In commemoration of the upcoming Jackie Robinson Day on April 15th, adidas Baseball unleashed these special edition No. 42 inspired cleats, and simply put, they are works of art. Cleat envy at an all-time high right now.
Inspired by Robinson’s accomplishments on and off the field, adidas designers took the adizero Afterburner 2 – the lightest cleat in baseball at 8.7oz. – and the new Energy Boost Icon 2 to create the one of a kind cleats that pay homage to Brooklyn Dodgers legend.
The sick spikes were influenced by the way Jackie Robinson changed with game with his speed, and the initial concept for the cleats started with a hand-drawn sketch of Robinson stealing and sliding into second base. That sketch became the centerpiece of the design and evolved into a complete retrospective of his career.
To highlight the second baseman’s accolades, newspaper style headlines showcasing Robinson’s impact on the game are featured throughout the upper of the cleats. Further honoring his legacy, Robinson’s universally retired uniform number, 42, is embroidered into the center of a baseball diamond and the prominently displayed on the inside panels of the cleats.
Encapsulating the heritage and craftsmanship of the times, adidas’ Jackies incorporate heather wool materials that pay homage to the wool uniforms and caps that players wore during the 1940’s. Combining nostalgia with innovation, the retro wool panels are joined with a digitally printed SPRINTSKIN panels on the adizero Afterburner 2 and premium nubuck on the Energy Boost Icon 2, and both are highlighted with throwback baseball stitch detailing.
The tip the cap to Robinson’s talent and character continues with inspirational sports and equality quotes which are featured on the sockliners of each cleat:
· “Above anything else, I hate to lose.”
· “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
Unfortunately, unless you’re playing in the Majors or for the UCLA Bruins, you’re going to have an extremely hard time getting your hands on these limited editions, as adidas has not yet designated them for public release.
At the very least, though, these amazing designs deserve a spot in Cooperstown’s Jackie Robinson exhibit because they are so sweet.