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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.