The adidas Samba is a low-top sneaker from German sportswear manufacturer, adidas. Having debuted in 1949, it is the company's longest-running model in production.
In its earliest stage, the now-iconic model served as a mid-top football boot geared at helping athletes train on icy conditions. Kangaroo leather was paired with an innovative gum outsole that delivered superior traction on frozen grounds. (A spiked-version was worn by the German National Football Team during its win of the 1954 World Cup, but landed on the “Samba” name right before the 1950 tournament in Brazil. In an attempt to gain popularity within the South American country, the shoe was named after an indigenous genre of music and dance.) The Three Stripes' full-leather shoe became a staple among players looking for indoor football footwear, and is still a go-to choice for the sport throughout the world. (This differs from other adidas Originals models that have moved from their original purpose to strictly fashion use.)
Throughout the decades, adidas' Samba silhouette has attracted many non-athletes, including musical artists the likes of Bob Marley. Unsurprisingly, celebrity co-signs have catapulted the sneaker into mainstream zeitgeist, with the most recent jump courtesy of Jerry Lorenzo. After news broke that the FEAR OF GOD frontman was partnering with the German manufacturer, the clock began ticking as spectators waited to see which of the Three Stripes' shoes Lorenzo would wear first. On January 19th, 2021, Lorenzo took to Instagram to reminisce on his de-facto uniform throughout high school in South Florida, which included Sambas.
The most common colorways of the shoe boast either a “Core Black” leather and suede upper with “Cloud White” accents and a “Gum” outsole or a “Cloud White/Clear Granite” upper atop a “Gum” bottom. Vibrant blue Originals branding appears on the tongue, which differs from the made-for-football Samba Classic featuring an extended tongue. Collaborators like Jonah Hill, Craig Green and Beyoncé's IVY PARK have reimagined the design through color palettes and retooling. The Three Stripes itself has also modernized its second best-selling sneaker of all-time by introducing Primeknit and vegan versions, the women's Sambarose and skate-ready Busenitz. As the shoe heads into its 72nd anniversary, it’s sure to emerge in styles for all preferences.
The Samba is priced at $80 USD for adults, with kids’ sizing arriving at $70 USD, however, they’ve frequently been discounted or had coupon codes applicable.