Adidas Says Goodbye to Germany With a Pair of Sneakers

This collab from Overkill references the German football team, which Adidas is losing soon.

via Overkill

The German translation for “swan song” is schwanengesang, a word that might be longer than the time that Adidas has left as the official sponsor of the German national football team. Nike is set to take over the apparel contract for the German team, or the DFB as it’s known, in 2025, as the American brand is paying $108 million per year to sponsor the organization in a deal worth double what Adidas was offering. As the sun sets on Adidas’ 77-year sponsorship of Germany, there’s still product being rolled out that’s tied into its football heritage with its home team. 

While it’s not an official collaboration between the DFB and Adidas, German boutique Overkill is set to release an Adidas ZX8000 sneaker in time for Euro 2024 that pays homage to the German kits from the same period as the shoe, which first released in 1989.

The shoe is white and has black, red, and yellow stripes that also extend down to the midsole. The ZX8000s look just as much like something that would have been worn by Jurgen Klinsmann around the training ground as they do footwear that would have been sported by the ultras that supported West Germany at the time.

Marc Leuschner, a co-owner of Overkill with a long history of ZX collabs on his resume, worked on the ZX800 project. Leuschner is a football fanatic and supporter of the German team.

“This was our homage of the team to support them,” he says. “We seeded the shoes to all the players on the team, as well as the members of the women’s team, too.”

Close-up of a sneaker with a white lace featuring the text "OVERKILL" on the lace tip. The sneaker has black, red, and yellow accents

Leuschner says they wanted to make the shoes in the run-up to the Euro 2024 tournament, which is being held in Germany, and didn’t know that Germany was going to change sponsors next year when they were making the sneaker. 

“For us, as German people, this change is really tough,” he says. “It feels really crazy. Since the team has existed, Adidas was the sponsor. The feeling in Germany was really weird about the change.”

The design process behind the sneaker was shorter than normal, and Leuschner says he thinks that Germany going with Nike may have sped everything up.

Three people wearing white sneakers with colorful stripes, sitting in a circle on a blue sports surface. Their faces are not visible

“The timing and design process was short. We didn’t have the normal sampling process. We only did one sample of the shoe,” he says. “Later, we got the news of the change from Adidas to Nike, it also pushed the timeline because it can be one of the last Adidas sneakers that come with the colors for Germany. There’s a bit more hype, a bit more interesting.”

As far as the release of the sneaker goes, the online raffle for the German-themed ZX8000s starts on June 6 at 10 a.m. CET at Overkill’s online store. The in-store release will take place on June 8, FCFS, at 10 a.m. CET in Berlin and Cologne.⁠ The shoes will cost 140 euros.