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In 1949, adidas created the Samba, its longest-standing silhouette. Invented by Adi Dassler himself, the shoe was an alternative to studded boots and proved reliable when playing football on icy pitches. The original upper had a high-cut and was made from tough kangaroo leather, with three holes on the outsole below that acted as suction cups for grip.
When the 1950 World Cup arrived in Brazil, adidas decided to name the silhouette after the hosting country’s favourite music genre, the Samba. The name was a huge success, landing the shoe on almost every player during the tournament, causing its rise to prominence.
Over the preceding decades, the Samba would go through a number of different generations which only added further functionality to the football favourite. In 1972, the fourth iteration coincided with the rise in popularity of 5-a-side Futsal within Europe. The new 3-zone outsole tread was made up of sections that helped the player stop, turn and grip, creating the ideal Indoor Football shoe.
The 5th and most recognisable edition compared to the 2020’s edition, released in the mid-80s. They were no longer produced in West Germany, opting for the cheaper cost of labour in Eastern Europe and Asia. The “Made in Yugoslavia” editions are held in high regard within groups of adidas collectors as they are more attainable and in-tact when compared to the “Made in Germany” pairs.
The ‘80s period is also when multiple countries were involved in the Samba’s production, with Made in France and Austria pairs becoming highly sought after by 3-Stripe fans in Spain and Italy. Terrace Culture also adopted the Samba as part of the uniform, with football fans donning their best gear before heading off to watch the game.
Then in the ‘90s, the skateboarding scene took a hold of the Samba, its low cost and FlashBack to withstand wear making for the perfect choice. This would ultimately lead to the 2006 skate-inspired version called the Busenitz. The Samba Super also dominated in the ‘90s due to its combination of favourite features that had come from the various generations of the silhouette, as well as the introduction of contemporary materials such as denim and suede.
Fast-forward to 2020, and the Samba saw another huge spike in popularity thanks to adidas celebrating the silhouette’s 70th Anniversary. We had seen the Samba Rose and Samba RM (boost) reintroduce the shoe with a platform sole and updated comfort, allowing the new generation of sneakerheads to warm to 3-Stripes heritage. Sported by supermodel Bella Hadid, the heritage silhouette would be seen by millions, while tasteful collaborations from the likes of Wales Bonner would serve up great examples of storytelling which would go on to create the perfect storm.
With 2023 underway, the adidas Samba is more than capable of achieving even higher levels of success but with the current climate of rapid trends, only time will tell.
Collaborations have had a huge hand in drawing in new eyes for the heritage 3-Striped silhouette. The most obvious contributions came from the Wales Bonner editions that dropped in 2020 and 2022 respectively, with the most popular being the “Cream Green” and “Orange Ecru”. Jason Dill’s luxury Loafer-based edition from 2020 draped the silhouette in snakeskin, which when compared to the likes of the Pharrells Adidas Pink Beach Pack Hit Stores “White Green” from 2022 revealed just how much range the Samba can cover with its simple tooling.
It's crazy how many iterations have hit the shelves over its 70-year-plus history, whether it’s upgrading comfort, height or even function, the silhouette has seen more than most. Much to the enjoyment of vegan sneakerheads, the animal-friendly editions landed in 2020, and the year after adidas paid homage to urban street cycling culture with the VeloSamba. A platform midsole on the Samba Rose resulted in a huge moment for the 3-Stripes in 2018, the same year that the Samba RM Boost flew under the radar even though it was the comfiest the shoe had ever been!
It’s clear that adidas recognises how important the silhouette is to not only its own history but the history of others, creating versions that allow people to make the Samba their own.
Make sure to check out our adidas Samba Size Guide Chega a SVD o modelo FORUM HI GTX da marca Adidas que pertence a a temporada Fall Winter 2021!