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Courtside Kicks

Courtside Kicks

A Lookback At Some Of The Game’s Prolific Forerunners

Thanks to ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance’ – a docuseries that depicts the mesmerizing star power of five-time MVP Michael Jordan and his team the Chicago Bulls in their ‘90s heyday – basketball’s bygone era has never felt more relevant. With that in mind and given the UK’s new-found affinity for the NBA, we’re digging through our portfolio to shine light on the shoes that first made their debut on the court, comprising the notorious Nike Blazer and adidas Superstar.

Courtside Kicks – History of the Nike Blazer:

In 1973 sportswear newbie Nike was a mere nine years of age when it launched the new kid on basketball’s block, the Nike Blazer. Dubbed the ‘Nike Blazer’ in tribute to local team the ‘Portland Trail Blazers’, the sneaker was specifically tailored to bolster game play, possesing supple leather in its upper, nylon and breathable mesh in the tongue and a robust vulcanised rubber sole underfoot. It’s construction, which employed the vulcanisation process and done so to superlative standards, was deemed hugely popular with players of the era, leading San Antonio Spurs shooting guard George Gervin to link up with the Swoosh and subsequently become the first player to front the Nike Blazer courtside.

Cool by name and by nature, George ‘The Iceman’ Gervin possessed the kind of star power that could transcend a silhouette from the hardwood and into favour with global popular culture. In fact, it’s thought that Nike and George Gervin’s partnership initiated the logistics of ‘player exclusive’ deals back then which of course are so ubiquitous these days.

Nike Blazer San Antonio Spurs NBA

Former San Antonio Spurs shooting guard George Gervin sporting the Nike Blazer during a game.

Nike Blazer Mid Vintage 77 Sketch

Nike Blazer Mid Vintage ’77 in White/Red and White/Black colourways, available now at Aphrodite.

 

Nike’s quick off the march approach to identifying players and utilising their likeness in such a way would become the cornerstone of the brand’s global operations. Just 12 years after the Nike Blazer debuted, a new courtside crep was preparing to take the NBA by storm; named the ‘Air Jordan’ after gravity-defying Bulls shooting guard Michael Jordan. This immensely lucrative and longstanding partnership is responsible for MJ’s title as the richest athlete on the globe and although the Nike Blazer’s basketball invasion was short-lived, it did lay down the foundations for future successors such as Mike’s Air Jordan.

Having paved the way for player endorsements and Swoosh-bearing status on the court, the Nike Blazer gave up shooting hoops and skated into fresh tenure. Turns out, the design’s tremendous traction came in super handy for skaters, and so the Nike Blazer was reincarnated. These days though, the sneaker doesn’t require a specific purpose to make it a modern necessity – it’s now welcomed worldwide thanks to its unwavering throwback feel and logo-laden look.

Courtside Kicks – History of the adidas Superstar:

German heavyweight adidas had already built a great rapport with NBA greats way before rival Nike and its famous Blazer hit the scene. In 1969 the adidas Superstar launched as the first low-profile basketball sneaker to feature an all-leather upper and a rubber shelltoe, this making way for the shoe’s myriad nicknames since, including the ‘shelltoe’, ‘shell tops’ and ‘shell shoes’.

Given that sneaker innovation in the ‘60s was still very much at the inception stage, the shoe’s rubber shell toe and non-marking outsole were in every way unprecedented. The striking nature of the design quickly began to garner attention from some of the game’s most accomplished players, one being Kareem Abdul Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers, whom some claim is the greatest player in NBA history. But these 3-Stripes sneakers weren’t solely reserved for the unstoppable feet of Kareem Abdul Jabbar, as by its third year of production the adidas Superstar was donned by over 75% of all NBA players. Pretty impressive.

adidas Superstar NBA History

NBA players of the past repping the adidas Superstar, including former New York Knicks power forward and Chicago Bulls Head Coach Phil Jackson.

adidas Superstar Sneakers

adidas Originals Superstar Trainers in Black/White and adidas Superstar WS2 Trainers in White/Black, available now at Aphrodite.

