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With its trademark three-striped design and rubber-capped toes, it’s hard to miss a classic pair of Adidas shoes.  

They’re popular, not just for their recognisable design, but how they have fulfilled apparel and footwear needs both on and off the court. 

You see, Adidas started was born out of a need for quality sports shoes. After World War I, founder Adolf “Adi” Dassler began to make sports shoes in his mother’s laundry room in Bavaria. During this time, the infamous “Dassler Shoes” came to be worn by African-American sprinter Jesse Owens in the 1963 Olympics. 

Then, right after Owens wore the Dassler Shoes, Adidas was catapulted into stardom. By  1947, Dassler officially named his sports shoe company “Adidas”. In 1987, he sold his company to Bernard Tapie, a French investor. 

The production of Adidas shoes increased, but Tapie could not pay off the interest of the loans he used to buy Adidas. And so, he sold it to Robert Louis-Dreyfus, who saved it from ruin and made it up and running again.  Adidas still changed management multiple times, but the brand only became more successful in each year that followed. Before switching to Nike, it became the official sportswear outfitter for the National Football League (NFL) and National Basketball Association (NBA).  

Despite Adidas’ deep roots in sports, the brand also grew into a behemoth in the world of street fashion. Adidas Originals Superstar sneaker has even become a staple in street style so much that it influenced hip hop culture. In the ’80s, legendary rap collective Run-DMC made a track named “My adidas” as a homage to the brand. And as you can tell, the ’80s was definitely the heyday of sneaker culture

In this article, you’ll get to know even more about Adidas – where it started, how it grew and morphed into the shoe giant it is today.  

So, are you ready? Let’s now step into the world of Adidas


Is Adidas a good brand? 

We all have our ideas of what makes a shoe brand “good”. But if you’re someone who likes a brand with a rich history, trusted quality, and functionality, you’ll love Adidas’ and its three-striped shoes. Even before Nike rolled out its first pair, Adidas has been in the game already. An icon in sports history, Adidas has created classic sports shoes such as the Samba, the Gazelle, and the Superstar.  The brand is also dedicated to only making quality shoes through top-notch methods. Their innovations include 3-D Printed Soles to specifically cater to the wearer’s feet and making sneakers made from recycled plastic and discarded fishing nets. 

Who founded Adidas? 

As mentioned previously, Adidas is the brainchild of German cobbler and entrepreneur Adolf “Adi” Dassler. Just by looking at Dassler’s name, you can already deduce where the brand’s famous name is from. 

Dassler has a passion for sports and was an athlete himself. He played and competed in football, boxing, skiing, ice hockey, and track and field. His exposure to different sports led him to realise what was lacking in the market – shoes designed to meet each sport’s specific demands. And with that one realisation, Adidas was born. 

Was Adidas famous in the 80s?

If we were to visit the ‘80s right now, I bet you’d see many people wearing Adidas sneakers. After all, the ‘80s were the golden years of sneaker culture, and a wearing pair of Adidas made you a certified sneakerhead. 

In the ‘80s, Adidas sneakers were popularised by prominent basketball players like Michael Jordan. One of the crucial moments in sports and (shoe history) was when Jordan wore a pair of Adidas Forums during his debut in the Olympic Trials in 1984.  Being a decorated athlete, Jordan simply being seen with a pair of Adidas forums was the only “stamp of approval” people needed to go for such shoes. 

Hip hop stars in the ‘80s even fueled the fire that was Adidas’ popularity. As mentioned earlier, hip hop legends Run-DMC even made the track “My adidas” to serve as an ode to the much-loved shoe brand. Oh and, I forgot to mention that the track earned them a million-dollar sponsorship deal from Adidas. 

So, the answer is yes. Adidas was definitely very popular in the ‘80s. 

Is Adidas a good brand from the 80s?

The ‘80s will always be a “revolutionary period” in the history of fashion. And in the case of Adidas, the shoe brand morphed from sports shoes into mainstream street style.  

