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Mi Adidas Custom Shoes

When Adidas introduced its mi adidas shoe customization program here in Singapore. I was rather intrigued at the prospect of customizing my own shoes. I am flatfooted and I have problems settling into many shoes be it for tennis, jogging, casual walking shoes or work. Getting the correct shoes for me was more of a chore and I didn't have much of a choice when it comes to purchasing shoes. All my shoes had to be very broad as whenever I tried anything narrower, the entire arch support area of the shoe will sink or cave in.

Michael the Adidas staff who assisted me, he's the Mi Adidas expert. Being a runner himself, he has customized his own Mi Adidas shoes, he knows his stuff and gives very sound advise. I highly recommend you look him up should you want to customize your shoes.

Previously I was strictly into Nike their Challenge court 3 and 4 series of the nineties were very wide and it provided me the comfort I needed. But in recent years, I realized that tennis shoes were becoming more and more narrower. Adidas naturally had very narrow tennis shoes. The Adidas Barricade tennis shoe line was the workhorse of the Adidas Tennis shoe series. Its most latest model, the Adidas Barricade IV tennis shoes were a perfect example, many individuals I know who had slightly shallower arches on their feet had complained bitterly about the Adidas Barricade IV. I tried an off the self pair at Queensway. I told the guy that I was flatfooted and he bluntly told me that I there was no way I could wear it. Looking at the narrow construction of the Adidas Barricade IV, I already knew that I will have problems wearing it let alone face problems being able to wear them comfortably. I tried nevertheless and couldn't even squeeze my feet in! I was practically screaming in pain trying to walk around in them. And Yes! I am not exaggerating about the severe discomfort you'll experience from wearing the Adidas Barricade IV if you have flat feet.

In the end, I had to settle for shoes with broader soles like Reebok basketball shoes. My previous Adidas Barricade III was extremely good in terms of durability but it took me many months to "break" the shoes in or in Singapore terms "season out" the shoes. Even then I still had problems and felt constant pain at the side of my feet especially around the arches of the feet. I then discovered New Balance shoes that were a godsend especially the ones with the extra wide 4E models. I particularly like the New Balance 1002 series that were not only broad but were well ventilated with it's cloth like mesh fabric as well as its durable reinforced outer toe protection. But like with all the other shoes, I not only had to content with shoes with narrower soles but tennis toe issues.

I was very happy with my current New Balance 1002. The 4E version was extremely broad and I did not get much pain in the arches. I however was suffering from a very bad case of tennis toe. Both my big toes are current affected and it hurts badly every time I jam my toes against the front of the shoes especially when running to retrieve a drop shot. Tennis toe is a condition you'll get due to the constant banging of your toes against the front of your shoes resulting in injury. While many people tend to suggest tightening the shoe laces more or using thicker socks. I don't think this will really solve the issue. For one, tightening the laces too much will constrict the blood vessels in your feet and using thicker socks would only make it more difficult for your feet to breathe.

My tennis toe problem was not attributed to the New Balance shoes, but prevalent in all my other tennis shoes. This issue comes about due to the fact that no two feet are alike in size and thus you tend to ram your toe nails more on both toes causing pain and hemorrhaging. This problem could be addressed if you had shoes with a perfect fit and the only way to do this is for you to have your shoes custom made.

Images of both my tennis toes being battered by the constant ramming of my big toes against shoes without proper fitting. mi adidas greatly helped with this problem. Now since i have the exact fit, my toes are not hitting against the front of my shoes anymore. Not sure when my toes will go back to normal though...

Despite all this I was not really considering to have my tennis shoes custom made, but it was more strictly by chance that I was at the Adidas store at Vivo City that I saw that they had the mi adidas shoe customization booth. I was just looking around wanting to get more information about mi adidas technology and what it entails that I might a very knowledgeable and friendly staff named Michael. He briefed me on the processes involved in shoe customization with mi adidas and I explained to him my problems of getting the correct shoes. He said that customizing my shoes should solve my problems.

