The idea that athletic footwear could take on an identity outside of the arena was largely championed by a rowdy bunch of soccer supporters in the '70s and '80s in the northwest of England, who fancied adidas trainers that they would secure on trips abroad throughout Europe, following and cheering on their clubs. Adidas paid tribute to this legacy with a "Stretford End" sneaker, made specifically for Manchester United fans to celebrate the team's European success in 1968. Sadly, though, not all fans were pleased with the sneaker.
First reported by Australian publication The Advertiser, there are quite a few Manchester United supporters who were unhappy with the sneaker for one simple reason: The Three Stripes are blue and not red.
Fans tweeted their disdain at the brand, saying they would never wear a sneaker with blue stripes, which resemble the colors of their crosstown rivals, Manchester City.
The sneakers, however, were given this color due to the kits that Manchester United wore during the 1968 final, and "Stretford End" is a portion of the club's stadium, Old Trafford, which houses some of its most loyal fans. There's also a devil on the heel, due to the "Red Devils" nickname given to Manchester United.
Although there was discontent expressed through social media, there was quite a strong legion of people queued up outside of Oi Polloi, a store selling the sneakers in Manchester, proving that they still connected with the consumer.
While the average supporter of Manchester United only looked at the sneaker on the surface and were instantly dissatisfied with the final product, it goes to show that the people in the know understood the message that the brand was trying to communicate.