 

Just like the Nike blazer, the stellar adidas Superstar eventually, and gracefully, made its way off the court and into the city streets, picking up recognition from Hip Hop’s elite rap group Run-D.M.C. – with the trio paying tribute to the design in a song titled ‘My Adidas’ which aimed to redefine b-boy culture. Later down the line the 3-Stripes label struck up an advertising deal with Run-D.M.C., in turn, marking the first major sports company / hip-hop partnership of its kind. In the decades since this fundamental link up, adidas has frequently employed celebrity industry crossovers as a formula to its success, notably with this very Superstar style and rapper Pharrell Williams, not to mention Kanye West’s dollar seizing Yeezy line.

So there you have it, two of the globe’s most crowd-pleasing footwear styles unearthed from their basketball origins. Shop the featured colourways by checking out our Nike and adidas departments now.

adidas Hamburg ‘Fish Market’

adidas City Series Returns

Aiming to capture the unique intricacies and subtle quirks of cultural hot spots around the globe and condense them into extremely eye-pleasing trainers,  to say the City Series is a fan favourite collection would not only be a monumental understatement but a disservice to this extremely nice adidas Hamburg we recently found in our possession.

adidas Hamburg City Series
Originally introduced in the ’80s the Hamburg quickly found its place nestled comfortably among adidas’ selection of terrace classics, boasting the low-profile, three striped, uncomplicated design that football fans couldn’t, and still can’t, get enough of. For this iteration however, the Hamburg swaps out the suede, instead choosing to employ a plush leather construction for a more lux feel and robust finish. Blanketing its uppers in a coating of minimal white, the sneakers feature classic elements such as the t-toe overlay, trefoil tongue and three stripe markings alongsidesubtle nods to its German eponym.


adidas Hamburg Fish Market
Referencing the North German cities famous Sunday fish market, the trainers employ a  textured ‘fish scale’ effect as well as bespoke branding to the in-sole and a metal interpretation of Hamburg’s iconic flag insignia to the heel. With gold inscription situated both to the lateral and medial side, proceedings are brought to a close with a gum midsole underfoot for that all important hit of heritage class.

The adidas City Series Hamburg are available now online at Aphrodite.

adidas SL7600

adidas SL7600 : Vintage Meets Modern

The adidas SL7600 are set to surface on our shores very soon so in preparation for their arrival and to show off some of their best bits, we thought we would share some words on what is sure to be an instant footwear classic.

Adidas SL7600 Sneakers

As the age-old saying goes you can never have too much of a good thing, and adidas’ Super Light lineup is the perfect example. Originally conceived during the ’70s to service the needs of athletes taking part in the Munich Olympics, not only was the SL series responsible for supplying the goods when it came to the age-old question of weight vs performance, but it held its own in an era long turf war with arguably some of the fiercest competition in running history.

adidas SL7600

Utilising a robust array of stellar three stripped source material, adidas’ next addition to their featherweight family comes in the form of the SL7600. As forward thinking in name as they are in construction, the sneakers mix a best of both worlds culmination of vintage old school class, cutting-edge ingenuity and on-trend multi-faceted design that is sure to please even the most traditionalist of trefoil fanatic.

adidas SL7600 Trainer

Crafted using both rugged suede overlays, nubuck accents and a breathable nylon base, the trainers boast a D-ring lacing system, similar to those found in both the Trimm Star / SL76, as well as iconic T-toe detailing. Further enhanced with a blanketing of minimal white which serves to add a subdued touch to the overall proportions of the silhouette, the SL7600 truly shines when it comes to underfoot cushioning.

adidas SL7600 Sneaker

Not only can an authentic jagged traction outsole be found to improve on-foot grip but an EVA midsole sees its already superior cushioning properties bolstered by a selection of comforting BOOST foam inserts. Finished with a branded tongue and tonal three striped sides, the SL7600 is a true homage to some of the key defining moments in adidas history, highlighting pivotal moments in the brand’s past and perhaps making nods to their not so distant future.

The adidas SL7600 is available online and in store at Aphrodite very soon.

adidas SL7600 release

Home of Classics adidas

adidas Home of Classics: The Next Chapter

Acting as an antithesis to the sneaker industry’s often unsustainable noise, adidas’ ‘Home of Classics’ collection proudly veers away from short-term trend fashion, and instead, favours styles that lock down an abundance of versatility. When the adi’ concept first launched last year, its refined, stripped-back designs brought a breath of fresh air to the bulbous, audacious aesthetic of 2019 and the global status quo.

