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adidas – from a laundry room to the whole world

With the iron will to continuously break through boundaries, the sportswear giant adidas has made it to the top places and can easily keep up with other companies like Nike in terms of awareness and popularity: Founded in 1949, the brand from the Franconian town of Herzogenaurach is one of the most successful sporting goods manufacturers in the world and is just as popular in professional sports as it is in the lifestyle sector. Whether it’s classics like the adidas Superstar and adidas Stan Smith or newer adidas sneaker silhouettes like the Ultra Boost – there’s something for every sneakerhead.

In addition to a very turbulent history, adidas is best known for its technological milestones and fighting spirit. Not for nothing is the company’s mission to be the best sports brand in the world, always expanding the possibilities of human performance. 

In this article we take you on a little time travel to Middle Franconia and reveal the absolute sneaker highlights of the global brand.

A Franconian shoe factory

The adidas brand was founded in 1949 by Adolf Dassler – but the beginnings of the sportswear company go back much further. His father was already a shoemaker with his own small factory, but he mainly made felt slippers. But the two brothers were enthusiastic athletes, so it was only logical that they would soon be tinkering with sports shoes – in their parents’ laundry room. In the mid-twenties, the brothers Adolf and Rudolf founded the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory, and a year later the first professional models appeared. Their mission: to offer all athletes the best possible product for the highest performance. Already at the end of the twenties, athletes won gold with the shoes and at the Olympic Games in 1936 athletes wore shoes of the Dassler brothers – a huge success!

The Miracle of Bern

Incidentally, during the Second World War, the shoe factory produced an anti-tank weapon, which is why Adolf was exempted from military service. 

After the war, the brothers fell out so badly that they split the assets and would go their separate ways from now on – the beginning of the adidas and Puma brands.

The trademark – the 3 stripes – was quickly registered and Adi Dassler continued the ambitious development of sports shoes. The separation of the brothers did not seem to bring any disadvantages for adidas: In 1954, the company equipped the German national team with the legendary screw stud soccer shoes – the rest is probably history. 

At the latest since this victory, it was clear: adidas is no longer a small number, but on its way to becoming a major global brand. Today, the brand is no longer family-owned, but the mission has not changed: Developing products that make athletes around the world even better.

More than a sports shoe

The secret of adidas’ success is based on the trust of athletes who have relied on the brand from the very beginning. Adolf himself has always been convinced of the performance of his shoes to further optimize them. From this drive for the best technologies has not been lost until today and the company is always on the run after “even better”. 

This was not only true for technical innovations, but also for the products. With the world-famous “Franz Beckenbauer” tracksuit, adidas entered the clothing segment and was also able to step on the gas in the outdoor sector with the acquisition of Salomon. The brand worked with fashion designers very early on and had them design entire capsules. Kanye West, Raf Simons, Yohji Yamamoto and Jeremy Scott are just a selection of the masters with whom adidas has collaborated. Yamamoto and Simons even have their own sub-brands to this day, showing that athleisure doesn’t necessarily have to look like sportswear. If you prefer something a little less visionary when it comes to apparel, but don’t want to compromise on style, adidas Originals is the place to go. Tracksuits, hoodies and shirts with cool cuts and collections that match your latest sneaker achievement and round off your outfit.

The most popular silhouettes from adidas

All products of the Franconian manufacturer have their origin in sports. Sport is the driver, the why of the brand – and you can tell. With every ounce of understanding for their buyers, adidas works every day to set new standards. Countless technologies and designs have been developed by adidas over the decades, rightly securing a place in the front ranks. 

Besides clothing and accessories, adidas stands for one thing above all: damn good shoes. This includes classics like the adidas Superstar or the Stan Smith, but also hyped silhouettes like the adidas Forum, Yung-1 or the NMD.  The NMD Human Race, for example, which was created in collaboration with Pharrell Williams, was immediately sold out during the first releases and caused camp-outs not only once. We took a closer look at the most popular models.

adidas Superstar

A true classic and one of the most popular adidas sneakers is the Superstar. It was originally released in 1070 as a basketball shoe, but quickly spread to the hip-hop scene through groups like Run DMC. And from there, the Superstars were unstoppable! Later, many special models and different colorways followed, which sometimes bring four-figure sums among collectors. Basically, the adidas sneakers for women do not differ in the basic form, but there are different designs and colorways.

Fun Fact: Due to the pattern of the toebox, which is reminiscent of a shell, the adidas Superstar was also fondly called Shelltoe. However, this pattern was not a pure design element – but important for the athletes. After initial tests, the toebox had to be reinforced to be even more durable for dynamic movements and abrupt stops. 

adidas Ozweego

A completely different model, but no less popular, is the adidas Ozweego. It was designed as a running shoe and even has a few more years under its belt than the Superstar. Even then, it was equipped with adiPRENE cushioning and was later expanded to include the Torsion system, which provides additional support for the footbed. And that’s exactly how we still know the Ozweego today: equipped with proven technologies, it combines the retro look with futuristic elements in terms of design. The vintage vibe comes in a variety of colorways and combined suede, mesh and smooth TPU uppers.

adidas Ultraboost

The Ultraboost is one of the most successful models in the lifestyle sector. Originally developed as a running shoe, it is bursting with innovation. Together with BASF, adidas developed a completely new foam material in 2013, which provides optimal cushioning: The Boost midsole provides energy return par excellence! Due to its lightness, it is not only ideal as a running shoe, but also a great companion for everyday life. The PRIMEKNIT Upper provides the best wearing comfort and at the same time gives a lot of stability. The Ultraboost is also available in many different variants and colorways.

Impossible is nothing

Adidas is not just any successful shoe brand, that much is certain. The dynamism and iron will for sporting success are downright contagious and prove once again that boundaries often only exist in the mind. With innovative technology, special brands and new designs on the pulse of time, adidas has secured a position among the most successful sportswear manufacturers in the world to this day.

The sports company’s attitude is evident not only in their revolutionary technologies and continuous development, but also in their unwavering optimism for a better and sustainable future. 

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