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Two adidas Legends Make One Great Shoe: The Superstan
Whether you admire adidas’ athletic legacy or its deep roots in pop culture, you can get the best of both worlds in one shoe with the adidas Superstan.
Its leather upper, perforated 3-Stripes styling, and shell toe make it easily recognizable. And while it has roots in basketball and tennis, it’s most at home today in the streets.
The story of the adidas Superstan began in 1969 with the release of the Superstar. Originally a basketball shoe, the Superstar was a low-top version of the Pro Model, but quickly developed a reputation all its own. The Superstar’s nickname of “Clam Toe” or “Shell Toe” referred to the hard rubber toe cap, offering ballers some extra protection on the courts and playgrounds.
While the shoe got plenty of run in the basketball community, it wasn’t until it was adopted by rap icons Run-DMC in the mid-1980s that it really took off. The trio from Hollis, Queens, went their own way with a street-wise style, dressing on stage the way they did in the streets. That included the adidas Superstar, clean and new but with no laces.
adidas only became aware of this love affair when one of its employees witnessed a concert where many of the 40,000 fans held up adidas sneakers. In case there was any doubt, Run-DMC confirmed its devotion with the 1986 single, “My Adidas.”
The merger marked the beginning of non-athletic endorsements of what had previously been all sports, all the time.
Serving up a Legend
Shortly after the Superstar appeared on the scene came the Stan Smith. But its history isn’t as clear-cut as the Superstar’s, because it started under a different name. Then it took on the face of Stan Smith but kept the other name. Then Stan finally got it all to himself.
Here’s how it went:
adidas created its first tennis shoe in the mid-1960s and named it for French star Robert Haillet. After Haillet retired, adidas reached out to Smith, who was ranked No. 1 in the world at the time. But while it created inroads to the American market, adidas kept Haillet's name, pairing it with Smith’s face from 1973 to 1978. After that, Stan got it all to himself.
And its simple look with hits of color on the ankle collar and tongue have been a strong contender ever since.
So when adidas blended the two iconic silhouettes in February 2020, it created an instant classic.
And you can complete the look at Foot Locker with a variety of adidas classic warm-up wear, windbreakers to track pants as well as hoodies, T-shirts, dresses, and more.