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Photos: Watch them run

Adidas' so-called intelligent footwear, a running shoe known as the "1," has a chip that senses how much cushioning a runner needs.

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Adidas on Friday began selling the first model of its so-called intelligent footwear, a white and gold running shoe known simply as the Adidas-1, which is built around an onboard microprocessor. The shoes retail for about $250.

Credit: Adidas

Adidas-1 side view

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The Adidas-1 sneakers use a sensor and magnet to feed information to a microprocessor, indicating whether a runner's cushioning level is too soft or too firm. The processor then actuates a motor-driven cable system built into the arch of the shoe that changes the amount of padding applied to a person's foot.

Credit: Adidas

Bottom of Adidas-1

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Adidas contends that its Adidas-1 shoes' adaptive design closely mirrors the operation of human reflex nerves, adjusting to respond to changes in weight or pressure. The sneakers require a small replaceable battery, which Adidas says lasts for roughly 100 hours of running, or what it expects to be the normal life for a pair of its shoes.

Credit: Adidas

Adidas-1 back