adidas Superstar trainer history

My adidas: The Return of The Superstar

The adidas Superstar trainer was one of the very first switchover trainer styles to slide off the B-ball courts of the 5 boroughs onto the sportswear savvy streets of NYC.

With all the hyped up “sneaker” releases, resale platforms, launches, raffles & everything else in between, it’s sometimes hard to keep up with the ever evolving trainer market. Nowadays it might well be some 14 year old kid with a “sneaker bot” & the brands’ themselves that dictate which styles will sell out the quickest. However, things were a lot different back in the 1980s. The subcultures and the music came first. Back in the late 70s & early 80s it was the Casuals & the original B-Boys that dictated what was cool and what wasn’t. The adidas Superstar was one of the very first switchover trainer styles where performance basketball shoes were first worn on the sportswear savvy streets of New York city.

adidas Superstar trainer history

Above: The adidas Superstar trainer in white/red/navy now available from 80s Casual Classics.

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First introduced as a basketball shoe in 1969, the Superstar featured leather uppers with the signature rubber shell-toe to the front of the shoe. By the early 1970s the Superstar had become the go-to shoe for 75% of all NBA players. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers was a big fan of the Superstar which was a revolutionary court trainer at the time. The Superstar’s basketball affiliation soon spread to the streets with the birth of sneaker culture as we know it today, usually worn with “fat” laces or sometimes no laces at all & the tongue popped out.

adidas Superstar trainer history

Above: The adidas Superstar trainer in white/red/navy now available from 80s Casual Classics.

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It was the Queens born rap group, Run DMC, that really took the Superstar to a new level of “Superstardom”. Donning the classic NYC B-boy look with full adidas tracksuits, adidas Superstar trainers with no laces and big gold chains that probably gave you neck ache they were that thick. They represented the streets, the sportswear uniform of the streets and they were proud of it. When the group released ‘My adidas’ in 1986, the 3 Stripes brand started to take note and would later sign an endorsement deal with Run DMC for $1.6 million. The move marked a seismic shift in the “sneaker” industry & the very first endorsement deal with a hip hop group for the 3 stripes brand. The deal would lead to further endorsements with the likes of Pharrell Williams, Snoop Dog, Stormzy & Jay Z. The 3 stripes connection to street culture and urban music continues to this day.

adidas Superstar trainer history

Above: The adidas Superstar trainer in white/red/navy now available from 80s Casual Classics.

SHOP NOW

As far as classic 3 stripes goes, it doesn’t really get much better than the Superstar. The OG 80s hip hop icon now arrives in a fresh new colourway which gives a nod to the archives & the silhouette’s NYC street appeal. Features include classic white leather uppers with blue & red 3 stripes to the sidewalls. The signature rubber shell features to the toe area with original trefoil branding to the tongue & “La marque aux 3 bandes”, the French translation of “The brand with 3 stripes”. Shop the classic adidas B-boy style now via the links.

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