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The Adidas Superstar began its life as a basketball shoe, but its radical design soon flowed through popular culture and it is now one of the most recognisable trainers on the market. Here are a few reasons why:
The Adidas Superstar marked the first contract between a sports brand and hip-hop artist.
What became known as the “shell toe” was the first of its kind for the rubber toe piece that has now become an iconic feature of footwear as we know it.
The Adidas Superstar has its beginnings back in 1969, when Adolf Dassler (the namesake and founder of Adidas) created a sports shoe for the basketball court. Partly because it was the first shoe to feature rubber toe protection, ballers like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took to the shoe like never before and soon, around three quarters of the shoes worn on the court were the Adidas Superstar.
Basketball wasn’t what made these trainers so successful though In fact, it was none other than Run DMC. In 1983, the hip-hop trio turned their back on the glamorous side of the music and decided to wear what they wore on the streets: leather jackets, gold chains and, of course, the unlaced Adidas Superstar. The lack of shoelaces was a nod towards how people in prison weren’t allowed shoelaces, and this got the shoes the nickname "Felon Sneakers”. Obviously, it only helped their image though…
The shoe really hit its peak when, in front of 40,000 people, Run DMC held up their Superstars and got the audience to do the same back. As a lucky coincidence, an Adidas employee was said to be at this concert. Less of a coincidence, Run DMC later released a song called my Adidas, and a few years later landed a one-million-dollar advertising deal with the company. The rest is history.
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