Launching midnight January 15th, the next ‘Home of Classics’ instalment brings with it the iconic adidas Continental 80, Stan Smith Recon and SC Premiere – all clad in a creamy, off-white colourway. Though sharing many of the same qualities and all delivered as a premium update of their originators, each trainer has its own story to divulge within the realm of footwear.

Rendered as a contemporary update on the ever-dependable Stan Smith, adidas’ Stan Smith Recon takes its moniker from the two-time Grand Slam champ of the same name. Boasting a premium leather upper and lining, this timeless silhouette sees monochromatic hues cast a timeless, wearable image over its identity. Shunning Stan Smith’s signature green stamp, this pared-back version replaces the tennis ace’s face with an unusual tweak at the tongue. As last year’s Home of Classics collection subtly touched on, the sneaker everts the shoe’s (traditionally internal) sizing scale and places it externally at the tongue. Additional accents include the brand’s signature perforated 3-Stripes, a suede heel panel and the same robust rubber outsole that debuted in the ‘70s.

adidas Stan Smith Recon

For the Home of Classics Continental 80, the aim is to recharge the ‘vintage charm of the era’, doing so with myriads of retro elements, including a branded window positioned at the sidewall and a split cupsole with EVA insert that perfectly captures the sneaker zeitgesit of the ‘80s. The colourless, stacked upper of the shoe is broken up with perforations, tonal thread and several recognisable adidas credentials.

adidas originals Continental 80

Last, but by no means least, the adidas SC Premiere calls on the sportswear heavyweight’s courtside heritage. Inspired by generations of timeless tennis style, this latest rendition, like the Continental 80, features a retro logo window and layered look across its upper, teamed alongside a ‘world famous for quality’ imprint at the reverse. One of the shoe’s standout components, which you don’t see again across the collection, is the SC Premiere’s serrated sole unit; this jagged edge provides superb grip at the surface of the design, enabling the wearer a trusty, stable ride through the streets.

adidas SC Premiere

Designed to pair seamlessly with a plethora of fits, the 2020 Home of Classics series harnesses boundless amounts of style and substance. Purchase an adidas classic when the capsule launches midnight 15/01/2020.

adidas ZX 8000

adidas ZX 8000: Retro Runners

When it comes to retro runners few do it better than adidas’ ZX ensemble. Luckily for us we have some ZX 8000’s coming our way very, very soon.

Born out of a desire to fulfil the needs of a diverse selection of runners, the ZX collection not only gave way to some of the most memorable three stripe silhouettes seen in recent history, but pathed the way for adidas to develop never before seen footwear technologies of the time. Led by French designer Jacques Chassaing and driven with an insatiable desire for quality footwear, both the brand’s Torsion System and Soft Cell cushioning can find their roots embedded in the decade-long evolutionary period.

adidas ZX 8000

Originally introduced with models such as the ZX 500 and ZX 800 the trainers entered the second stage of the project following the 1988 Olympic games, when the collection continued to develop the intricacies found in each shoe and the numerical lineup entered the realms of 4 digits with notable silhouettes such as the ZX 4000 and ZX 5000.

adidas ZX 8000

Remastered for modern day the adidas ZX 8000 is another of the exemplary sneakers to come from the sportswear giant’s 10 year long foray into all things running. Presented in one of its most recognisable colourways and given a healthy dose of contemporary complexities, the shoe debuted in 1989 and quickly became a mainstay of the ZX family.

adidas ZX 8000

With lightweight, breathable uppers consisting of suede and mesh, the trainers feature an energy-returning EVA midsole, ghilly lacing system and both a heel brace / aforementioned supportive Torsion bar to the sole. Finished with tasteful hits of branding to the tongue and a rugged rubber outsole perfect for pounding the pavements, the ZX 8000s minor alterations to the original formula stand as a testament to its perpetual nature.

The adidas ZX 8000 Trainers are available both online and in store at Aphrodite 02/01/20 at 11pm.

adidas ZX 8000

adidas Ultraboost 20 Triple Black

adidas Ultraboost 20: Back To Black

If you’re a self-proclaimed sneakerhead you’ll already know that adidas has been on a winning streak with the Ultraboost releases in recent weeks, the brand even voyaged to outer space for one extraterrestrial collaboration with the International Space Station this month, but, it seems that it’s back to orderly business for the Three Stripes as it delivers a triple-black colourway of its fabled running shoe for the upcoming season.

