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Adidas Achill: running shoe that protects the Achilles tendon (1968)

The Adidas Achill was released in 1968, and was designed as a running shoe for track events. The Adidas Achill was designed to protect the Achilles tendon from injury, and hence, the name "Achill" is short for Achilles. The Achill was released to coincide with the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics, and represented the design genesis of the modern running shoe. The 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics is famous for the 'black power' salute made by sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith on the winners podium. It should be noted that neither sprinter was wearing Adidas Achill's at the games; from a cursory examination of the 200m final pictures, it would appear they wore Puma's.

Shows a side profile of the achill in a red suede upper.

As stated, the Adidas Achill attempted to protect runners against Achilles tendon injuries; the Achill had a reinforced heel to achieve the claimed protection. A tendon is a strip of tissue that connects bone to muscle. The Achilles tendon runs from the calf muscle to the heel bone; therefore connecting the lower leg to the heel bone and facilitates the lifting of the heel from the floor. Two common Achilles tendon injuries are Tendonitis and Tendonosis; these are generally caused by a sudden repetitive overuse of the tendon which causes inflammation and tears in the tissue. The additional cushioning and reinforcement of the hell of the Adidas Achill is designed to lower the impact and strain placed upon the Achilles tendon.

Traditionally, the Adidas Achill is released with a nylon upper that has suede overlays to provide durability and stability. Modern versions of the Achill have been released with a full suede upper; now that the shoe is mostly worn as a casual sneaker. The Achill features D-ring eyelets for the laces, and has the classic three stripes design. The original Achill did not feature the trefoil logo on the heel patch: as the trefoil logo did not exist in 1968. The Achill also has a EVA midsole wedge for arch support and cushioning. The outsole features plenty of grooves to provide grip on a variety of running surfaces. The Achill has been released in numerous colourways; however, the shoe is currently not being manufactured by Adidas.