Adidas A.R Trainer

Way back in 1988, Adidas debuted their original tennis trainer that would help tennis players excel on the court. The updated version of this sneaker launched onto the sneaker market in January of 2019 with a very similar style design. While it is an updated version with a few added technologies, it still features a retro silhouette complete with an off-white outsole and bright white upper. The paneled leather design is sleek and meets the current style trends with its ventilation holes and all white design similar to sneakers of the 80s. Although there are many more technologically advanced options on the market today in terms of tennis sneakers, these are a great option for anyone looking to add to their retro-inspired casual sneaker collection.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Retro-inspired design meets current style trends
  • Durable leather upper
  • Wider platform for support and stability
  • Paneled design adds style and support
  • EVA midsole for added comfort
  • Affordable casual sneaker
  • Cons
    • Not necessarily suited for competitive tennis matches
    • Only comes in one color way
    • Key Features
      The outsole of these retro-inspired casual wear sneakers is made up of a durable rubber built to withstand daily wear. Because the sneaker is patterned after a 1980’s Adidas tennis court sneaker, the outsole does not feature an aggressive lug system. Rather, it is designed using a tennis-like pattern with grooves throughout and a pivot point at the ball of the foot. The outsole is flush with the ground but is grippy enough to ensure a sure step. The middle of the outsole boasts Adidas’ well-known vintage trefoil logo design with the word “Adidas” in all lower case letters just above it. The outsole is made to look vintage and sports an off-white color.
      This sneaker’s midsole features EVA foam and rubber and works with the outsole to create a wide, firm platform in which to walk. There is not a ton of cushioning involved, but there is enough to allow for everyday comfort. The EVA foam will reduce the impact of naturally-occurring shock while you walk and will keep your feet comfortable. The outer edges of the forefoot area of the midsole are reinforced with stitched rubber for added durability. The midsole is the same color as the outsole, an off-white color to give it the vintage look.
      The upper of this retro tennis-inspired sneaker is made up of a durable leather material which is a nod to its original predecessor introduced in the 80s. The leather is placed in paneled construction design and has smooth lines to give it a sleek silhouette. The forefoot area features an additional panel that runs around the toe and boasts small ventilation holes in a v-formation. The medial and lateral sides of the midfoot feature Adidas’ well-known three stripes in a subtle tri-tone color. In between these stripes are more ventilation holes for added airflow. The inner lining of this sneaker features a soft knit material for added comfort and the heel counter rises up to cover your Achilles and lock your heel in place. The upper also features an OrthoLite sock liner for comfort and performance. The tongue is also lightly padded for additional comfort. The lacing system is a traditional lacing system and has reinforced eyelets at the top to allow for a durable and adaptable fit.
      Due to the fact that these are engineered to be casual sneakers, they are not designed to deliver an extremely lightweight performance. With that said, the EVA midsole is very lightweight, making it not feel extremely heavy underfoot. These are patterned after an 80s tennis sneaker so they have a solid platform and sturdy leather upper, making them heavier than mesh running sneakers.
      The Adidas A.R. Trainer has a solid and durable leather upper so that means that it is not an extremely breathable sneaker. Other sneakers that feature a more lightweight material such as engineered mesh will be more breathable in comparison. With that said, the sneaker does feature some ventilation holes at the toe area and on the medial and lateral sides of the foot. These will help to increase airflow but still do not make these shoes all that breathable.
      These retro-inspired sneakers were released fairly recently so there is not a whole lot of information regarding their comfort level. However, tennis shoes tend to be built to be supportive and have a wider foot platform so they should feel good on your feet. The EVA foam midsole will deliver some underfoot comfort. Because the upper is made of leather, they are likely to feel more constricting on your feet than mesh sneakers will so if you have feet with more volume, you may want to consider trying them on before purchasing them. The Ortholite sock liner is designed to deliver some levels of comfort as well and the inner lining of the shoe features some padding around the heel and tongue to help prevent irritation.
      One look at the Adidas A.R. Trainer, and you will know that they are patterned after a vintage sneaker. In the 1980s, Adidas introduced the original A.R. Trainer and this one is designed to mimic that, with a slightly updated silhouette. Currently, one style trend on the sneaker market is retro sneakers and this one definitely fits that bill. They are currently only available in one colorway which is a white upper with an off-white midsole and outsole, giving it more of a vintage appeal.
      Even though these sneakers are patterned after a 1980s performance tennis sneaker that was designed to perform on the tennis court, the more modern version of the Adidas A.R. Trainer is built to be a casual lifestyle sneaker. Despite that fact, they are still engineered to be durable sneakers. The outsole features a thick layer of rubber that runs up over the toe area and the lateral and medial sides of the midsole to help the sneaker maintain its structural integrity. The upper is made using a durable leather material that is able to withstand lots of wear and tear. Because leather tends to be sturdier than other softer materials such as mesh, it will be able to hold its shape over time.
