Why the Samba?
Why, even in 2024, am I still seeing Sambas on the feet of every person I interact with?!
From the barista at my favourite coffee shop to the commuters on the Northern Line, from accountants to art directors, it seems these shoes are stuck to the feet of absolutely everyone (including myself!)
So what’s the deal with the Samba’s everlasting appeal? Well, we did some digging, and here’s what we found.
Over the past few years, the adidas Samba has morphed into more than just a sneaker – it’s become a cultural phenomenon. Originally crafted in 1949 for footballers seeking grip on icy pitches, the Samba’s journey from sportswear to streetwear has been nothing short of iconic. Its timeless design and versatility have allowed it to transcend generations, appealing to absolutely everyone who wears a trainer.
Created by adidas founder Adi Dassler himself, the Samba is not just the longest-running adidas shoe; it’s also the brand’s second best-selling sneaker. From its football-focused design, the Samba evolved to cater to various sports and subcultures, including futsal, skateboarding, and even cycling with the Velosamba.
But what really caught our attention is the Samba’s recent comeback in 2020, marked by exciting collaborations. Our favourite by far is the Wales Bonner collaboration. Teaming up with Adidas, Grace Wales Bonner reimagined the classic Samba in her Autumn/Winter 2023 collection, introducing unique details like leopard spots on the ‘Dark Brown’ pair. It’s a fashion-forward twist that perfectly aligns with Wales Bonner’s London-born, bold aesthetic.
Not to be outdone, Pharrell Williams’ Humanrace line also left its mark on the Samba, introducing elongated tongues and vibrant colour themes. The Samba has been a canvas for creativity, with collaborations from Palace, JJJJound, Pleasures, and Jason Dill, showcasing its adaptability in the fashion world.
The Samba’s resurgence isn’t just a trend; it’s a testament to its enduring timeless charm. Its rich history and continuous evolution have made the Samba not just a shoe but a symbol of timeless style that bridges the gap between sport and street, making it a true cultural icon.
So, next time you spot those iconic three stripes, know that you’re witnessing more than just a sneaker – you’re seeing a piece of fashion history walking by!
Ready to get on the trend? Here are our faves (pictured clockwise from left)