Pusha T’s latest diss track aimed at Drake, “The Story of Adidon,” seems to be the only talk in social media right now, and I’m loving everything about it. But how are we not also talking as much as we should about the newly released adidas OG Samba Luzhniki Stadium edition? When these were first released to the public last week, the hype was definitely there, but not as much as it should’ve. Well, I wanted to go back to this release and shed more of the spotlight that it deserves. So without further ado, I present to you “The Story of Adidas” featuring the OG Samba Luzhniki.
Overall Design: Instant classic. I love a lot of things about this release. It immediately gives you that nostalgic old classic adidas vibe, of course with its design of the 3-stripes, but also with its colorway of an ivory white and scarlet red. The colorway is certainly inspired by the Luzhniki stadium, the main football arena from Moscow for the World Cup. The exact same colors used in this piece are used for the seats in the stadium. I am also a fan of the stitched-on typeface saying “Luzhniki” on the side of the shoe on one side, and the other side in Cyrillic letters to stamp this as a special edition release for this year’s World Cup.
Functionality: If you didn’t wear Sambas to play indoor soccer when you were growing up, did you even really play? I used to wear them for everything – not just soccer. I was probably the only kid in the gym to always wear them to play basketball even. Can you wear these Sambas to play soccer, however? Of course you can, but would you really want to? Compared to what’s out on the market nowadays, personally, I wouldn’t pick these Sambas with the expectation that they would be the best in performance. They’re probably not the most comfortable shoes out there, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make to stunt a bit.
Uniqueness: Understanding the love the Russian people have for adidas gear is important to appreciate this special release. The adidas tracksuits were popularized during the 1980 summer Olympics held in Moscow during the Soviet Union times. Back in 1980 adidas sponsored the Soviet Union team as their official team apparel sponsors even though the trademark adidas 3-stripes were not shown due to political reasons. In a nutshell, once the Olympics were over, many athletes failed to find real jobs and ended up doing different types of “jobs” on the streets. The classic adidas tracksuit was then often associated with troubled youth, or even those that are high above in the underground ladder. The head-to-toe adidas look was so popular with that crowd that there were several black markets dealing the apparel, as well a separate term for groups like the hooligans that are often seen wearing the tracksuits called the “Gopniks.” With the popularity of adidas in Russia and the connection of the World Cup also being held in Russia, everything about this release comes together naturally.
Details: adidas could have simply left this piece to ride the classic Samba look and change a bit of the colors here and there and call it a special release. But they’ve also captured many small details all around the shoe that makes this a one-of-a-kind in the Samba family. First, the aforementioned typeface of Luzhniki (and in Cyrillic) on each side of the shoe is a good touch. The red stars, often associated in flags, emblems, and the history of Russia/USSR, are also placed on the back heels. The inside of the shoe also has a red star with word markings of “3-stripes” and several different Cyrillic fonts making this overall release an instant classic and undeniably a special edition.
You can now purchase the adidas Samba Luzhniki from adidas.
Photo credits: asphaltgold