Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The History of the adidas Samba - A Soccer Icon

Considered by many soccer aficionados to be the quintessential indoor playing shoes and by fashionistas to be a classic, all-purpose casual shoe, the adidas Samba has become iconic over the last 50 years.

Developed by a fledgling adidas in the late 1940s and first produced in 1950, the Samba was the first soccer shoe designed to allow players to train on hard, icy surfaces. Its then innovative gum rubber outsole made it the first shoe to provide the traction necessary for players to perform drills and run on the frozen fields of Europe in wintertime. This outsole later proved to be the basis of indoor soccer or futsal shoes. In fact, the adidas Samba was one of the few indoor soccer shoes on the market until the 1990s when manufacturers such as Nike, Umbro and Puma entered the genre.

Since 1950, the adidas Samba has sold over 35 million pair to generations of soccer players and sport-inspired shoe lovers. It has made its way into popular culture from being the choice shoe of the 1970s Liverpool football casuals / scally subculture to having a Def Jam 25th  Anniversary edition in 2009. The adidas Samba also became a staple among the punk rock and skater crowds in the 1980s and with the Emo set in the 2000s.

Take a look at Twilight star Robert Pattinson (or vampire Edward for Twihards out there) and you might see him stalking the streets of Hollywood in a pair of adidas Sambas. The shoe also recently appeared on the feet of Shia Labeouf's character Sam Witwicky in the 2009 smash film Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Back in the early days of hip hop in the 1980s, the Samba's close cousin, the adidas Superstar, was often a staple of legendary rap group Run DMC.

The adidas Samba Classic has maintained the use of a full-grain black leather upper, three-profile gum rubber outsole, non-folding mid-length synthetic tongue, and three white adidas stripes. However, over the years a number of color schemes and slightly-altered incarnations of the shoe have made their way onto the feet of Samba-lovers. These have included suede-upper Sambas and national team editions such as the current Spain and Argentina editions of the shoe.

While World Soccer Shop celebrates Indoor Week 11 with an unmatched selection of indoor soccer shoes, let’s not forget where it all started – a frozen training pitch in adidas’ hometown of Herzogenaurach, Germany in 1950 – with the Samba.

Photo Credits: World Soccer Shop and adidas

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