Dubbed the adidas Ultraboost 20, this all-new sneaker may not be subject to the expert approval of astronauts but let me tell you, it’s no run-of-the-mill silhouette either, but then again, no Ultraboost iteration ever is. Where the sneaker lacks in colour and contrast, it makes up for in textural elements and state-of-the-art adi’ tech. For example, its Primeknit+ upper is designed to hug the foot, offering the runner a snug, streamlined fit that’s free of added bulk and lightweight enough for the city streets. Elsewhere, Tailored Fiber Placement and a TPU cage wrap the shoe with supreme support in all those high-pressure areas and the savvy construction doesn’t just end there…

adidas Ultraboost 20 Triple Black

Underfoot, responsive Boost cushioning provides a springy surface for a plethora of fast-paced activity, in turn, making light work of any performance-driven duties you set your sights on, whether that’s a gruelling gym session or a light evening jog. In addition to this, adidas’ Stretchweb outsole with Continental™ rubber ensures the sturdiest possible grip on the ground – we’re talking expert traction that’s been rigorously tested, by both adidas and tire manufacturing expert Continental, to supply stability through every terrain.

adidas Ultraboost 20 Triple Black Colourway

adidas Ultraboost 20 Sneakers

All in all, this running companion has more to it than initially meets the eye so, if you’re after a no-nonsense looking shoe that’s packed full to the brim with lightweight tech, the adidas Ultraboost 20 is definitely for you. Catch the trainer at Aphrodite from Saturday December 7th, 2019.

adidas Ultraboost 20

adidas Ultraboost 20: One Bold Step For Mankind

Fans of dead comfy trainers and the final frontier rejoice, adidas have only gone and teamed up with the International Space Station to create the next evolution of Ultraboost endowed footwear. Officially dubbed the adidas Ultraboost 20, the sneakers take adidas’ passion for performance enhancing stompers to never before seen heights of scientific ingenuity, making them perfect for those either looking to improve their athletic abilities or add some futuristic options to their footwear resume.

adidas Ultraboost 20

Having enlisted the help of the ISS astronauts to test out their revered Boost foam moulding procedure without interference from pesky gravity, adidas hopes that the data collected will lead to further technological advancements in their upcoming runner lineup. Marking the monumentous occasion, the new and improved adidas Ultraboost 20 takes its design influence from the shape and construction of space shuttles, boasting a revised flexible primeknit upper that not only brings with it a slue of familiar comfort bearing qualities, but makes use of a new tailored fiber placement technique to adapt its fit to whatever foot it finds itself on.

Elsewhere a responsive full-length Boost infused midsole provides signature levels of energy return, reducing impact, transferring momentum and propelling the wearer forward with each stride. Supported by a TPU heel clip, Continental stretch web outsole and pinpoint stitched reinforcement, the trainer is finished with a futuristic iridescent sheen and Space station branding to the tongue.

If you ever wanted to find out how Neil Armstrong felt when he took those first steps on the moon these are the shoes to do it. The adidas Ultraboost 20 are available online and in store 06/12/19.

adidas x International Space Station

 

adidas Ultraboost 20 Trainers

adidas Ultraboost 20 Trainers

adidas Home of Classics Collection

adidas ‘Home of Classics’ Returns

Continuing from the launch of their ‘Home of Classics’ collection earlier this year, adidas present the next instalment of the reflective series which not only pays homage to the effortless styling capabilities of low-top leather sneakers but, celebrates the transcendence of their footwear from purpose-driven sportswear to culturally prominent powerhouses. Arriving on our doorstep in the form of both a re-imagined Continental 80 and Supercourt, the sneakers come dripping in nonabrasive universal appeal and laidback minimal cool, representing the brand’s commitment to quality for over 50 years.

adidas Home of Classics Supercourt

With the latter of the two released just this summer, the Supercourt combines lessons learnt from some of the most monumentous figures in trefoil history with a modern edge, offering up a youthful twist on vintage tennis style. Constructed using a mixture of supple leather and soft nubuck, they come dressed in versatile coatings of triple-white and make use of multi-layered paneling alongside subtle variations in hue to enhance visual depth. Finished with a plethora of nondescript detailing, such as gold metallic branding and perforated sides, the trainers boast an ortholite sock liner and robust rubber outsole for exceptional comfort and grip.

