The adidas NMD:
Boost Cushioning in a Lifestyle Sneaker
In 2013, adidas dropped a bomb on the sneaker industry—Boost. This new foam technology was made for running and delivered unrivaled energy returns when pounding the pavement. But Boost shoes weren't just fast; they were comfortable—famously, ridiculously comfortable.
By 2015, the adidas Ultra Boost running shoe had expanded its popularity beyond running, and sneakerheads, fashionistas and kids worldwide were rocking these sneakers for their clean look and comfortable feel. It was only a matter of time before the Three Stripes unleashed the comfort of Boost on a pair of casual sneakers. By the end of 2015, they dropped the first NMD (Nomad): the NMD_R1.
Pharrell Williams x adidas Hu NMD
and Hu NMD Trail
and Hu NMD Trail
If one collaboration with a rapper was successful for adidas, why not repeat that success? When adidas launched the "Human Race" line with Pharrell Williams, it was a smash like Kanye West's Yeezy line. The Hu has a Boost midsole similar to the R1, but the midfoot plugs connect to a smart lacing system that gives the Hu its trademark look. The clean silhouette offers plenty of real estate for messages, and just about every colorway comes with something inspiring or funny embroidered across the front. Hu NMDs feature multiple traction patterns, including flat rubber outsole and rugged "Trail" versions.
Hu NMDs are some of the most successful NMDs ever released, and many colorways sell well over retail, with specific colorways going for four digits. Notable Hu NMD releases include:
NMD Hu Yellow
NMD Hu Holi Festival Chalk Coral
NMD Hu N.E.R.D. and Y.O.U. N.E.R.D. (multiple colorways)
NMD_R1: The Original NMD
The R1 might be one of the best casual "runner" lifestyle shoes adidas has produced. They're clean, versatile enough to wear with anything and come in countless colorways. They're also beloved by sneakerheads, hypebeasts and suburban teens across the globe. The R1s feature Boost midsoles with distinctive midsole plugs, inspired by adidas Originals like the Boston Super, Rising Star and Micropacer. The one-piece uppers are primarily mesh or Primeknit without a tongue.
Although R1s once commanded high resale prices, oversaturation of the marketplace caused their value to drop. Today, many colorways can now be acquired for a steal—although some still sell well above retail. Because these shoes are so comfortable and come in various colors, including the popular white NMD, collectors often grab up a few. As specific colorways become rarer, this iconic shoe will likely increase in value.
Notable R1 releases include:
- OG Black, Red and Blue
- Bape Olive Camo and Bape Black Camo
- Japan Triple Black and Japan Triple White
For 2016, the NMD debuted a mid-top chukka edition. C1s sat on the same Boost sole but featured a new desert boot upper with classic chukka lacing. C1s come in suede and mesh varieties and include collaborations with Porter and adidas Consortium X END. Most C1s sell for retail or less, but the OG black, blue and red colorway commands the highest resale price.
NMD_CS1 City Sock
City Socks took the "urban nomad" look to the next level with a seamless one-piece Primeknit upper that hugs the foot like a sock. The CS1s are some of the most distinctive adidas shoes, with super-sleek knit uppers sitting on top of the iconic NMD Boost soles.
As they did with the R1, adidas dropped plenty of CS1 colorways, collabs and special editions. Most CS1s sell for less than retail, but certain colorways pack some heat on the resale market. Notable CSI releases include:
- Parlay Blue Spirit, with Primeknit constructed from recycled ocean plastic
- Bold Branding White and Bold Branding Blacks
- GTX PK Gore-Tex
The XR1s added a techy midfoot cage to the NMD for extra stability and updated the midsole with a smaller front plug. Similar to the R1, the XR1s launched in many colorways, using different textures of Primeknit to create intricate patterns like Zebra and Glitch Camo. Like many other NMDs, most XR1s sell for retail or less—but a few standout colorways command much higher price tags.
Notable XR1 releases include:
- XR1 OG Black
- XR1 Glitch Camo Oreo
- XR1 White Duck Camo
Every good movie deserves a sequel, and the NMD R2 was a worthy follow-up to the R1. With a textural knit upper pattern and Boost cushioning like the R1, the R2 shed the midsole plugs on the lateral side and added a new midsole plug on the medial side. They're super clean and said to be even more comfortable than the R1s. Most sequels don't match the original's success, and though the R2 didn't draw crowds the way the R1 did, it's still a great addition to any sneakerhead's collection.
NMD_CS2 City Sock 2
The CS2 was to the City Sock what the R2 was to the R1—a second incarnation. It features the same midsole and an all-new one-piece Primeknit upper that wraps the foot with its asymmetric design. The shoe is every bit as sleek as the original CIty Sock, but like the R2, it didn't quite live up to its predecessor. The CS2 is known to be more comfortable than the City Sock, and at reasonable resale prices, it's definitely worth a second look.
Another spin on the original NMD_R1, the R1 STLT streamlined the style by adding laces and textures similar to the Yeezy Boost 350. This mashup shoe of sorts was released in several colorways, and you can likely find it on the resale market for less than retail.
In yet another variation on the R1, the R1 V2 doesn't remove midsole plugs but doubles down on them. Additional updates include a heel clip and extra tech features for more structure and style. The R1 V2 also features a no-tongue design and comfortable Boost midsole similar to the original. And for a high-tech look, it added lace loops and fused materials on the midsole.
Unlike the original R1, the V2 has yet to be released in hundreds of colorways, so resale values can't match the iconic original R1s. Still, the R1 V2 is a great sneaker to add to your collection's rotation.