakers also come with Adidas’ Torsion System which helps with midfoot integrity.
Core Black/Utility Black/Chalk White
4. Adidas ZX Flux ADV X
These Adidas ZX sneakers for men are based on the stripped-down construction of the ADV while inspired by the Yeezy Boost 350. The result is a minimalistic, futuristic design that looks great against the urban landscape.
The shoes contain the standard ZX Flux heel counters, wraparound tongues, and two-toned rope laces. The uppers are made of either premium suede, mesh, or nubuck depending on the colorway.
Grey Suede Gold
5. Adidas ZX Flux Xeno
Adidas’ Xeno technology was introduced in early 2015 and was applied to three of the brand’s models—the Attitude, the Superstar, and the ZX Flux. The Xeno tech in the ZX Flux illuminates the uppers when the light hits them, making for eye-catching and interesting-looking kicks.
These Adidas ZX shoes are not only for men but for the whole family as well. Distinct colorways have been released for women and kids too.
Xeno Borealis Pack - This pack contained shoes with the 3-Stripes given a glow-in-the-dark treatment.
Xeno Negative Pack - This pack contained environment-friendly sneakers which were constructed using leftover materials from other Xeno sneakers.
The Adidas ZX Flux Weave is another version of the contemporary silhouette with woven uppers. However, the intertwined strands of the ZX Flux Weave are much lighter and smaller when compared with the strands of the ZX Flux Woven.
By using a mix of synthetic and mesh fabrics for the uppers, these kicks ensure top-notch ventilation and comfort for the feet. The bold and vibrant colorways add a further enticing aspect to the shoes.
Core Black/Core Black/Yellow
Onix And Fromin
Pattern Pack - This pack contains graphic patterns in the woven uppers of the shoes. Two colorways in this pack are monochromatic while a third featured vibrant colors of red and blue.
These reinterpreted ZX Flux shoes by Adidas feature more streamlined soles than the original ZX Flux and a slightly more casual build than its sleeker running shoe-inspired ancestor. The uppers are dressed in a basket-weave mesh fabric while shaped overlays provide additional design and support to the shoes.
Since the launch of the Primeknit, numerous models have been given the comfy knit treatment. Now, it’s the ZX Flux shoes’ turn. The ZX Flux sneakers have been dressed in seamless knit uppers which gave enhanced freedom of movement for the feet and a sock-like feel. Support by way of the suede 3-Stripes and standard ZX Flux heel cages remained.
Utility Ivy/Utility Ivy/Gum
Solid Grey/White Black
Core Black/Core Black/Gum
10. Adidas ZX Flux Clima Pastels
Another exciting silhouette from the Adidas Originals ZX shoes collection came by way of these cool pastel offerings. The ZX Flux Clima Pastels took most construction elements from their esteemed predecessor, the ZX Flux, and added monochromatic pastel tones to the entire body of the sneakers for a whole new design.
Vapour Steel F16
Tactile Blue S17
11. Adidas ZX Flux ADV Asymmetrical
With a highly unconventional lacing system and no 3-Stripes to be found, the Adidas ZX Flux ADV Asymmetrical is definitely unique. Stripped of the all too familiar brand logos usually found at the lateral sides of the shoes, only pure enthusiasts of the silhouette will know the kicks are Adidas—a plus for people who like minimal branding.
Aside from the asymmetrical lace-up closure system of these kicks and the missing 3-Stripes, these shoes also contain clear TPU heel counters that add a further modern touch to the classic silhouette. Depending on the colorway, some even feature reflective basket mesh uppers.
The One That Started it All: The Adidas ZX 500 Shoes
The ZX 500 was the first silhouette to come out from the collection, in 1984. The Adidas ZX shoes were designed for long-distance running. The kicks featured plastic lace loops, stabilizing extended heel counters, STABILO motion control devices, Dual EVA midsoles, and unique outsoles that had pressure-absorbing nipple profile studs.
The studded soles had areas in grey and others in black which worked against each other for a piston-like movement. The studs would also retract back into the soles each time the foot would hit the ground which gave the runner enhanced spring as well as excellent shock absorption.
The uppers of the ZX 500 were a combination of nylon, suede, and mesh. The toeboxes of the sneakers was of mesh for maximum ventilation, while the vamp was made out of nylon. Suede provided the reinforcement for these kicks and could be seen all around the shoes from the heels to the tips of the toes.
Other Influential Models From the ZX Archives
1. Adidas ZX 600 - The ZX 600 was launched the year after the ZX 500. Like the ZX 500 before it, the shoes were made of nylon and mesh with suede as reinforcement. The shoes were designed as running trainers for competitive runners. The Adidas ZX sneakers featured stabilizing thermoplastic heel counters to control the rear of the foot, a double lacing system, and two different durometers of rubber in the critical strike zones.
2. Adidas ZX 800 - The ZX 800 was a 1986 release by Adidas. The shoes featured a ghillie and traditional lacing combination. Critical strike zones of the sneakers were reinforced, and stabilizing pieces were added for transversal and longitudinal stability. This model was designed for training in as well as to run in for competitive athletes.
3. Adidas ZX 310 - Adidas did not forget runners who run over established roads and the Adidas ZX 310 shoes were specifically created for them. The shoes were curve-lasted with an anatomical, soft protect cut and contained dual-density midsoles and heel counters for stability.
4. Adidas ZX 420 - Long-distance runners who longed to train were provided the ZX 310 in 1988. These kicks contained extra durable soles to withstand long distances over rough roads. The shoes had new aerated nylon inserts and PU soles with stabilizing blocks.
