Adidas Superstar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Adidas Superstar
Inception1969; 53 years ago (1969)

The Superstar is a low-top athletic shoe manufactured by German multinational company Adidas since 1969. The shoe was originally released as a low-top version of the Pro Model basketball shoe.[1] The design is nicknamed the "clam-toe", "shell-toe", "shell shoes", "shell tops", and "sea shells" (along with Adicolor).


When the Superstar was introduced, it was the first low-top basketball shoe to feature an all-leather upper and rubber shell-toe. With its rubber toe protection and non-marking sole, the shoe caught the attention of NCAA and NBA players, notably Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Within the first few years of production, the Superstar was being worn by more than 75% of all NBA players.[2] Over the course of the next few years, it advanced from the court to the streets and, consequently, into the public's consciousness.

Pair of Adidas Superstar, with a black color and 3 white stripes
Superstar 35th Anniversary Music Series #15 Run DMC

In 1983, the rap group Run-D.M.C. balked at traditional pop standard costuming by opting to wear regular street clothes on stage. The trio wore Superstars without any laces with the tongue of the shoe pushed out. "Adidas itself only found out about this love story when the band held up the 3-Stripes shoes during a concert in front of 40,000 fans – one of these concertgoers was an Adidas employee."[3] The rap group continued to wear Superstars on their US concert tour, which increased sales. Responding to an anti-sneaker rap song by Jerrald Deas called "Felon Sneakers", the trio released a song of their own called "My Adidas" in 1986.[4] The song paid tribute to the Superstar shoe and attempted to flip the stereotype of the 'b-boy'. Adidas eventually signed an advertising deal with Run-D.M.C., which was the first endorsement deal between hip-hop artists and a major corporation. The brand subsequently released a Run-D.M.C. clothing line.[4]

The Superstar has become a part of popular youth fashion culture and is now worn as casual footwear, rather than for sports. Like Converse's Chuck Taylor All-Stars, the Superstar made the transition from the basketball court to street, sported by hip-hop aficionados. In the early 1980s, 'b-boys' wore the shoes with extra thick laces called "fat laces", often matching the color of the laces with the color of the stripes on their shoe.

The Superstar (now known officially as the "Superstar II" as the current production shape differs from the original) are now sold in Adidas Originals stores, with new colors and designs including themes such as NBA teams and major US cities.

35th Anniversary Series[edit]

In 2005, Adidas collaborated with pop icons from the world of music, fashion, and the arts to create the Adidas 35th Anniversary collection,[5] which included 35 different models from five different series.[6]


  1. ^ "adidas Superstar". Sneakerfiles. Archived from the original on September 21, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
  2. ^ "adidas kicks off Superstar Celebration". adidas press room. 2004-11-03. Archived from the original on 2008-12-07. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
  3. ^ "Adidas Group - History". Archived from the original on 2015-02-08. Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  4. ^ a b "Run-D.M.C." Britanica Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
  5. ^ "3 stripes, 5 series, 35 models". adidas press room. 2005-02-03. Archived from the original on 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
  6. ^ "Ultimate Guide to the adidas Superstar". Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2015.

External links[edit]