Year Introduced: 1992
Few adidas models capture zeitgeist like the Mutombo. The shoe screams early '90s-Afrocentric colors and big, bold branding-while neatly tying in the players own story. Those geometric patterns, not random. In fact, these draw from cut-pile raffia textiles popular in Mutombo's native Zaire (now Congo). The shoe debuted in fall of 1992, and in February of 1993 figured into a portrait of Robert Strasser published in the New York Times. The former Nike executive had just landed at adidas, taking charge of adidas America and pushing hoops. Mutombo headed into his third year in the Mutombo II, a pedestrian sneaker that pails in comparison to its predecessor, effectively crushing any chance at a signature shoe legacy for the center but also cementing the OG's space in the pantheon of great adi releases.