The adidas Superstar began life as a completely different shoe, under a different name.
We know what you're thinking and it wasn't clamtoe, shelltoe, shell shoes, sea shell or even shell tops.
Born as the adidas Supergrip, it was the three-stripes first step into basketball footwear. The since-forgotten adidas Supergrip paved the way for future styles such as the adidas Campus we know today, whilst simultaneously opening the door for the adidas Superstar to go on to change the sneaker game forever.
At the time of its release, in 1969, Converse dominated the basketball shoe market. Sensing an opportunity, adidas interjected the Superstar, citing a full leather upper, outdoing Converse's all-canvas offering. Providing increased foot support, stability and a focus on 'stop-start' movements, the adidas Superstar was first worn by members of the San Diego Rockets.
After slowly gaining momentum, the Superstar permeated the upper echelons of the game - with adidas making their first ever basketball signing in the form of none other than Karrem Abdul Jabbar, who at the time played Center for the LA Lakers.
Like many styles since, the Superstar transcended the world of basketball, being adopted by, arguably, the only genre required when it comes to tastemaking - hip hop.
Run DMC - the biggest hip hop group of the time, championed adidas way before endorsements were a given. Appearing head to toe in adidas tracksuits, finished with laceless Shell Toes, the group pioneered a generational style. This passion-project ultimately lead to a million dollar deal between the group and the brand with the three stripes.
As it leaked out of the United States, the Superstar found fame as far reaching as Japan as well as here in the UK.
As the 90s were ushered in the Superstar transformed into the Superstar II, with its production moving to Asia, and more padding being added to the tongue. The style crept out even further from its humble basketball beginnings. Seen on the feet of everyone from Hiroshi Fujiwara as a streetstyle staple, to mark Gonzales as a tried and tested skate shoe - it seemed there were no facets of modern life the Superstar could not reach.
As the 90s progressed into the 00's and streetwear trends spread like wild fire, the Superstar sneaker was met with collaborations abound.
BAPE, Rocafella, XLarge, Pharrell, Neighbourhood - the list is endless, with more recent collaborations coming thanks to Blondey McCoy and Prada, it seems the adidas Superstar is as in demand 50 years on as it was when it first hit the court.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the adidas Superstar is available in its OG form (White/White/Black) at The Chimp Store now, as well as in the equally sought after Black/Black/White iteration. Hit the link below to shop the adidas Superstar now.
Shop adidas Originals footwear