      The thick rubber outsole of these sneakers will keep your feet protected from underfoot debris and works with the midsole to make a wider platform for your feet so you should be protected during any lateral and back and forth movements. The toe area of the forefoot features the outsole rubber as it runs up the front in order to protect the toe against toe drag; a common trait found in tennis sneakers. The forefoot also has an additional sewn panel running around the front of it which will protect your toes and help the sneaker to maintain its shape. The sturdy leather upper will protect your feet by keeping your foot locked solidly in place within the foot chamber while the heel counter will protect your Achilles and secure your heel within the shoe.
      These sneakers are patterned after tennis shoes meaning their response will be similar to typical tennis sneakers. There is no soft cushiony midsole that will deliver a springy walk but there is a relatively soft EVA midsole that will absorb a certain level of shock and help your feet stay comfortable during all-day wear. The rubber on the outsole will respond to your movements by keeping your feet supported and helping you move with agility side to side or front to back.
      As mentioned previously, the outsole and midsole of these sneakers form together to make a wider base for your feet to be supported during lateral and back and forth movements. Tennis sneakers are typically engineered to provide support in this manner because of how your feet move during a match. The wide base will provide a solid platform to protect you against rolling your ankles. The sturdy leather upper on these shoes also provides support by holding your feet in place. Because leather is firmer and more resilient than other softer materials, the sneaker will lock your feet in place and will support them effectively. The heel counter securely locks your heel in place and supports your heel by covering it thoroughly. Even though these are meant to be casual lifestyle sneakers, they are still fairly supportive thanks to their engineering.
      These vintage-inspired sneakers are patterned after retro tennis sneakers and are built very similarly. The thick rubber outsole is designed to be worn on solid ground such as clay or concrete tennis courts or on everyday ground materials such as asphalt, concrete, or well-packed ground. The Adidas A.R. Trainer does not boast an aggressive outsole but it does feature a grippy rubber pattern that will keep you sure-footed in day-to-day wear.
      Because the Adidas A.R. Trainer is practically brand new to the market, the price tag is still fairly high for a casual lifestyle sneaker. For a price tag of $100, you can purchase these stylish retro-inspired shoes to add to your shoe collection.
      By design, tennis shoes are made to be grippy but not overly aggressive in terms of traction. The outsole has enough patterned detail to help you grip the ground easily and not slip on dry or wet ground. Like any sneaker without a lot of protruding lugs, they will not grip well on more uneven terrain, but they will deliver decent traction on sidewalks, roads, or well-groomed trails.
      Tennis sneakers are not typically known for their flexibility due to their engineering. The thick rubber outsole and firm, sturdy upper do not leave a lot of room for flex. Because these are modeled after tennis sneakers, they are not very flexible. The upper is made of durable soft leather which is semi-flexible but not extremely. If you are looking for a flexible casual shoe, these may not be the right fit for you.
      Although neither tennis sneakers nor casual sneakers are typically labeled to be “stability shoes”, tennis sneakers do offer a decent amount of stability. The wider platform that is made by the outsole and midsole of these shoes helps your feet to stay stable underneath you and will help you stay sure-footed. The upper is engineered using supportive rubber on its entirety which will keep your foot supported and stabilized because it is firm and in no way flimsy. The heel counter on these shoes extends higher up on the Achilles and will keep your ankle stabilized as well.
      The Adidas A.R Trainer does not have a whole lot of drop to it. This is mainly because there is not a lot of cushioning technology underfoot, other than the minor amount of EVA foam and Ortholite sock liner. The drop is not really something you need to be overly concerned with when purchasing casual sneakers and not even really when purchasing tennis sneakers.
      Key Features
      - Durable leather upper is both supportive and has a stylish retro design
      - EVA midsole material helps to create a comfortable underfoot experience
      - Ortholite sock liner for added comfort
      - Multipurpose training sole unit can be worn on multiple tennis or casual surfaces
      Bottom Line
      Adidas definitely hits the nail on the head in the current retro-inspired-sneaker category with the A.R Trainer. The original version debuted in the 80s and this one is a great update that not only matches current style demands but also is a great nod to its predecessor from decades ago. Although these are styled to look like the original tennis trainer, they are not necessarily meant to be worn in competitive fitness arenas. Rather, they are more of a casual sneaker but that doesn’t mean they can’t be worn on the tennis courts for a friendly neighborhood game of tennis or two. The wider platform made by the outsole and midsole combination will give you great traction if you do decide to use them on the courts and the sleek leather upper will keep you supported. If you are in the market for a great-looking pair of vintage-inspired sneakers, these are a great option but if are a competitive tennis player, you may want to wear these off the court and look into investing into a more technologically-advanced pair for your matches.
      Where to Buy
      By Abbie Copeland
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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