Since the announcement of its partnership with Parley in 2015, adidas has pushed the concept of creating more sustainable products for its customers. A few months back, the brand announced its latest collaboration with the recycling company with its Made for Tomorrow pack. The adidas Nizza Parley was one of the sneakers born from the collab.
The brand’s offering to the causes is featured in two key aspects within the manufacturing process – the utilisation of recycled (or partially recycled materials) as well as being a lot eco-friendlier during manufacturing (a step towards carbon neutrality). While we’re still a long way off from these two facets reaching 100% completeness, the brand still continues to push the envelope with a few of its designs.
Design and Build
We’ve seen from previous reviews that adidas is still able to maintain its design aesthetic on some of its most prominent ranges, including the Ultraboost and classic Stan Smith sneakers, despite its push towards using materials with more recycled elements or changing in manufacturing processes. The Nizza Parley follows form, in this regard, offering new processes and technologies, while still producing a good-looking sneaker for consumers.
As with the rest of the Made for Tomorrow pack, the adidas Nizza Parley is based on a classic silhouette from the brand’s archives. The Nizza is a sneaker originally released in the 70s. As you can bet, with a lot of similar classics, the Nizza was a court-based sneaker, which featured heavily in the basketball arena. It is featured in both hi-top and low-cut versions. That being said, this variant is only loosely based on the concept, keeping its original shape but stripping away quite a bit of everything else.
For a sneaker that features an all-white upper and midsole in a seemingly minimalist design, there are quite a lot of intricacies when looking closer at the details. For starters, it features a mix of materials. The textile upper features a construction heavily influenced by Parley-laced materials. This includes a mix of recycled materials – although we’ll discuss that further down the review. The one area that seems more conventional is the suede toe-cap. Although it doesn’t quite fit into the rest of the sneaker, it does add a nice touch to complete the list of materials.
Where the design becomes more technical details lie in the overlays and the stitching thereof. There are about four different overlays that stack from the heel to the front, with the toe-cap in the front technically being the fifth overlay. Each of these has a difference in texture, creating a cascading appearance. As for the stitching, while it aligns to the edges of each overlay, it also goes beyond this. The most pronounced stitch is that of the three-stripe logo on both the lateral and medial sides. This section of stitching runs across two of the overlays to create the effect.
According to the adidas website, the redesigned Nizza features a BOOST midsole. However, this isn’t something that can be verified on appearance, unless you’re prepared to cut it open. The sneaker is covered with a rubber outsole. The rubber material has a pattern finish. This is featured in two versions, with a ripple pattern on the sides around the entire sneaker and a wave pattern underneath.
Simplicity and complexity overlap with the adidas Niza Parley. Overall, the design elements are great, while featuring an understated appearance until you get up close to see the detail.
In terms of comfort, the adidas Nizza Parley delivers a bit of a mixed bag. When putting on the sneakers for the first time, they feel relatively comfy. There is sufficient padding on the interior, especially around the collar area. This gives your foot a snug feel with no slippage. The foot is perfectly cushioned through the inside of the sneaker. In addition to the padding, it also has a very soft insole. The insole, however, is non-removable, so not as easy to wash when you’d like.
As mentioned previously, the midsole does feature adidas’ BOOST material. This means that it should offer sufficient bounce and energy return on each step. However, it doesn’t come into play all that much when surrounded by a tough rubber outsole. The issue I had in terms of comfort with the Nizza is its weight – most of it from the heel area. The heel itself looks more pronounced than conventional sneakers so it’s no surprise that it would be heavier in that region.
After spending around five hours running errands, I could feel my heels starting to pain. This was prominent when needing to lift the heel during the gate cycle, which isn’t uncommon for runners. The issue may also stem from a rugged rubber outsole, which doesn’t have a lot of flex, along with a near-straight bed. There is no assisted toe-off and the likes as a result, forcing the wearer to do the heavy lifting themselves.
adidas Nizza Parley Performance and Quality
The adidas Nizza Parley undoubtedly has the quality aspect nailed. With a mix of recycled materials at the fore, the construction is a key aspect of the design and build. This means that adidas and Parley wouldn’t release a product to the market which could jeopardise the image of its next-generation sneakers. And that quality shines through in the construction. It feels sturdy, and durable and adds a layer of comfort.
Touching on the materials used during manufacturing, having partnered with Parley, there are quite a number of recycled plastics used when creating it. adidas claims that 50% of the materials used Parley Ocean Plastic with the other 50% crafted from a more conventional, yet still impressive, recycled polyester.
There has been quite a bit of contention in recent months regarding the use of actual recycled ocean plastic. The process to reuse plastics that have found their way into the sea, whether it be nets, bottles and everything else in between, the process to recycle those are exponentially harder than plastics collected near the oceans on the beachfront – what is termed “ocean-bound” plastic. The latter is what Parley and adidas use in their manufacturing process when recycling plastics. Irrespective of where it comes from, it is a much-needed addition to the world of fashion – modern solutions to historical problems. All of this drives its future goals towards a 100% recycled-material product and carbon-neutral manufacturing by 2050.
As mentioned, the sneaker features an all-white aesthetic. This means that, in its out-the-box state, it can easily pick up dirt that is also easily visible. With my luck with white sneakers, as soon as they’re out of the box they’ll pick up a scuff from nowhere without you even realising it. And this is precisely what happened when wearing the adidas Nizza Parley for the first time. Within a few minutes, I noticed a stain on the outsole. And with the ripple pattern, it wasn’t that easy to clean, needing to get in between the textured finish. Be sure to have a protective spray before wearing them for the first time, which may help a bit.
Final Thoughts on the adidas Nizza Parley
The adidas Nizza Parley is a really nice sneaker. If you’re into all-white aesthetics and clean lines, then it will definitely be up your alley. With its classic looks and modernised underlying materials and manufacturing processes, the sneaker is fit for the streets today. It may be a little bit on the weary side when it comes to longer periods while walking around, especially in the beginning but it will soften over time.
Given its newly-created processes and materials, it does come at a small premium. The sneaker retails for R2,799. It’s not completely on the extreme side but is high compared to the more conventional classic sneakers, from adidas themselves, too. That being said, it isn’t just a remake of the Nizza silhouette with new materials, it features an overhauled design with quite a lot of detail throughout.
The adidas Nizza Parley is available online at adidas.co.za, as well as in selected adidas stores and retail partners across the country.
adidas Nizza Parley
Although the adidas Nizza Parley is a classic silhouette, it is only that in theory. It has all the flair of a modern sneaker, along with recycled materials for a next-generation approach. It looks great with a lot of small details to enjoy.
- Recycled plastic materials
- Minimalist, all-white design with intricate detailing
- Internal cushioning
- Can get a bit heavy after a few hours
- Gets dirty fairly easy