Adidas Samba – Possibly The Oldest Sneaker Still In Production
If there is any shoe that Adidas is most famous for then it has to be the Samba. It’s hard to believe, but Adidas has stuck with this iconic classic since it was first launched in 1949. However, the designers were far from focusing on creating a fashion statement.
The entire idea behind the Sambas was to provide a hardwearing shoe with a sole design that made playing soccer on hard and frozen ground that little bit easier.
Little did they know that in the 21st century, they would be a true fashion statement and predominantly bought for indoor use and in the hip-hop scenes around the world.
There really isn’t a whole lot to say about it, except that it’s simple and has stayed that way for 70 years. The sneakers are very low cut and are immediately recognisable because of the 3 white stripes on the side. It’s kind of like the Nike Swoosh logo, you just know what it means when you see it.
The original ones were only available in black as it was just easier from a manufacturing processing point of view. But in the 70 years of continuous production, there have been countless colour schemes.
The upper was originally made using leather, and over the years there have been both real leather and synthetic materials used to provide combinations of weight and durability. However, from the beginning, it was mainly about the rubber sole, which was made of gum rubber to provide more cushioning and traction on hard and icy turf.
There have also been studded soccer versions over the years, and Adidas could certainly lay claim to having helped Germany win the 1954 World Cup.
Today, the sole is still very much unchanged and has the tanned colour it always had, but I would guess that the majority of people these days aren’t heading out onto frozen soccer pitches and rather wear them as a fashion statement.
The Samba Rose
Now, I do have to mention at this stage, that Adidas has stepped away from tradition just a little and created a shoe called the Samba Rose. The upper is essentially the same as the regular one, but they have platform-type soles attached to them.
That makes them totally impractical for pretty much any sport that involves running. With a slight ruffle effect and the logo on the side of the tanned soles, it does make them totally stand out at a crowded hip-hop concert.
Influence On Hip Hop Culture
While Adidas has been a favourite street style in the world of hip-hop, it’s mainly the Superstars that became popular in the US in the 80s. This was mainly down to the fact that Run-DMC started wearing them and were later endorsed for doing so.
But in Europe, it has always been the Sambas that were most popular. Whether you wear them with or without laces and keep the tongue out or folded over, there is absolutely no way you can mistake these hip-hop icons.