How The Adidas Samba Became The Fashion Trainer Du Jour

In case you were wondering, we are still very much existing in the era of the Adidas Samba; the silently stealth trainer that was seemingly plucked from obscurity at some point last year and has since been elevated to cult status.

These are sneakers that whisper their style credentials rather than shout, perhaps owing to their humble beginnings as a men’s football shoe back in 1972. In today’s world, where the old becomes the new in the blink of an eye, the retro-inflected Adidas Sambas are the sneakers to invest in.

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Their popularity exploded on TikTok last year, where views for #AdidasSamba on the app have now surpassed 820 million. According to Lyst, searches for the trainers spiked by 350% last summer, while Google has reported a spike in over 300% for the sneakers in the past year alone. In its recent trend report, which predicts the brands and products that will explode in popularity in the coming months, Net-a-Porter revealed that demand for Sambas is up by 80%.

+ Wales Bonner Samba

Adidas Originals + Wales Bonner Samba

Adidas’ retro-inflected collaboration with British-Jamaican menswear designer Wales Bonner, now in its fourth season, has firmly established Sambas as a covetable sneaker.

+ Sporty & Rich Samba

Adidas Originals + Sporty & Rich Samba

Sporty & Rich is another label Adidas joined forces with on a line of must-have trainers. Its neutral-toned Sambas have shot to the top of our wishlists.

Classic for a reason, Adidas’ monochrome Sambas have proven to be worth their weight in gold for the German brand – and for obvious reason, too.

For a more pared-back palette, Adidas’ peachy-toned Sambas are the stuff of dreams.

It’s perhaps of little surprise then that on a March earnings call, Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden declared that the Samba was the ‘hottest shoe on the market,’ and that the company intends to sell ‘millions and millions’ of pairs by ‘heating up’ the sneaker franchise quarter over quarter.

adidas sambas black friday

Jeremy Moeller//Getty Images

The Samba revival has been cemented by a sell-out collaboration with British-Jamaican menswear designer Wales Bonner, which is now in its fourth season. The Wales Bonner Adidas collaboration has proved to be so popular, in fact, that sneaker re-sale sites have noted pairs selling for ten times their RRP. Collaborations with Sporty & Rich and Pharrell, which debuted earlier this year, have also added to the popularity of the shoe and have no doubt informed the fact that, in April, Adidas sold the highest number of Sambas in the retailer’s history.

In rich chocolate and tangerine leather, this pair of OG Sambas is vintage perfection.

Nothing could be more classic, or more versatile, than this timeless black and white design.

+ Wales Bonner Samba

Adidas Originals + Wales Bonner Samba

Wales Bonner’s Sambas have reached cult status thanks to their retro-inflected colourways and silhouettes.

Sporty And Rich Samba "Cream Blue" Sneakers

Adidas Originals Sporty And Rich Samba “Cream Blue” Sneakers

A blue and white trainer is never a bad addition for any wardrobe. Wear to inject a subtle flash of colour into otherwise monochrome outfits.

If our social media feeds are anything to go by, the Adidas Samba’s popularity shows no signs of waning. The fashion set are stepping into winter wearing theirs with cosy knits, slouchy jeans and boxy winter coats. Camille Charriere pairs her white Sambas with a foolproof and fail-safe jeans-and-a-T-shirt combo, while other tastemakers prefer to wear theirs with floor-sweeping denim maxi skirts.

Hailey is a fan of the red colourway; Kendall and Bella prefer the black. Whichever shade takes your fancy, make no bones about it: this is the only trainer to be seen in.

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