I thought well what the heck? I was prepared to paid a premium for this kind of service, shoes after all for me are really difficult to find and I was already suffering so much due to the pain. I set up an appointment with Michael to get my Adidas tennis shoes customized. In the case of Adidas they only customize certain particular models. For the case of tennis shoes, they only did the Adidas Barricade IV. I set a date to come see Michael again for him to take all my necessary foot specifications. This process will take about roughly and hour. So I set a time with him to come back a week later.

I was reminded by Michael to bring my regular socks as well as any special insoles or arch support that I have (some flatfooted people) have special orthopedic soles that can be incorporated to customized shoes. According to Michael, the customization can go up to 0.3 of an mm compared to the standard half sizes you get in the store. Plus incorporating the thickness of your preferred socks to ensure an even greater and more snug fit. I went one step ahead to even bring my old Adidas Barricade III for him to have a look at the wear patterns (although this is not necessary, I just wanted him to have a look at the different wear patterns and how they affected all my previous shoes.

Michael explains to me about the the ware patterns found on my old Adidas Barricade III

Mi Adidas customization consists of 3 steps:


1) Mi Fit
This process involves getting the exact length and width of your feet. I had a step into this box like device that resembled something like a weighing scale barefooted to get the length and width of both my feet. Two devices then pushed forward some ruler like device horizontally and vertically to get my precise feet measurements for both feet.

This process is important to get an exact custom snug fit preventing problems like tennis toe from your shifting feet while running and braking suddenly on the tennis courts. Regular shoe that do not have the exact measurements jam your toes into the front part of the shoe causing tennis toe problems.

(Image on the right, stepping on the machine to get the exact foot measurements for my Addidas Barricade IV using mi adidas technology).


2) Mi Performance
This is where it get's slightly interesting and tricky. Your foot fall, foot pattern and pressure distribution applied on each foot is measured here. There is a pad on the floor which looks like a slightly oversized mouse pad you will have to do a short run and hit the pad one foot and a time. This is tricky as it will involve lots of timing to land the right foot correctly on the pad. The other thing will be that you'll to the center of attention at the Adidas store as you will generally attract a crowd when doing this. I highly suggest if you're uncomfortable with people watching you try to set an appointment on a weekday after lunchtime when there will be generally fewer people.

Running and having to get the timing right for both my feet. This is to measure the pressure forces exerted on both my feet.

From the results of the scan, you can see clearly the pronation of the feet as well as my flat feet condition. The pressure points applied and the axis or path that my feet is taking. According to Michael there was something a bit wrong with my left feet if you notice compared to my right foot my left foot seems to be going off a little. Take a look a the straight line marker that runs across the entire image. The curved lines should generally run across the same straight line pattern just like my right foot. But if you take a look closely on the left foot, the curves runs completely off the straight line starting from somewhere close to the bottom of the feet and complete skews out of the main central axis line. Not really sure what this means but this pattern was prominent when I did several tries with the foot scan so it's not the problem with the device but inherent my left foot itself.

Results of my footscan. Do note that the lines for my left foot has gone somewhat astray compared to that of my right foot using the straight line as a reference guide. My flatfootedness is clearly pronounced here. You can see from this image a complete lack of arches on my feet.

Based on the results Michael suggested using a more stiffer and firmer rubber sole and a more comfortable insole liner. What I really liked Mi Customization of the Adidas Barricade IV is that the sockliner part which is the area that covers your ankles is complete reinforced with "Geo Fit" (TM) a more thicker and spongy foam material that really gives additional comfort and protection to your ankle area. Geo Fit(TM) is an internal technology that enhances fit and comfort with the use of memory foam padding in the anatomically correct areas. This patented Adidas technology is apparently available only on there other lines the Supernova running shoe series and not available to the regular Adidas Barricade IV that you find of the selves. To therefore have this Geo Fit technology fitted on my Adidas Barricade IV was really cool and a nice welcomed added feature to have.

