Whenever a new tech trend emerges, you can be sure to see one or more leading 'aspirational' fashion brands try to incorporate it into their products or marketing.

And, almost on cue, Adidas announces 'the augmented reality sneaker'.

The shoe company has created a virtual 3-D world that can be accessed using a new range of trainers.

Stay with us on this.

"The foundation of augmented reality lies in adding a layer to the real world," says Chris Barbour, head of digital marketing for Adidas Originals. "That's what we have done. We have taken a real world item and added a fantastic virtual world on top of that."

Users have to hold up their new shoes to Adidas' website in order to access this magical fantasy world via a code embedded in the trainer's tongue. You then use your flashy sneaker as a controller to navigate your way around this world.

"We are not trying to mimic a real-world look, we have a more stylized, pop-up book creative approach," adds Barbour. "The neighborhood is displayed on a two dimensional computer screen, but you can use your shoe to control the angle and depth of view and zoom in and out, giving a 3D sense of perspective."

Adidas has plans for three augmented reality games developed by xForm in the coming months: a skateboard game, a Star Wars-like game and a music-based game.

Adidas' new augmented reality shoes will be out in February. No news yet on Nike's plans to implement touchscreen-based tech into its new running shoes in 2010...

Via Wired.com