The adidas story started almost 100 years ago by the Dassler brothers in Herzogenaurach near Nuremberg in Germany. After the brothers split in the late 1940s, founder, Adolf ‘Adi’ Dassler, was the man who gave adidas its name during its relaunch.
Adi Dassler followed three guiding principles in his development work: produce the best shoe for the requirements of the sport, protect the athlete from injury, and make the product durable. Principles that still stand today.
In 1950, adidas shifted their focus onto football shoes with moulded rubber studs in the heels, the first of the Samba all-round football training shoes were launched on the market. Designed to help footballers that were training in icy conditions, the Samba is still, to this day, regarded as the classic indoor training shoe. The studded version of these sneaks is also believed to have helped West Germany’s national football team win the World Cup in 1954.
The 60s saw some classic adidas sneakers released, starting with the timeless Stan Smith silhouette. Originally named the Haillet, the trainer was marketed as the first-ever adidas tennis shoe and the very first leather tennis shoe. In 1978, the trainer officially became the adidas Stan Smith. With an all-leather upper and perforated three-stripe logo, these trainers have stood the test of time and are still one of the most worn adidas sneaks out there.
Arguably one of the most iconic sneakers released by adidas Originals, the adidas Gazelle was originally released in 1968 and can still be found on the feet of millions of people across the globe today. Originating as an athletics shoe for on the tracks, the sneak was soon adapted for Football in West Germany giving the trainer multi-purposes. The first adidas shoe to be made from suede, the Gazelle was a huge change from the typical leather sports shoe. The suede made the trainer lighter without compromising on comfort making it the ideal trainer for sports.
A low-top version of the Pro Model basketball shoe, the Superstar was originally a sneak made for the courts but after snowballing in popularity the silhouette has been re-imagined repeatedly over the past 50 years. When released in 1969 the sneak’s leather upper and shell toe had never been seen before and took off in 1970 when it caught the eye of professional basketball players, like Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Even after years of advances in the footwear industry, the adidas Superstar has managed to make a seamless transition from the court to the streets.
Adidas’ answer to the Converse All-Star, the adidas Nizza was a simple vulcanised sneak developed to provide a well-priced shoe which could be worn for both sport and leisure. However, the shoe soon became strongly associated with basketball. Featuring a canvas upper and blue embroidered 3-stripe, the trainer was re-released in 2017.
An icon of the 80s the adidas Campus was originally released as a basketball sneak and named the Tournament when it was first released in the early 1970s, however, was renamed Campus in 1980 helping it transition from the court to the pavement. If you want classic adi the Campus is as good as it gets, a soft upper and classic 3-stripe branding makes these sneaks timeless.
Released to coincide with the LA Olympic Games, this was adidas’ first trainer to use the patented peg cushioning system. Gaining recognition from the casual sportswear movement of the 80s and high-end athletes the sneak pushed sole technology to the max. The peg shock absorb system was introduced to enhance trainer stability, support and comfort for different athletes as they were able to adjust the level of cushioning to suit the activity by removing pegs.
Released in 1994, the first edition of the adidas Predator made a statement by adding rubber elements to the upper of the cleat to improve power and swerve- something that had never been seen before. The original prototype was created by former Middlesbrough and Liverpool player Craig Johnston who approached adidas for a collaboration.
The adidas Energy Boost saw the beginning of game-changing innovation in footwear. Featuring Boost technology, the trainer was designed as footwear for athletes promising 20% more energy return than a standard trainer sole. Made up of hundreds of white ‘energy capsules’ joined together BOOST was a revolutionary cushioning technology which provided the highest energy return in the running industry.
In 2015 Kanye West moved over to adidas for his Yeezy collaboration with the first release being the Yeezy Boost 750. The clean stone colourway was paired with the famous cross-strap and boost sole. This release saw the true beginning of the Yeezy hype. The initial release was limited to 9000 pairs and was only available in New York via the adidas app and sold out in 10 minutes.
2020 and Beyond
With adidas still killing it with fresh new silhouettes and reimagined classics, there is no denying that adidas is still one of the OGs of streetwear. Shop the full adidas collection including footwear and apparel for the freshest drops from the 3-stripes.