Probably most of the girls wearing an adidas Superstar 80S with a metal-toe nowadays do not know that this iconic sneaker used to be a performance basketball shoe – without the 3D-Metallic-Design of course. In order to follow its path from a performance basketball shoe to one of the hottest trends in streetwear culture: Ladies, listen carefully! We will now feed you with some background knowledge that might help you to impress your favorite sneakerhead.
WHAT IS BLACK AND WHITE AND WORN ALL OVER?
With its famous three-stripes-style, the adidas Superstar runs the sneaker scene nowadays and celebrates its tremendous revival. So if I tell you now, that it had been worn by none other than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the court back in the days, some of you would probably not believe it. The adidas sneaker arrived in the late months of 1969, but truly started impacting the NBA from 1970 onwards.
Making huge waves in the league, the Superstar was the first low-top basketball shoe to have an all-leather upper and rubber toe. Groundbreaking as it was, the shoe gained fans across the entire NBA – the time of the canvas basketball shoe seemed destined to cease. Even before the Adidas Superstar, many players had turned their backs on canvas shoes like the Chuck Taylor. New leather sneakers like the Adidas Pro Model provided superior protection and support. But it was the Superstar that should change the game forever. Sure, it doesn’t have any fancy technologies like Flywire, Flightplate or Boost, but at that time, it was a technologically sophisticated performance basketball shoe.
The classic’s unique features included the iconic rubber shell, which quickly became popular amongst ballers and basketball enthusiasts. So bound to happen, in 1971, adidas became one of the first companies to release player-endorsed basketball shoes. One could argue that Jabbar and adidas set the bar for future signature player sneakers.
That’s all well and good, but how did the adidas Superstar found its way from the hardwood to the streets?
The importance of the so called “shell-shoe” to streetwear culture is undeniable. But it wasn’t until the 1980s that the sneaker officially caught fire when the American kids had taken their rolemodels’ style to the streets. The three-stripes-icon was one of the favorites among b-boy and b-girls, who helped the shoe to easily flood the urban scene.
Impossible not to mention is the effect of probably the most influential formation in hip hop culture ever: RUN D.M.C.! They not only paved the way for the present rap scene but spread their casual style as well. That is, adidas from head to toe: With the iconic Superstars on their feet and the adidas track suit to complete their look, they were the “ambassadors” of hip hop, freshness and the three stripes.
“My Adidas and me close as can be
We make a mean team, my Adidas and me
We get around together, we down forever.”
Official anthem of the Superstar-believers? Not quite, but pretty close. RUN D.M.C. worked their love for the sneakers into their famous song “My adidas” from the album “Raising Hell” in 1986. The Superstar became their unofficial signature sneaker and they famously wore them without laces and with the tongue sticking out. But why wearing shoes with no laces? Here’s another background information you might not have known so far: Wearing no laces was the look forced upon people in jail and as a sign of support, worn as a style statement by those outside on the street.
LITERALLY THE REAL DEAL
At a concert in Madison Square Garden RUN D.M.C. asked an audience of more than 40,000 to put their sneakers in the air. The number of Superstars was obviously so impressive, that one of the guys in the audience – an adidas employee – got the hip hop legends an one Million Dollar endorsement deal. What had already been a connection with a strong impact on urban fashion and sneaker culture now became an official collaboration. A Superstar deal for superstars.
Celebrating its 45th birthday last year, this genuine piece of streetwear and hip hop history has a long past and a promising future. Worn by athletes, supermodels and sneakerfreakers alike, the adidas Superstar has rapidly increased in popularity over the last years and thanks to collabs – starting from RUN D.M.C. to Pharrell Williams – they are hotter than ever. In the blink of an eye, a Superstar was born in the 70s but even in this decade it continues to be reborn – different colorways, different styles, different designers and different target groups. The evolution of the adidas Superstar continues and it might be a never ending one.
The streetwear icon worn by great rap legends happens to be everybody’s darling nowadays – men, women and kids love it. But the latest collection of Superstars is one of a kind: a 3-D metallic design decorates the sneakers famous shell-toe in golden, silver, bronze and shimmering black. The Superstar has and always will be a trend-sneaker – might be Jam Master Jay turns over in his grave over this three-striped glamorous shoe, but it is what it is! Who would have expected that an old basketball sneaker of the 1970s would get such a glittering makeover?
Have a look at our Superstar collection and get your pair of history: