They say some things are just too good to be true. I was certainly in complete disbelief when I first set eyes on adidas’ new soccer-inspired shoe: the adidas Sobakov. The shoe is everything of my wildest shoe dreams except I am not dreaming. These kicks are the real deal and here’s why I think they’re the best soccer lifestyle shoes adidas has come out with as of yet.

The stripes are obviously what draw you in. Their inspiration stems from no other source than one of soccer’s most classic cleats: the adidas Predator Precision. As you’ll recall, adidas recently reissued this cleat and offered a lifestyle option that came with a Boost sole. While many of you, including myself, would not mind having the Predator UltraBoost in our collection, we would not be wrong in saying that we did not miss out on much as rather than a consolation, the new Sobakov is the real prize.

Between the Predator UltraBoost and the Sobakov, one has to admit the UltraBoost will always look like a soccer shoe. The Sobakov, on the other hand, is more subtle in its inspiration and therefore has the potential to not only be more appealing to more people but to also be more versatile in one’s choice of outfits.

The Sobakov has what you call an unassuming elegance that is only further augmented by its shape. The contours, after all, are what I found problematic in adidas’ other soccer lifestyle options such as the latest Predator Tango 18+. That shoe just looked too modern and I couldn’t see anything in it that said Predator to me, even though it was called a Predator. The Sobakov is the complete opposite as I am able to see much more than just a Predator. Despite the references to the adidas Kamanda, the shoe’s shape, especially with that sole, reminds me much more of a Nike Roshe or a Yeezy. Both of these shoes have obviously been overwhelmingly popular amongst consumers and may just provide the wave that the Sobakov can continue to ride.

This connection I draw makes it more apparent to me why the shoe does not look to be packaged as an adidas soccer release. Instead, the shoe looks like it will be an adidas Originals offering even though the soccer inspiration is in much more than just the stripe detailing. adidas has truly exceeded my expectations as rather than merely appropriating the distinct features of a Predator, which I once said was all that was necessary, the brand has now also redefined other features from yet another classic silhouette. Taking inspiration now from the Samba Classic, the Sobakov’s upper makes the Samba’s beloved textured tongue a prime rather than secondary feature. With this, adidas has given us everything we want more of in a shoe that is familiar, but new yet with all the makings of becoming a classic of its own.

There is no info on the release of these as of yet, but make sure to stay tuned to the KTTP IG for all the details.

Images via Sneake Studio.


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 on April 21st.

Images via Highsnobiety.