With my detailed foot specifications in the computer, Michael let me try a couple of them "molds" or ready made Adidas Barricade shoes with different specification Please note that each of these shoes have different numbers at the back of them and have different widths and lengths. They are also dull in color like in the pictures shown below and NOT shoes that are off the shelf available for purchase. The aim of this exercise is actually to get a feel of what and how my customized shoes will feel like and give Michael a indication if what's stated in the Mi Performance test results were actually accurate. This is NOT the exact replica of my custom shoes that I will be getting. So after trying a couple of molds I finally managed to get two molds that fits pretty close to what my exact foot specifications are like. He then entered it into the computer. What I generally think would be that my shoes will be built with these specifications as a guide, but will incorporate the full and specification provided on the PC with my exact foot details.

Stepping into the custom "molds" to get a "rough" fitting. These "molds" are dull color and have individual numbers at the back varying in width and lengths.

3) Mi Design
This where the real fun begins. Customize the colors that you want on your shoes as well as the name that you want to appear on the shoe. I would say that this is the most fun part compared to the Mi Fit and Mi Performance part. There are various colors to choose from and different colors combinations that you can use for the base, accent and highlight color. The trick here is to be different and have something very unique that nobody has. To be different to have something that basically represents YOU! Michael was nice enough to show me a couple of ready made pairs that some of his customers had designed and I must say that they looked very cool. I choose the color combination that I liked and not really that common. So far from the time I customized this pair I think only one other person here in Singapore had this color combination for the Adidas Barricade IV from the store at Vivo not sure about the other outlets so I guess it should be unique enough. I also like black with orange but I was also tempted in getting a blue with yellow stripes but I chose black with orange instead.

Choosing the colors and lettering to put on my custom Barricade IV. The most exciting and fun part of the entire exercise.

Next came the other exciting part. Customizing what letters do you want stitched on to your customized shoes. You have a choice of like 12 letters (if I can remember correctly) to choose from. It can be either in caps and small lettering or a combination of both. I chose "Nawin" plain and simple. You can also choose the color of the stitching that your name is going to be stitched on. The thing about this is that whatever words you choose has to be identical to both pairs so it has to be "Nawin" on both sides of the shoes. Here I think mi adidas should be more flexible by allowing you different wordings on both shoes its just words sewn on so I don't see the problem. That would have been more neat and cooler but besides this I think it was generally a very cool process and something fun to do. Should I decide to customize another pair of Adidas Barricade IV all my personal data and information is already stored in the central database in Germany. I can just choose to change the colors the next time round. My information is stored in Germany but customization is all done in Hong Kong from the data provided from Germany. It will take roughly around 4 to 6 weeks to get your brand new customized shoes ready for you to take the courts.

The final end product. 100% satisfaction!
Conclusion.

I have been using my customized Adidas Barricade IV for almost a month now and I absolutely loved it. I didn't experience much pain. It took sometime for me to adjust to the new shoes, this will be the case with any new shoes you buy customized or non customized. I didn't feel any pain to my tennis toe any longer issue even when not lacing up my shoes tightly, my foot does not slip forward banging my toes against the front part of my shoes any more. The fit was excellent there were no addition gaps that allowed my feet to move about in the shoe causing any discomfort or injuries.

The pair I got just like Michael had explained were more of a perfect fit compared to the earlier molds that I tried out. The color I choose was great but honestly on the PC he didn't really reflect what the actual shoe will look like. I think Adidas can do a better job here by providing actual physical samples to their customers of how the shoes will actually look like.

I was particularly impressed with Michael who was the staff in charge of the Mi Adidas section. He was very experienced and knowledgeable. He clearly knew his stuff. He was also very patient in explaining to the customer the various processes and took his time to explain things. Customization requires the customer to fully understand and comprehend what's going on and the purpose of why are we going through all these processes. He was able to also give good sound solid advice from experience he had and that's extremely important to the customer. It was through Michael that I had obtain special permission to photography
the entire customization session of my Adidas Barricade IV and I would like to thank Michael from the Adidas store based at Vivo City to be able to document the whole customization process.

On the day I was supposed to collect my shoes, I had forgotten to bring my original receipt as I was collecting it directly from the office. The staff at Adidas Vivo City made special arrangements for me to collect my shoes without receipt and this was clearly appreciated on my part as they had provided excellent customer service.

