adidas Forum Mid MOTW Japan

  • MADE ON: --/06
  • ART.NO: 015434
  • FACTORY: PWC 681001

By far one of the nicest shoes from adidas’ Materials Of The World series, the Japan-inspired Forum Mid is certainly a rarity worth grailing for.

So hard to come by, in fact, that I personally pulled the trigger on mine even knowing they were a full size too big. With only 1200 worldwide and a release date of over six years ago (at the time of writing this, in early 2013) these are definitely not the rarest pair out there by any means. And to boot, there’s even two makes to choose from, as adidas pushed out a similar – more flowery – pair for the ladies as well. Yet still, somehow, the Materials Of The World series (its trainers and its tracksuit tops) continue to elude me in my constant hunt for a full collection.

The second part of that last statement ain’t quite right; I’m actually not after an entirely full set of MOTW gear. In fact I do believe that the quality of material, general creativity of design, and overall concept of the MOTW series has gone from nearly luxurious to basically cheap and overpriced. I don’t mean to be too harsh here, but after all, a series by such a worldly name should pretty much bestow some almost nearly epic creations.

Quality qualms aside, these Forum Mid’s, part of the MOTW Japan Pack, certainly embody that criteria for me, mostly due to their incredibly simple, subtle jean upper that is blasted to life with bits of blooming pink and red patterning across the ankle collar and behind the tongue. The brown, leather, punctured sockliner (not pictured here) is also a touch of class, well hidden to hungry onlookers, as if the shoe itself had a sense of privacy.

Beyond their own fresh and lively design – and that of the similar, above-mentioned, women’s pair – there’s also a small quantity of jackets floating around out there somewhere as part of the MOTW Japan pack. Packaged with the shoes is a sweet little book that shows off the MOTW release from 2006, including pairs to represent India, Germany, England, USA, and Africa. The book also provides a nice little statement explaining why they’ve chosen denim for this pair to represent Japan:

Japanese selvage denim is recognized around the world as some of the finest denim available. Its soft and comfortable qualities are achieved with the use of old style, mechanical shuttle looms. These machines produce a narrow fabric which means that the cloth becomes denser and softer. The denim is also given the selvage finish – a device that prevents fraying or unraveling. Extra value is given to the denim with the sensational dying process which is often overseen by an ‘aishi’, or indigo master.

Overall a relatively self-confident pair, though I must admit not a sturdy one. Sure, they’re as durable as any Forum Mid, which is reasonable enough for a casual, hangin’ about around the house basketball shoe, though they are by far no hardcore boot, and their rarity makes it even harder to consider them an outdoor shoe. But really, who’s buying these for utility at the typical (two hundred bones or more) price they’re fetching in online auctions? All I can say is if you grab a pair, don’t be alarmed at the ’1 of 1200′ printed on the back of the tongue: this means you’ve got ‘one of’ not the ‘first of’. Almost made that mistake myself until I happened upon my fourth pair of MOTW trainers and realized three out of three is lucky, but four out of four is just unbelievable.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol