A celebrity favourite and the ultimate leisure shoe

Adidas Superstar

Destined to stand the test of time

Adidas Gazelle

The ZX500 was a serious running shoe

Adidas ZX500

Originally produced for an entirely different tennis player

Adidas Stan Smith

Could be the ultimate Football-terrace classic

Adidas Trimm-Trab

One of the greatest trainers of all time

Adidas Campus

SL stands for super light

Adidas SL72

80’s Casuals trainer of choice

Adidas Forest Hills

The ultimate school playground classic

Adidas Samba

Trainer Addict

It all started back in the school playground. Most kids had Adidas Kick, then Mamba. If you were really cool, Adidas Samba. I grew up in a single income family, my parents simply couldn’t afford to pay for decent trainers. Teenage growth spurts and destructive playground antics and they couldn’t keep up. If my classmates needed new shoes, they magically appeared. We didn’t have that luxury. So, I got a paper round.

In order to be able to wear trainers to school they had to be black. My teachers at school insisted that we black out the white stripes with a permanent marker. I told them to where they could stick that! After weeks of my nose being pressed up against the glass shop front of Knight Sports on Chingford Mount just drooling over the amazing trainers on show. I had the cash from my first two weeks earnings in my hand. Upstairs in that little shop was like and an Aladdin’s cave with three walls of sports shoes of all different kinds from floor to ceiling. I walked home from that shop with the biggest smile on my face. I had worked really hard get that money and waited what seemed like an eternity. The idea of defacing them with a black marker somehow seemed sacrilegious.

Modern day classic
I consider what Adi Dassler did in those early days of innovation at Adidas to be truly outstanding. Good design is about hitting the sweet spot between form and function. The passion and vision displayed here is inspirational, simply years ahead of his time. The finesse applied to Adidas Originals as they are now known is incredible. They have truly stood the test of time and transcended beyond the sports use they were intended and created a whole new market, the leisure shoe.

So yes, I am what you would refer to as a Superfan. At my wedding, we even named the tables after different Adidas trainer. Before you say anything, it was my wife’s suggestion, she knew that I would have fun creating the illustrations. See below.

Just some of the trainers I have collected over the years from far and wide. This cupboard is just for the ones to be worn.

Adidas Superstar

A celebrity favourite and the ultimate leisure shoe
Introduced in 1969, the Superstar was a low-top version of the Pro Model and was the first low-top leather basketball shoe.

to be made. Immediately identifiable by its rubber toe box, it became known to millions as the ‘Shelltoe’. The styling and chunky fit were soon adopted by key figures on the hip-hop scene, and the shoe reached iconic status when rap group Run-DMC endorsed it.

Examining the heel and tongue of a shoe can reveal a lot about when and where it was made. The original French manufactured versions became the most desirable as the shoe’s popularity spread to other scenes, such as skateboarding in the early and mid 1990s.

To show individuality, customisation became a necessity when lacing and colouring these shoes. The Adidas Shelltoe and fat laces go hand in hand.

Adidas Gazelle

Destined to stand the test of time
There is much speculation about the Gazelle’s original purpose. The general consensus seems to be that this model was originally intended as an athletic training shoe. Whatever its initial function, the Gazelle is certainly a beautiful shoe.

It made real impact on the early 80s UK hip-hop scene, when the likes of the Superstar and Campus were not yet widely available. It was also good for dancing.

As well as being a high favourite b-boys and football fans, the Gazelle would not look out of place at indie and Acid-Jazz venues. It was also adopted by Brit-pop groups in the 90s.

Adidas ZX500

The ZX500 was a serious running shoe
Originally designed as a high-mileage trail and running shoe, the adidas ZX500 has a nylon upper with velour trim, and is available in a wide range of colourways.

With its TPU heel counter (for added stability) and EVA midsole, it is ideal for anyone who has problems with motion control. All parts of the ZX500 work together in perfect harmony. This model was reissued in 2002.

Later versions were released in the form of the ZX700. Both versions going down well on the running track as well as the the high street with a pair of jeans. The ZXs Fast became a classic.

Adidas Trimm-Trab

Could be the ultimate Football-terrace classic
The Trimm-trab was released in different colourways and was made with high-quality materials: the upper was suede and the sole was dual-density polyurethane. This make-up made it the shoe to have in the mid 1980’s.

The launch of the Trimm-Trab was followed by that of the Trimm-Trab 2 in 1984 and the Trimm-Trab Star in 1985, but it is the original that remains the post popular. In 2004, it was reissued by popular demand.

Adidas Campus

One of the greatest trainers of all time
Campus were originally introduced in the early 1970s as the Tournament, but was renamed in around 1980. Its reputation is such that it is now worn by trainer fans the world over.

Although associated with the hip-hop scene, the Campus only really gained its cult following after Brooklyn rappers the Beastie Boys started to wear the shoe religiously. The cover of their 1992 album Check Your Head immortalised it.

From this launch pad, the Campus was adopted by skateboarders worldwide. Not only did it look good, but it came in a range of great colours and was durable. The shoe was seen as an excellent lightweight model. Its ability to complement denim was an added advantage.

Adidas Stan Smith

Originally produced for an entirely different tennis player
The earliest version of this shoe was produced in 1964 for French tennis player Robert Haillet. In 1965, American tennis pro Stan Smith came to the attention of Adidas.

Haillet’s name was replaced with Smith’s, and subsequent models had his face and signature on the tongue.

Stan’s are the consumate classic adidas trainer and have been released in various forms and colours over the last four decades or so.

Adidas SL72

SL stands for super light
This feather-light training shoe was originally designed for the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

The upper was constructed from breathable nylon weave, but the shoe’s most distinctive features were a traction tread outsole, a built-in heel counter and rubber toe-box reinforcements.

These classics also looked awesome with a pair of kick-out Levis. Don’t believe it, check out the opening titles of Starsky & Hutch.

Adidas Forest Hills

80’s Casuals Adidas trainer of choice
The Forest Hills tennis shoe was produced in many different styles during the 1970s and 1980s.The version we recognise today as Forest Hills was adopted by British Football fans and so called Casuals during the 1980s.

Completing the emsemble of Lacoste rollneck, Fila tracksuit top and Lois Jumbo cords. It was all about the lables and the gold stripes just topped it off.

There are many urban myths surrounding who wore the first Forest Hills. This has helped to increase the shoe’s status, cultural-historical standing and fan base.