When it comes to soccer lifestyle shoes, adidas just seems to always be the subject of conversation. From the outstanding Gosha Rubchinskiy Copa Primeknit to the recent release of the Samba Primeknit, the three stripes are definitely on a path to being the unquestionable standard-bearer in this category. Simply one look at the adidas website or any sneaker boutique carrying the brand is sufficient to prove that at least the Samba Primeknit has already been well received within a matter of weeks, meaning the shoe is becoming increasingly harder to find. Though the same cannot be said for the Gosha release – its high price did make its availability a little alienating – the success of the Samba does reveal the essence behind this revitalization we’re seeing from adidas.
It might be easy to assume that the brand should just simply give all its silhouettes a Primeknit makeover for guaranteed success. However, this week’s Alexander Wang x adidas Originals BBall shoe proves that the real winning formula for the three stripes is a bit more complex than the Primeknit formula, though surprisingly not completely novel. Long time followers of KTTP might cite the precedent set by the Shoe Surgeon’s custom set of Copa Mundial’s for Copa Basel. At that time, the Shoe Surgeon had reimagined one of adidas’ most classic soccer silhouettes by transposing its upper on to the sole of a D Rose 7. Alexander Wang’s latest effort is not much different as the designer has followed much of those same tenets to give us another adidas release that should have everyone equally excited.
I am not saying that Alexander Wang has intentionally or unintentionally piggybacked a winning concept and therefore offers nothing original. On the contrary, I commend the designer as his latest soccer-inspired BBall shoe strikes at the core of what people really want from a soccer lifestyle shoe. It is not simply just a Primeknit makeover or a mashup of differing soles and uppers. No, the real answer as to why these past releases and this upcoming offering from Wang will resonate with people is because they offer something new while still being something recognizably adidas.
For a while, I had felt adidas had lost its grasp on this. Either they offered something too classic or something too modern, but never that perfect balance between the two. Alexander Wang finds that balance as the designer has managed to make something so familiar still so intriguing. For this, he has kept the general shape and features of the Copa Mundial but has added his own signature aesthetic. Proving yet again the versatility of this model, Wang has given the shoe a suede makeover along with an upside-down tongue tab, and an upside-down adidas trefoil on the heel tab. He has not done anything completely revolutionary, but rather realized that the pieces were already there and needed only to be literally reworked.
The irony of all this is that we overlook all the imperfections Wang has made so deliberately apparent both in these shoes and the rest of his collection. Instead, he has made something inherently imperfect seem now so undeniably perfect. I am sure many of you will see this the same way so remember to grab yourself a pair of these when they drop on adidas.com on April 21st.
Images via Highsnobiety.