If I wasn’t wearing Jordans in middle school, I was wearing the adidas Superstar along with 90% of the student body. Okay, maybe more like 65%-70%, but it was a lot, I promise.
You know you’ve worn them too!
Believe it or not, these kicks were not tailored specifically for Run DMC. The origin of this shoe actually dates back to 1969 and the NBA. That year, adidas decided to release a low-top version of their Pro Model basketball sneaker, which ultimately ended up as the first Superstar.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the legendary UCLA and Lakers center was the first to spearhead endorsement of the kicks and within just a few short years, nearly 80% of the league’s players had their feet outfitted with these shoes.
While they were a definite hit with pro ballers way back when, it’s safe to say that the Superstar’s claim to fame was founded mostly on the streets. As I touched on a moment ago, Run DMC, one of the pioneer groups of hip hop back in the 80’s, gave these sneakers so much rep by openly endorsing them even without a contract. Their hit song “My Adidas” was more than enough for adidas to eventually sign them to an official $1 million contract to promote their already favorite kicks.
Clearly, the explosive marketing ability of Run DMC has paid dividends for adidas for the better part of 25 years and counting.
The Superstar is adored for its simple leather upper, thin leather tongue, and of course, the signature rubber shell-toe. Obviously, not to be ones to sit on a good thing and assume it will continue its run of success, adidas eventually released the Superstar II, which came with a few improvements such as a thicker tongue with more padding, a soft inner lining, additional heel cushion, and a herringbone traction pattern on the rubber outsole. For the most part though, the overall look was maintained and to this day, I seldom fail to see a pair of these shell-toe kicks while I’m out and about.
I myself have personally only ever owned five colorways of the Superstar series shoes. While there are thousands upon thousands in existence, I kept it relatively moderate and light. I started out with white base/black stripes, then to black base/white stripes, next was white base/electric blue stripes with star prints, went all black after, and I finished off my tenure with a charcoal suede base/black stripes. Of course, like many, I could never quite decide between standard laces and ridiculously thick ones. The adidas Superstars will always hold a special place in my heart because they are forever linked with many of my memories as a teenager.
Check the video for Run DMC’s massive hit “My Adidas” before you go!
[Original Release: 1969; Weight: 14.6 oz; Price: $70 for standard colorways]
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