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Cassidy Myers

Sneakerology 101: MY ADIDAS

Originally released in 1969 as a basketball shoe, the adidas Superstar was one of the first sneakers to feature an upper made entirely of leather. The shoe, which also became known simply as "shell toes" because of the distinctive rubber toe cap, quickly became a classic.

 

Popularized and worn on the court by NBA Hall of Famer and Lakers legend, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the iconic silhouette is regarded as one of the major influences in the rise of modern day sneaker culture. Similar to the Jordan 1 that I've written about before, the Superstar had the style and versatility to make the transition from its intended purpose as a performance shoe on the basketball court to a streetwear staple.

 

By the 1980's, the shoes had become so mainstream that legendary rap group, Run DMC had started wearing them on stage in a very unique way - no laces and the tongue hanging out over the top. The group even released a single on their 1986 album, Raising Hell, called My Adidas. (Try reading that without saying "my adidas" the way he does in the song.)

 

Not long after, the group signed a deal with adidas, marking the first time in the history of sportswear that a shoe company partnered with a musician to sell sneakers - a practice that is now widely used across the industry.

 

Now, nearly 50 years after the original release of the shoe, it remains adidas' highest selling shoe year after year. In fact, in 2016, the Superstar was the highest-grossing shoe across all brands for the entire year. This milestone for the classic sneaker marked the first time in more than a decade that a Nike shoe didn't earn the top spot (though Nike did have the other 9 shoes on the list). 

 

As evidenced by the enduring popularity of the Jordan 1, the Chuck Taylor and the adidas Superstar, there's no substitute for a timeless product with a style that can withstand the test of time.

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