But a lot has changed since then in terms of sports-specific footwear. Reebok created the Nano specifically for CrossFit in 2011. And Nike made the Metcon in 2015. Brands like No Bull, Strike Movement, Inov8, and GoRuck have all made shoes for the sport. Adidas, which previously owned Reebok until 2021, stayed out of the lane.

Adidas has now started to sponsor CrossFit athletes, which isn’t all that surprising. It has a long history in making Olympic weightlifting shoes. But still, showing up to the event that’s going to qualify you for the CrossFit Games—regardless if you’re the fittest person in the field—and wearing a pair of sneakers that are more likely to be worn by football hooligans and fashionistas is a bold move. 

The shoes were so bold of a move that the commenter calling the Games noted that Horvath was wearing, “non-crossfit shoes.” Many saw it as a public signal declaring that she was no longer with Rad. We reached out to the brand, and they could not comment on the story. 

In a post on The Barbell Spin’s Instagram insinuating that Rad was too small to pay for Horvath’s services, Rad owner Ben Massey chimed in with an apparent joke, writing, “Bummed we couldn’t afford her anymore.” And Rad athlete Danielle Brandon replied, “yall spend too much on a small time athlete like me.”

But the world’s fittest woman leaving her footwear sponsor for a new one is a story, especially abruptly. And she wore a sneaker that’s become popular all of a sudden. Kith did a collaboration on the Handball Spezial last week. Sporty & Rich has a multiple-shoe collaboration on the silhouette coming out this week. And some of the most popular Adidas terrace models over the past couple decades have been versions of the Handball Spezial, such as the GT Manchester, Adidas Glasgow, and Adidas Birmingham. Go to SoHo in New York City and you’ll see people sporting the original colorway in an Argentina-esque blue. Strange to see for a shoe that wasn’t even available in the States until last year.

Horvath went on to wear the Spezials for the final event on Sunday that included calories on the Echo Bike, ring muscle ups, and heavy dumbbell lunges. She stood atop the podium in the shoes.

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