Started in 1920 by Adolph Dassler, adidas has become one of the most iconic sneaker brands in the world. Spawning some of the century’s most recognizable styles the brand has also collaborated with style icons and fashion's designers—including the recent tie-in with rapper Kanye West to launch his highly sought-after Yeezy Boost sneakers.
Sit tight, because we're here to share the history of some of the German brand's most notable styles and prove there is more to adidas than the ever-popular Stan Smith (but we'll get to that too...)
Launched in 1968, and shooting to popularity in the 1970s, the Gazelle was most commonly worn as a soccer sneaker. The Gazelle has had a resurgence in recent seasons due to fashion's re-found love of the 70s and its nostalgic feel. Go all-out retro and pair with a pair of chinos, a polo and a vintage-style jacket and channel your inner athlete—look to Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy for help.
A star was born in 1969 when this, the first ever low-top basketball shoe hit shelves. Distinguished by the unique shell-toe, the Superstar is perhaps adidas's most well-known sneaker and was even imortalized in a song by Run-DMC, surprisingly called "My adidas". If you want to look like you know your stuff opt for Superstars in Navy, Black, Red or White—these were the original colorways when the shoe was first released.
The precursor to some of the most popular Y-3 styles of recent years, and of course, Mr. West's Yeezy Boosts, the tubular was adidas's most high-tech sneaker when it was released in 1993. Like its rival the Nike Air Max, each tubular model has air pumped into the heel and the original models came with pumps so you could adjust your own air pressure to suit you (really).
Although introduced in the early 70s, the Campus didn't really gain popularity until the 80s thanks to the Brooklyn rap scene. The Beastie Boys were know to wear this style religiously. Chunkier than the Gazelle—the Campus was also appropriated as a skate shoe in the 90s because of its hard-wearing upper. Today—the campus is the perfect weekend shoe when worn with denim.
The Stan Smith
Thanks to a re-release and subsequent pick-up from the fashion industry, the white Stan Smith has become a wardrobe essential. The model took its name from former World No.1 tennis player Stan Smith, whose face adorns the tongue of each pair. The sneaker comes in lace-up and velcro options, offering two variations on the utilitarian style. A modern classic, a pair of Stan Smith's will work in any man's closet and have become synonymous with laid-back Scandi cool. For extra fashion points, grab a re-worked by designer Raf Simons, featuring an "R" on the shoe's side.
And if that wasn't enough—here are a few more pairs worthy of adding to your collection. You're buying into fashion history—we promise.
The Ultra Boost
It's been five years since Adidas' squishy white foam—known as "Boost"—first hit shelves, changing the sneaker industry forever and taking Adidas to the top of the sneaker game.
The Ultra Boost first debuted in 2015 and was marketed as "the best running sneaker of all-time." Though the jury’s still out on that claim, the Ultra Boost is loved by everyone from Kanye West to Justin Bieber, becoming one of the brand's most popular styles.
The perfect all-weather sneaker, it has a cozy sock-like upper and lightweight cloud-like soles which are pumped with the brand’s Boost Technology.
The NMD was launched back in 2015, under the label's street-focused Originals umbrella. The first Originals sneaker to feature Boost technology, the NMD has in many ways become the signature cool kid sneaker of today.
The NMD has a Primeknit, sock-like upper, a Boost sole and features classic '80s-era adidas design elements like color-blocked panels on the midsole. It was recently voted as this year’s most Instagrammed sneaker, appearing in over 5,709,871 posts.
The Yeezy Boost 350
The Boost 350 is one of the best-loved, most in-demand models from the Yeezy brand. Sticking to the standard Yeezy look, the sneaker is available in black, gray, white and other soft muted tones like the latest shade of #butter yellow. The outsole retains the Boost window that has been featured on every Yeezy Boost thus far, but still retains a sleeker silhouette.
Despite West focusing on the release of chunkier, dad-inspired styles like the Desert Rat, Powerphase, and Wave Runner, two new sell-out releases of the Boost prove that this sneaker still has a strong and loyal following.
Article Updated in October 2018