Has there ever been footwear that deserves its name more than the Adidas Superstar? Apart from maybe the Converse All Star, we have to say no.
Three strong diagonal stripes that sat against a background of crisp white leather and were brought to life by a trademarked rubber toe cap. This relapse favorite offers a master class in characteristic subtlety that exceeds time and trends.
It may look simple, but this nondescript low-top basketball shoe has dramatically messed things up both on and off the court. Now, in his 50th year, the superstar is widely regarded as a catalyst for sneaker culture, and his takeover by pioneers of the early hip-hop style has only further cemented his cult status.
On the occasion of its half-century Adidas has announced collaborations with greats like Prada and model Blondy McCoy. And rumors are buzzing about a new collaboration with Run-DMC, which famously wore the shoe in the 1980s.
The showpiece goes with what makes it one of the most influential sneakers of all time. It remains largely unchanged from its original design and is still relevant. What it is worth examining the subtleties of this classic sportswear and why it is worth expanding your range of shoes.
Adidas Superstars: 50 years of sneaker history
The year 1969 was not without revolutionary events. It was the first time the moon was entered, the Boeing 747 made its maiden voyage and the Beatles made their last public appearance on the roof of Apple Records. Regarding shoes, however, the biggest news was the introduction of a new low-top version of Adidas & # 39; Pro Model basketball shoe, called Superstar (although the brand called 2020 an anniversary year).
In terms of design, the superstar was the first low-top basketball shoe made from leather. something that sets it apart from the competition. The success on professional dishes was largely due to the work of the then Adidas consultant Chris Severn, who not only helped him design the shoe, but also marketed it in gyms.
Severn pleaded with players and coaches to try it out, knowing that otherwise they would never look back. "They had all played life on canvas; the superstar looked completely alien to them," he said in the book Sneaker Wars. "They weren't paid for by Converse; it was just a habit."
In the first Years ago, the superstar was worn by more than three-quarters of all NBA players who preferred it for the firm grip that the leather upper offered when cornering quickly on the court. It was a significant improvement to the canvas upper that had previously dominated the market release.
However over the years the superstar got a taste of his own medicine. Thanks to advances in shoe technology, it became superfluous on the pitch and, like the Converse All Star before, was supposed to spend the rest of its days as a lifestyle sneaker.
As it turned out, this was the superstar's true calling. It wasn't long before the “Shell Toe”, as it became known, was an important part of hip-hop culture, not least thanks to its introduction together with the Adidas tracksuit as a kind of unofficial uniform for the genre definition of group run DMC.
Run DMC's love of the superstar and the resulting track My Adidas really cemented the superstar as a cultural icon and made it accessible to a wider audience. Today, it is probably better known for its connections to hip-hop than for its time as a basketball sneaker, and it remains one of the most popular shoes that Adidas has ever made.
What makes the Adidas Superstar great?
The superstar's enduring appeal lies in the fact that he is simple, almost minimalist, without being boring or without character.