The Story Behind an Instant Classic | adidas SuperstarPublished:
October 03, 2020
Whether it is an athlete, actor, or musician, superstars are one in a million. A small list of extraordinary beings who managed to dominate their respective industries earned the right to be called superstars. A feat of this magnitude doesn’t come easy in the slightest. Blood, sweat, and tears are simply qualifications in hopes of reaching the top tier. Above all, superstars stand the test of time no matter the era. The self-proclaimed adidas ‘Superstar’ is just that, with over 40 years of shining bright on the sneaker culture.
Notoriously worn for Olympic competition, adidas was the top brand for track and field athletes in the early 1960s. Despite its running success, adidas began to set their sights on providing tennis shoes for basketball. Then chairman, Horst Dassler, had aspirations of tapping into the American market with a new design concept in mind for the hardwood classic sport. Older shoe models were hard on feet due to constant pounding on the court. Since the tennis shoe material wasn’t able to absorb much impact, unfortunately, athletes got the short end of the stick. What tends to show signs of distress first is usually the sole falling apart. The adidas brand came up with the bright idea of creating a leather shell toe designed to establish more stability with a fraction of the weight. The innovative shell toe design enabled sneakers from eventual wear and tear to lifelong durability. Due to its practically indestructible sole, the shoe was originally released in 1964 as the ‘Super Grip’.
After years of assimilation, adidas finally got basketball players on board with wearing their kicks. During resurgence, adidas decided to change the name from ‘Super Grip’ to ‘Superstar’. The world was on notice once the 1969 Boston Celtics team won their NBA championship wearing adidas Superstars. With the basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabar being the first official NBA player to endorse the brand, adidas made some strong strides to shape the culture.
The adidas brand went on to expand its global reach by signing the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame group RUN DMC back in the late 1980s. The iconic Hip-Hop trio wore adidas tracksuits and laceless shell toes unlike any other. This trendsetting style sparked a phenomenon that had fans rushing malls to emulate their distinct sense of style. RUN DMC’s 1986 sneaker anthem, “My Adidas” became the soundtrack for a new generation.
In the early 2000s, Adidas decided to enhance the 3 striped classics. The Adidas ‘Superstar 2’ debuted with a familiar silhouette, with richer materials and a thick padded tongue. With skateboarding being a hot commodity, the new edition became a fan favorite for avid skaters and thrill-seekers. The 2000s birthed a legacy list of dope collaborations with new age artists and design aficionados. Creatives and everyday wearers consider the Adidas ‘Superstar’ as a lifestyle sneaker these days.
Even though technology has exceeded its original model, people continue to cop the historic shoe today. As new kicks and colorways hit the market every day, the Adidas ‘Superstar’ continues to shine the brightest.