adidas Home of Classics Continental 80

Based on an original 1986 aerobic shoe, the Continental 80 is another of adidas’ bright eyed and bushy tailed styles that can be seen propelling the brand into it’s next generational phase. Bursting at the seams with heritage influence, the sneaker now fulfils a more lifestyle orientated role, displaying an entirely smooth leather makeup and arming its unmistakable split rubber cup sole with a lightweight EVA insert for an extra responsive and cushioned ride. Given to the same all-white treatment, the sneakers display the iconic arching side stripe to their lateral side and come finished with an ’80s inspired window cut-out logo.

adidas Home of Classics Collection

Despite both being relative newcomers to the three stripe party what the trainers lack in years spent pounding the pavements, they make up for with their decisively archival designs and nostalgia driven looks that, when teamed with the collections subdued palette, makes them irresistible additions to even the most congested collection. The adidas ‘Home of Classics’ collection launches online and in store at Aphrodite 17/10/19.

adidas Home of Classics Collection

adidas human made

WIN – adidas x Human Made Solar Hu & NMD Hu: First Look

adidas, Pharrell Williams and Nigo’s Human Made Join Forces

Drop everything you’re doing, we have some exciting news for you; after nine months of endless trialing and impromptu teasing, the adidas x Human Made collection is finally upon us. Set for launch on the 5th of October, the capsule brings with it two romantic remakes of the iconic Solar Hu and NMD Hu trainers.

adidas x Human Made Collection

Both sneakers are already prominent pictures in Pharrell Williams’ collaborative line up with the Three Stripes label, in which styles regularly showcase the designer’s conceptual mindset and affinity for explosive hues. But, for the new season ahead, both the Solar Hu and NMD Hu opt for a drastically different look that’s peppered with the signature aesthetic of Nigo’s Human Made imprint and adidas’ advanced innovation.

Flanked by responsive cushioning, the adidas x Human Made Solar Hu chooses to turn its back on Williams’ audacious tones, instead, favouring a much more refined aesthetic at the base. Heading back to basics in all-white, the silhouette leans on the sock-like support of Primeknit up top, this knitted fabric not only ensures a breathable ride, but also encourages flexibility through every pursuit. And at the vamp, Nigo opts to position Human Made’s synonymous red logo to the core – vibrantly embroidered, the emblem holds the brand’s moniker close to its heart, while its beating lines represent adidas’ iconic three stripes.

adidas x Human Made Solar Huadidas Human Made Solar Hu

Though the external form of the shoe has been treated to a 360° makeover, its functionality remains mostly the same. Bolstered by a boost™ midsole and a stabilizing Torsion system, the trainer lands and propels smoothly, while its continental rubber outsole provides superlative traction on the ground.

adidas x Human Made Solar Hu White

In like manner, the adidas x Human Made NMD is a shoe after the Solar Hu’s heart. With technology on its side, the trainer powers ahead with the same responsive boost™ cushioning, paired with moulded EVA midsole plugs anchoring both side panels for that signature NMD look. As well as the Human Made heart sitting to the vamp, this iteration also boasts the label’s ‘STRMCWBY’ logo, short for Storm Cowboy, to its leather heel panel. Internally, the design is finished with a colourful diagram that playfully maps out surrounding areas of the body, including the lungs, liver, stomach and so on.

adidas x Human Made NMDHuman Made x adidas NMD Trainer

Since both Nigo and Pharrell have collectively made magic of anything they’ve turned their hand to for decades now, the future is looking bright for the adidas x Human Made collection, with the Solar Hu and NMD Hu silhouettes launching in just a few days time (05/10/19) here at Aphrodite… act fast if you want to catch a pair!

Launch Details
Style codes – 
Solar Hu EG1837  /  NMD EF7223
Launch Date – Saturday 5th October 2019
Price – Solar Hu £139 / NMD £219

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We are also giving on lucky winner a chance to bag a pair of adidas x Human Made NMD Hu’s for free! All you have to do is head over to our Instagram page and follow the instructions. Good Luck!

WIN A PAIR OF ADIDAS X HUMAN MADE NMD HU PHARRELL WILLIAMS SNEAKERS