The Damage...

I spent SGD$269 for my pair of individually customized Adidas Barricade IV using mi adidas technology. Yes it's pricey but for the benefits you get its worth every penny! This is my most expensive sports shoe to date. My most expensive shoes that was close to around this price range was Michael Chang's Legendary Reebok Court Victory Tennis Pump. All Michael Chang fans wanted to have that pair of shoes way back in the early 90s. I remember buying that shoe sometime in 1991 or 1992 in Queensway shopping center and it cost a stunning $220 for a student doing his A levels at that time... I had to practically beg, borrow and steal to that the funds to finance this shoe. It looked cool. The Reebok Tennis Pump ad looked pretty cool but honestly the shoes sucked big time. The pump system was to address the customized feel. At that time I remembered the selling tag line of this shoe was that "No two feet were alike" and the pump system was supposed to tighten each shoe to be comfortable to both feet. In reality the Tennis Pump didn't really fit well and it was not even durable. I used it for something like 3 months before the sole got worn out. All that's history now with mi adidas technology! Any shoe designed with mi adidas technology will really FIT you no questions
asked!

An off the shelf pair direct from the Adidas store will cost you around $179. An off the shelf pair in Queensway Shopping center will cost you around $125 to $132 subject to size and availability. Assuming you buy your Adidas Barricade IV off the shelf direct from the Adidas store you will be paying around $90 more to get your shoes customized according to your exact feet specifications. You get a unique shoe with the colors you want and added additional padding and protection with better firmer soles and Geo Fit(TM) technology for your sockliner not available on regular off the self Adidas Barricade IVs. You'll also get to print your name on it. I personally think that if you have problems with your feet this is a really good deal. One should not stinge on shoes that might damage or injury your feet and maybe other parts of your body that might even cost you more in the long run as this article suggests on taking proper care of your feet while playing tennis. Overall its a really good investment for me and I would not hesitate twice to customize my next pair of Adidas Barricades with mi adidas technology. In fact, I am already thinking of the next color that I would want to get for my next shoe but by then, the Adidas Barricade V would have been already released. :)

On a side note:

I believe that all Adidas sponsored tennis players or athletes have customized Adidas shoes. They however will still maintain an off the shelf look due to the fact that they would need to sell the same design and look to the mass market. By customizing, you will be able to have a shoe not even the Pros have 

I sincerely hope that the review and information provided here on customizing the Adidas Barricade IV was helpful to individuals thinking of customizing their sports shoes. For more information visit this site or a local Adidas sports store near you. Please bare in mind that not all Adidas stores have the mi adidas customization facilities therefore before you go, please make some calls to find out if the store does mi adidas customization.

More photos of the entire mi adidas customization for my Barricade IV can be found here.

Wow....I don't believe we have that kind of technology on Adidas outlets here in Indonesia yet. You can customize your own shoes to fit to your foot and that is wonderful. I have the same problem with you, many times I broke my foot toes fingernail because of playing tennis with regular shoes. Yet it cost you quite expensive for a pair.

Am quite impressed with your technology that am forced to market your product back to my home country Kenya because i stongly believe it will sell nicely to my fellow runners..please get in touch with me.Concern Kenyan student/runner.

Queensway, early 90s! I can associate with u! Were u in some JC by any chance? I got myself the Stefan Edberg with the 1st Adidas TORSION and Monza sole technology which I miss! For SG 269, wow, that's almost as much as a pair of ADIDAS ONE with USB connection. I'll check if the Malaysian Adidas outlet is any cheaper!
Still happy with my Nike Air Max 360 which I got at a sale for about SG$ 150!

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About me

  • I'm Nawin from regentville
  • Residing in Hougang Singapore
  • Racquets: X2 Prince EXO3 Graphite 100 (Main) X3 Wilson K Blade Tour 93 (Backup) Strings: Toalson Ultimate 115 Strung @ 48-50 pounds. Plays: Right Handed (Single Backhand). Shoes: mi Adidas Barricade V Apparel: Lacoste & Adidas Favourite Players: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

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