Ever since Adolf “Adi” Dassler began to create his own athletic footwear from his mother’s kitchen in Herzogenaurach following his return from World War I, running shoes have been intrinsically linked to the DNA of “the brand with the three stripes.”
Through the phenomenal success of one of the first Adidas athletes, U.S. sprinter Jesse Owens, at the 1936 Summer Olympics, Adidas was flung onto the world stage as the trusted brand for runners on both track and road. Owens’ haul of four gold medals at the games created a worldwide phenomenon and resulted in Adidas selling over 200,000 pairs of shoes every year before the outbreak of World War II.
In the intervening 80 years, the brand has maintained its reputation at the pinnacle of athletic footwear, producing sneakers for the world’s finest sportsmen and casual runners alike. To this day, through lifestyle interpretations of technical footwear such as the Yeezy Boost and NMD offerings, Adidas spans the worlds of sport and style adeptly.
With the introduction of Boost technology and its many incarnations, the recent introduction of AlphaBOUNCE to the market, and other high-performance footwear available to the world’s elite athletes this summer in Rio, Adidas has reinforced its place at the top of the pile.
Here, we run down Adidas’ 10 finest contributions to the world of running shoes, all maintaining the high standards and aesthetic that were set out in Mrs. Dassler’s kitchen all those years ago.