The Superstar was introduced by Adidas in 1969 as a low-top version of a Pro Model basketball shoe.
It’s proven to be so popular that it’s been re-imagined time and time again, even merged with other styles. Nicknamed the “shelltoe”, “shell shoes”, and “shell tops” for their rubber shell toe piece, this iconic silhouette is regarded as one of the major influences in the rise of the modern day “sneaker culture” and pop culture as a whole.
At the time of release the leather upper and shell toe were completely unheard of and happened to catch the attention of professional basketball player Kareem Abdul Jabbar, further evolving the journey of this style of shoe. Its revolutionary technological qualities were soon found to be imitated in the shoes of the majority of the NBA for their protective qualities and their influence has helped adidas remain a household name to this day.
By the 1980’s these trainers became highly fashionable when the hip-Hop band Run D.M.C. made them their signature fashion choice on stage. Worn without laces and with the tongues pushed out. It became so noticeable that they even wrote a song about it in response to an anti-sneaker rap song by Jerrald Deas called “Felon Sneakers”, the trio released the song entitled “My Adidas” in 1986 on the back of great publicity. The documentary “Just for Kicks” shows how the rappers rebelled against an amateur musician who was trying to start an anti-sneaker campaign. He associated the footwear with gangsterism and violence. Run-DMC hit back with “My Adidas”, blasting those claims and voicing their support for sneakers as a cool cultural symbol – as real, as street. The track rose to number one, leading to the signing of a $1-million deal between the rappers and the shoe brand, a 70-city tour and almost 400000 pairs of sneakers sold.
Now the shoe is a fashion staple that is amplifying the sneaker culture with adidas releasing revamped silhouettes by collaborating with the likes of Pharrel, Eddie Huang, Y-3, Kasina, BAPE, UNDFTD and more. Get yourself a pair of these classic shelltoes and be on your adidas for yet another year.