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The epitome of vintage: the adidas Adilette

They are probably the most famous bathing slippers and at the same time symbolize the vintage look like hardly any other product: we are talking about the adidas Adiletten. 

We know them from our parents, who already went to the swimming pool or to the campsite with the Adilette decades ago. The typical image of German men with moustaches, horn-rimmed glasses, mullets, cotton undershirts and the nation-dividing look of white socks in Adilettes has somehow burned itself into our heads. Adolf Dassler simply wanted to create a practical shoe for athletes and not set a new trend for the Ugly Fashio wave, which has been hyped again for a few years. 

Today, the Adilette is cult and has even become a designer piece thanks to numerous collabos – more hype simply doesn’t exist. In this article we take you behind the scenes of the famous bathing slippers. 

The origin of adidas bathing slippers

It was simply a very pragmatic thought that Adi Dassler had back then when he designed the first Adilette: In the early sixties, the idea of designing a non-slip shoe for athletes that could be worn in the locker room as well as in the shower came up for the first time. At that time, players were not yet familiar with the luxury of eucalyptus steam baths, Finnish saunas or purifying mud packs – back then, after the game, it was a case of off to the communal shower with the Duschdas 2 in 1! And it was neither clean nor hygienically safe, so the players wanted a tool in the fight against athlete’s foot and co. – the chance of the Adilette. However, the slippers did not hit the market until the 1972 Olympic Games, when Adi Dassler finally found a machine that could inject the foam as a free form. With this technology, it was born – Germany’s most famous bathing slipper!

And of course the adilette was not only practical, but also comfortable: The footbed was shaped to fit the human foot, and the foam provided the ideal contrast to the cleated shoe. Some players therefore simply left their Adilette on after showering for an interview or team picture – and in a flash a new hype was born. In the meantime, thanks to the appearance in hip fashion magazines and the new trend of the white adilette with the wedding dress, it enjoys the reputation of a fashion icon and belongs in the closets of all fashionistas. Simply everyone wants to have the practical slippers – and the trend seems to take no end. 

Popular variants of the Adilette

After the triumphant advance of the adilette through all swimming pools, campsites and all-inclusive hotel complexes, nicknames like the “Asilette” and cheap knock-off variants like the “Aldilette” circulated. But at the latest since the summer World Cup and the cult of public viewing, the adilette has also made it back into – or to – the common folk. 

Initially, the Adilette was only at home in the men’s world – today, the variants of the Adilette for female fans are at least as popular. Numerous hyped colorways and select collabos have not only rehabilitated the bathing slippers, but elevated them to a whole new league. 

The most convenient variants

In addition to the classic Shower Adilette with its non-slip sole and pre-shaped footbed, the waterproof model for the shower or swimming pool is also available as a Comfort variant. It is equipped with an EVA outsole and is easy to wear. Even longer walks through the city are not an issue thanks to the synthetic strap with a soft textile lining. The Boost Adilette takes it up a notch: it comes with an ultra-soft sole that even makes the shoe suitable for everyday wear thanks to the Boost cushioning. An extra soft version is the Adidas Lite, which provides additional cushioning thanks to its thicker sole. It really doesn’t get any more comfortable than this!

Special Adiletten

Stylish adilettoes for women are also available in a trendy beach look with a cork footbed and polka dots on the synthetic strap. The rubber outsole ensures that you can really wear this variant everywhere. 

Of course, the classic Shower Adilette is the most popular among men. But we also see the TDN Adilette more and more often: It exudes extra vintage feeling with the Velcro closure, the retro colorways and the diagonal stripes.

The latest design from adidas at the moment is the Adilette 22. Inspired by 3D topography and naval expeditions, this version has an absolutely futuristic look, just like the Yeezy Slides. It’s made from sustainable synthetics and also features EVA cushioning, which is made from a quarter of sugar cane. This variant is the current hype and definitely too bad for the pool! 

adidas Yeezy Slides

Of course, Kanye West also has his fingers in the pie when it comes to cool and stylish slides. The adidas Yeezy slides are definitely one of the most stylish “adiletten” and are especially popular in the fashion scene. If you are looking for the latest models, you can find all old and new colorways of the iconic slipper silhouette on this page.

What is behind the hype about the adidas bathing shoes?

First of all, we take our hats off to the Adilette – not everyone can make such an image switch from fine-rib cotton sock slippers to THE fashion piece par excellence! Whether it’s Pharrell Williams, Alexander Wang or the collaboration with designer Jeremy Scott and the plush uppers – the Adilette is in demand like never before.

But also the regular colorways can be seen. Whether classic in black or dark blue, they are also available in fresh styles such as pastel shades, bright colors or even with polka dots. Even for weddings, the Adilette is worn in white with silver or gold stripes – there is probably no color combination that an Adilette can not!

The classic Adilette is like the other models from adidas true to size. However, there are also some models that tend to be a little smaller. For example, the strap is soft and comfortable, but also cut a little tighter to ensure support. 

To ensure the necessary comfort, adidas relies on synthetic for the material. The inner lining of the strap, however, is made of textile, which ensures a comfortable feel. And of course, adidas also follows the idea of sustainability here and relies on recycled or natural materials – as with the Lite or the Adilette 22. 

So the hype around the Adilette has nothing to do with an elaborate design or unusual materials. It is simply a comfortable and at the same time absolutely practical shoe, which has become an absolute cult object due to the Ugly Fashion Trend and its bathing slipper image from the eighties: In the past, the Adilette was simply practical, today it is a style icon and absolute must-have for all fashion fans!

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