5. Adidas ZX 930 - The ZX 930 had a lightweight construction with Polypag foam tongues to protect the runner’s feet against impact. Lateral reinforcements of suede were placed on the uppers made of breathable nylon. The shoes also had resistant rubber soles which allowed for training on all types of terrain and dual-density PU midsoles.
6. Adidas ZX 4000 - These Adidas ZX sneakers contained the brand’s Soft cell technology and Kevlar Torsion bar. The Torsion bar made of Kevlar allowed the feet to twist through the heels and toes yet provide stability by controlling the amount of torsion.
7. Adidas ZX 5000 - The ZX 5000s were running sneakers that debuted in 1988. These shoes featured direct injected midsoles, the Kevlar Torsion system, and removable Torsion insoles.
8. Adidas ZX 6000 - The Zx 6000s were runners for middle distance training. The shoes had rotation zones, dual-density Purolite midsoles, and F1 Monza rubber soles.
9. Adidas ZX 8000 - These Adidas ZX shoes were 1989 releases. They featured removable Torsion insoles, Mona F1 outsoles, and Purolite midsoles. The ZX 8000s are the forerunners of the ZX Flux shoes we have today.
10. Adidas ZX 9000 - The ZX 9000s had features much the same as the ZX 8000. These shoes though were made for people who wanted great control.
1. The very first collaboration of Adidas with Swedish retail shop, Sneakersnstuff, was on the model ZX 700.
2. The ZX is pronounced as Zed X in England.
3. Jacques Chassaing designed the ZX series with barefoot running foremost in his mind. Not that the sneakers boast of barefoot technology or feel, but that runners who use the shoes can do so barefoot and with maximum comfort.
You asked, and we answered.
Q: What is Adidas’ Torsion tech?
A: The Torsion System was a groundbreaking technology when it was released in 1988. And the tech still works very well to this day, even when compared to other newer techs, which is why this outsole component is still very much utilized.
The Torsion System works by bridging the heel and the forefoot, thereby supporting the midfoot. It stops the improper flexing of the arches for greater stride control and smoother heel-to-toe transition.
Q: How do Adidas ZX sneakers fit?
A: Most silhouettes from the ZX series run slightly narrow. The forerunner of the series from which every ZX sneakers are based has a sleek profile for running.
Q: Are Adidas ZX Flux true to size (length)?
A: Each model fits differently. If you want to get the average response of users who’ve worn these shoes, please read our sneaker articles. The fit of each shoe is discussed and might help you make the correct decision on what size to order.
Q: Where can I buy Adidas ZX shoes, preferably the multicolor shades?
A: For shoes with colorways specifying the word, “multicolor,” many of them can be found under the model, ZX Flux. However, if you mean multiple shades in one silhouette, most shoes in the ZX series have them.
You can look for the specific shoes you want right here. RunRepeat has partnered with dozens of legit shoe retailers all over the U.S. and in Europe to bring their offers to you right at your fingertips. Just search for the specific model that you’re looking for using our search tab (you can use the search filters on the left side of the page for better results). Click on the model, and our collected user reviews plus all store offers for that particular silhouette will come up.
Clicking on the offers will take you straight to these stores’ websites.
Q: How do I know if these sneakers will fit if I order online?
A: We at Runrepeat have taken on the task of collecting user reviews of popular sneaker models and bringing them all together into one article. We bring unbiased reviews straight from the people who bought and used these kicks. We cover most everything you’d want to know about a sneaker before you by including fit and sizing, comfort and cushioning, arch and ankle support, and durability and quality.
Q: Do you have suggestions on how to style black Adidas ZX Flux shoes?
A: Yes! These super lifestyle kicks look great with a bunch of clothing types on both men and women. Below are some guides on styling these sneakers.
Men - Match with straight-legged jeans, a statement tee, and a snazzy printed bomber jacket.
Women - Wear with slim-fitting jeans and a flowy spaghetti strap top.
Men - Pair with a light blue button-down shirt and dark chinos.
Women - Style with a crisp white button-down shirt tucked in at the front and black leather pants. An oversized black tote would complete the look.
Q: How about tips for styling Adidas ZX sneakers in colorways other than black?
A: Colored sneakers are pretty easy to wear. Same with multicolor ones. Just remember to have a shade in your outfit that would closely match one of the hues in your kicks to tie both top and bottom pieces neatly together. Contrasting works too. For example, pastel blue kicks would look awesome against a yellow skirt or brown chinos.
Q: How much do Adidas ZX Flux shoes cost?
A: They are priced reasonably with some models retailing for less than a $100.
Q: How do I clean Adidas ZX sneakers?
A: The way of cleaning these sneakers greatly depends on the material of the shoes.
Leather - Wet towel or cloth in a mixture of gentle soap and water. Wring the towel off and then wipe it while still damp onto the shoe. Remove soap residue with a new cloth.
Mesh/nylon - Do the same few steps for cleaning leather fabrics as written above except you can also gently rub the fabrics to remove deep-seated dirt. Rinse the uppers off and dry.
Suede/nubuck - There is a special brush that you can buy for cleaning suede and nubuck uppers to avoid damaging the fabric.
Knit - Squeeze lathered soap onto the fabric of your uppers. Blot out each area of the uppers with towels (you can use paper towels for this) until you see that all the dirt has been lifted. Blot out again with new damp towels to thoroughly rinse off the shoe and remove any soapy mixture. Air dry.
Q: Any other advice for keeping the shoes long-lasting?
A: Let your shoes breathe by resting them after every use. Never use the same shoes for two days in a row. Wear them alternately. Also, store them away from direct heat or sunlight and never store them wet or damp.