Although many people learn to slackline barefoot, most graduate to wearing shoes for better protection from the nylon tape when doing tricks. Take a look at any slackliner's feet and you will usually find some sort of flat bottomed, sticky soled shoe such as Vans, Vibram Five Fingers, or Five Ten Freeriders.
Taking advantage of the Five Ten ownership and access to the company's wealth of sticky rubber, Adidas has created a slackline specific shoe to address this growing market for Spring 2014. The Slackcruiser uses a standard skate shoe construction but features a Stealth rubber outsole to deliver optimum grip and sensitive feel on the tape.
So do you really need a dedicated slacklining shoe? The Slackcruisers are built with an extremely low profile to give you maximum surface area for the Stealth rubber to do its magic, providing unbeatable grip. Your feet are also low to the ground inside the shoe, giving you a more natural feel on the slackline.
Slackliner Lukas Irmler worked closely together with the Adidas product designers to developer the Slackcruiser. "The cool thing about the Slackcruiser with Stealth is the grip, which is an advantage not only on the slackline; straightforward approach climbs for highlining are also no problem."
In addition to grip, Lukas Irmler was looking for good edge stability, durability and agility. As a result, the forefoot of the Slackcruiser is very flexible and sensitive, while the mid-foot offers good stability.
Because these shoes have to withstand frequent jumps and contact with the line, they are made from tough canvas and are reinforced with TPU. As the toe caps are subjected to a bashing when you are doing tricks, they are also made from durable TPU. Precision launching and landing is enabled by the full-length sole edge.
The Adidas Slackcruiser slacklining shoes retail for €99.95 or around $130, available Spring 2014.