50 Things You Didn't Know About adidas

To celebrate adidas' 65th anniversary, here are 50 things you didn't know about the German brand.


Adidas turns 65 years old today, and the German athletic brand is still churning out sneakers, apparel, and sports gear. After more than six decades in the game, adidas has amassed a huge history. And with the recent addition of Pharrell, Kanye, and Nigo to the brand's roster, there's newfound interest in the product, too.

To catch you up to speed, we compiled a list of things you should know about adidas but might not. To test your knowledge or learn a thing or two, check out 50 Things You Didn't Know About adidas.

1. The Stan Smith wasn't always called the Stan Smith.

50 things adidas stan smith

2. The Micropacer was the first sneaker to have computer technology.

50 things adidas micropacer computer technology

3. There was a place called "adidas Park" in Boston, and you couldn't wear anything but the brand there.

50 things adidas boston park

4. adidas wasn't the original name of the brand.

50 things adidas original name

5. Adi Dassler's early designs were of track spikes.

50 things adidas adi dassler track spikes

6. Run DMC was given its endorsement deal after a performance at Madison Square Garden.

50 things adidas run dmc endorsement deal

7. Russell Simmons came up with the idea for "My Adidas" after smoking angel dust.

50 things adidas russell simmons

8. The Three Stripes are the most recognizable aspect of an adidas sneaker, but they were put there for function.

50 things adidas three stripes logo

9. The Trefoil logo is over 40 years old, but it's more than just a logo. It has a meaning.

50 things adidas trefoil logo meaning

10. Jeremy Scott has a full line with adidas Originals, but he worked with the brand way before that launched.

50 things adidas jeremy scott

11. adidas successfully sued Payless for $305M in 2008.

50 things adidas sued payless shoe source

12. The Superstar isn't the brand's best-selling sneaker.

13. adidas gave signature sneakers to BMX riders Dave Mirra and Ryan Nyquist in the '90s and early '00s.

14. Nike tried to stop adidas from selling its Primeknit sneakers in 2012.

15. Adi Dassler almost didn't make sneakers.

16. adidas didn't become "adidas" until 1949.

17. adidas is the parent company to Reebok, Rockport, and Taylor Made.

18. adidas almost went bankrupt in the early '90s.

19. The Superstar isn't just an iconic part of hip-hop, but it was also a first in basketball, too.

50 things adidas superstar hip hop

20. Michael Jordan almost signed with adidas, but he also wore the brand back in high school.

50 nike facts michael jordan nba

21. Jesse Owens wore adidas track shoes to win gold in the 1936 Olympics.

50 things adidas jesse owens

22. The adidas EQT series was seen as a status symbol.

50 things adidas eqt series status symbol

23. The Superstar was a popular skate shoe in the '90s.

50 things adidas superstar skateboarding

24. Matt Bonner landed his sneaker deal with adidas thanks to a Twitter conversation.

50 things adidas matt bonner twitter

25. adidas' Tubular technology is actually inspired by car tires.

50 things adidas tubular technology

26. Horst Dassler convinced Olympian Mark Spitz to hold a pair of adidas Gazelles in his hand as advertisement.

50 things adidas mark spitz

27. World War II might have caused the split between Adi Dassler and his brother, Rudolph.

50 things adidas adi dassler

28. There was an adidas "Jeans" sneaker, but it wasn't made of denim.

50 things adidas jeans sneaker denim

29. The original Superstars weren't made in Germany, but France.

50 things adidas superstars shell toes france

30. adidas is currently the global leader in the soccer market.

50 things adidas global leader soccer

31. adidas invented the adilette sandal to protect German soccer players from dirty showers.

50 things adidas sandal adilette

32. Peter Moore, the man who designed the Air Jordan 1, also designed something for adidas.

50 nike facts michael jordan air jordan 1

33. The Three Stripes used to belong to another European sneaker brand to adidas' north.

50 things adidas three stripes

34. There was an adidas Kobe III, but it never got released.

50 things adidas kobe bryant

35. The University of Michigan has adidas' full attention.

50 things adidas university of michigan

36. Derrick Rose, adidas' highest-paid athlete, wouldn't mind collaborating with Kanye West.

50 things adidas derrick rose

37. adidas' HQ in Herzogenaurach, Germany had a previous life.

50 things adidas germany hq

38. The ZX 8000 was the first adidas sneaker to use Torsion technology

50 things adidas zx 8000 torison technology

39. The Samba wasn't designed as an "indoor soccer shoe," it has a deeper history.

50 things adidas samba indoor shoe

40. A former adidas CEO was related to a Seinfeld cast member.

50 things adidas julia louis dreyfus

41. adidas launched a program to sell $1 sneakers in India in 2011.

50 things adidas dollar shoe india

42. If you ask someone outside of the U.S. to pronounce ZX they'll say....

50 things adidas zx zed ex

"Zed X," not "ZX." That's because the letter Z is pronounced differently in England. It's not just a different nickname for the sneaker. So, you can call them the Zed X Flux and not be wrong.

43. adidas made some T-shirts that were too risque for the 2014 World Cup.

50 things adidas 2014 world cup

44. The word "Equipment" was used for the adidas line because...

50 things adidas equipment line

45. adidas didn't plan for Kevin Garnett to say, "Anything is possible."

50 things adidas kevin garnett

46. adidas ZX series designer Jacques Chassaing thought about elements of "barefoot running," while making sneakers with stability.

50 things adidas barefoot running

47. adidas and Puma have squashed their beef, sort of.

50 things adidas vs puma

48. People who lived in Herzogenaurach looked at people's sneakers to decide if they wanted to talk to them.

50 things adidas puma herzogenaurach

49. Puma signed tennis star Boris Becker in the '80s to spite adidas.

50 things adidas puma boris becker

50. Adidas didn't invent "custom" sneakers, but it was the first brand to sell the idea of self-customization.

50 things adidas didnt invent customize

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