Our high school
basketball team had worn Converse "Chuck
Taylor" All Star basketball shoes for as many years as I've seen yearbooks. (For some reason,
they wore black high-top
in 1966, but natural white for all the other years before 1972.
Sometimes they all wore high-tops, sometimes they wore
all low-tops, and sometimes a mix of both... this was
before somebody got the idea for the mid-top.)
1970-1971, our basketball team wore the adidas Superstar. A
number of other area teams also did likewise. I remember asking my towering friend, Bobby
(#24, six feet and nine inches tall, back to the camera), about them. "Aren't they heavy, being
leather?" He said, "No, not at all. And they're so much more comfortable than
the old Converse high-tops."
Note that the Superstar before 1972 did not have the adidas
Trefoil ("flower") on the heel patch. Also,
note that their opponents in this picture wore Chucks. The guys in the Chucks had a 3-0 record
against our team, but we finished a respectable 17-10 overall.
While the Superstar was low-top, adidas remembered high-top
fans: the Superstar had a corresponding high-top
version, which adidas named the "Promodel."
Superstar example; red suede with white stripes.
Trefoil was added to later production. The triple
stripes apparently were never trademarked in the USA; it may have been that others copied them first.
Consequently, at least two other famous sneaker manufacturers
engaged in stripe swiping; adding three stripes may have given their same old sneaker
products "adidas appeal" on the store shelf. I do
remember that at about this time Montgomery Ward
added three stripes to their same old "Skips" and advertised that they had
"the adidas look." I also remember that they had
one model that cloned the Puma stripe, but they didn't
advertise "the Puma look."
adidas Superstar and its high-top
equivalent, the Promodel, both feature a distinctive toe-cap design.
Sometimes, people jointly refer to these two models as the "shell-toes"
adidas. I've had at least one person ask me a question like
"Where are the pictures of the shell-toes? You mentioned
all the other old school shoes..."
team got only a single season away from the "old Converse."
Our team went with red low-top
Chucks in the 1971-1972 basketball season. Bobby graduated that year. He got a college
scholarship to play basketball. His new team wore Carolina Blue
("baby blue") high-top Chucks. Bobby also played tennis in college. (That college got their
money's worth out of his Chucks as he also wore them for tennis.)
In 1998, adidas created a "Millennium" updated version of the classic Superstar and Promodel, as well as the Stan Smith tennis sneaker.
In 2002: I see Superstars all the time... except as a retro sneaker.
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Last Updated: 18 April 2012 11:32
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