The brand broke free of its ‘sportswear’ image with its Adidas Campus sneakers. Considered one of the most trendy silhouettes released by Adidas in the ‘80s, the Campus sneakers were created as a basketball shoe but became popular outside the court. The design and quality of Adidas’ shoes were so good in the 80s that rappers, b-boys, and athletes alike wore them.  

Oh and, Adidas sneakers weren’t just popular among men. In the ‘80s, women loved the Adidas Continental 80, with the iconic three stripes design and high-quality soft white leather. The Continental 80 is sporty and stylish, so it’s no surprise that it’s also one of the fan-favourites among women in the ‘80s. 

Which celebs wore Adidas in the 80s?

Because Adidas only offers the best style and quality, it’s expected that many celebrities wore their sneakers in the ‘80s. Since Adidas is primarily a sportswear brand, many athlete-celebrities sported the brand’s famous sneakers like Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins

Artists like Run-DMC, The Beastie Boys, and Madonna also wore the brand’s infamous three-striped shoes and outfits. Run-DMC sported Adidas sneakers but wore them laceless in their style. And one of the most famous sightings of The Beastie Boys wearing Adidas was when they wore Adidas sneakers on the cover of their Check Your Head album. Being the pop star that she is, Madonna was seen wearing a white and red Addidas dress as the pop star that she is. 

Are Adidas good quality? 

Adidas’ shoes are not just purely focused on form as they also have substance. Their trainers and sneakers are durable without sacrificing the wearer’s comfort. Adidas sportswear and apparel can be a tad bit expensive. However, their products’ originality and quality can give you a bang for your buck. 

Is Adidas a high-end brand? 

High Snobiety, a trendy German streetwear blog, has featured Adidas many times in their articles. The brand is described to be built on its rich history and quality products whose spirit has survived through many collaborations. 

What makes Adidas a high-end brand is that it’s consistently reborn through its artist collaborations, especially in the world of hip hop. Adidas has partnered with Kanye West to produce his best-selling YEEZY trainers. Other prominent and high-profile figures who collaborated with the sportswear giant include Missy Elliott, Pharell Williams, Beyonce, and even Alexander Wang. 

Why is Adidas the best brand? 

Despite having a reputation of being a bit ‘pricey’ and ‘high-end’, Adidas remains one of the best and most valuable sports and streetwear brands in today’s market. 

After all, it has annual net sales that can reach more than 19 billion euros. And it’s definitive proof that Adidas is a well-loved brand by its patrons. 

I mean, I’d agree too. What’s not to like about a brand with a seven-decade long commitment towards creating high-quality, durable, timeless, and ethically made trainers? 

But, how ethical is Adidas?

Adidas’ famous three-striped kicks are not just stylish. They’re also made sustainably and ethically.  According to Good On You, a sustainable fashion watchdog, the brand uses a medium proportion of recycled materials such as old fishing nets and plastic waste. For example, their Ultraboost sneakers are 100% made of recycled materials, mainly discarded plastic bottles. Plus, Adidas is also making efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. 

As for its labour conditions, Adidas’ supply chain is certified by the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct, which means that the brand traces and audits every part of its supply chain for transparency. What also makes Adidas awesome is that it has laid out policies to support and protect its employees and suppliers from COVID-19. 

Now that you’ve read more about Adidas, I’m confident that you now know why the sportswear giant has been successful for the past seven decades.

Come to think of it, not all sportswear brands can transition with ease into mainstream fashion like Adidas. The brand aged well as its style continues to be revived and reborn by the artists of today. And despite becoming mainstream, the quality of their shoes never faltered. They’re even responsive to the planet’s environmental and health crises! 

It’s not every day you come across a 72-year-old footwear brand that preserves its classic identity yet grows and innovates to keep up with changing times. 

Indeed, with the current path Adidas is taking, we can be sure that it will continue to shape the world of fashion- whether in the world of sports or the streets. 

About The Author

May is totally crazy about the 80s and everything the decade inspired! Having grown up in a household that was totally taken over by 80s music and fashion its only natural that May lives and breathes the 80s!

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