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adidas Originals trainers: The complete guide

How well do you know your Continental 80's from your ZX Flux's? Brush up on your knowledge with our handy guide covering all things adidas Originals trainers.

adidas Originals guide

What are adidas Originals?

Many brands have lines or divisions which form the foundation of their entire brand. Some are simply ‘basics’ or ‘essentials’, but others push things a little further. Sometimes lines of products developed to the point where a brand is allowed the creative freedom to explore visual concepts and unique ideas related to their overall message.

adidas Originals is exactly that - a subdivision in which adidas exhibits and honours its retro heritage.

gazelles collab
Image from adidas.

Some of adidas’ most famous products have come from the Originals line - think the timeless Gazelles, the Sambas or the iconic Superstars. The development of newer creations such as the Torsion range (ZX Flux and similar shoes) display the brand’s willingness to not only honour the past, but to look to the future as well.

What's the difference between adidas and adidas Originals?

First things first, the logo.

The primary adidas logo, with its three angled stripes that increase in size from left to right, is easily one of the most recognisable in the world. However since 1998 the equally memorable Trefoil logo (pictured below) has sat alongside the three stripes, representing the Originals division. As soon as you see the famous Trefoil on the box, advertising or even the shoe itself, you can be sure its Originals.

originals logo
Image from adidas.

Fun Fact: adidas purchased the Trefoil logo from Finnish sportswear company Karhu (who have now recently re-emerged as a major player in the trainer industry) in 1952 for the equivalent of €1600 and two bottles of whisky.

In terms of the footwear themselves, normal adidas trainers tend to be more functional and sport-focused, making use of durable and comfortable materials. The popular Ultraboost line is a good example. However, Originals tend to be more casual - employing materials such as suede and leather - often featuring more earthy, natural tones that allow for that indistinguishable retro feel, equally perfect for the terraces or the pub.

That isn’t to say though that Originals can’t be worn for running. As mentioned before, adidas have started to expand into other avenues with the Originals division through the development of more functional offerings such as the Falcon or ZX Flux. The Torsion sole provides excellent comfort whilst exercising and so is a popular choice amongst gym-goers.

Top 7 adidas Originals Trainers for 2019/20

7. adidas Jeans

Image from adidas.

A staple of the terraces that, unsurprisingly, go perfectly with a pair of jeans. These beauties have the tip of the Samba and a similar design to the Gazelle, but are unique due to their shape down each side, where the midsole (the visible side portion between the sole and the side of the shoe) becomes narrower in a sleek design. Readily available in a variety of colours for a very respectable £75.

6. adidas Nite Jogger

Image from adidas.

Another shoe now with a fairly obvious title, the Nite Jogger. Recently re-released as an updated version of the 1980s classic, these trainers employ the use of a Boost sole (Ultraboost, Alphaboost etc) for maximum cushion when running. They also feature 3M reflective strips for maximum visibility at night. The functionality of a sports shoe, with the design and feel of an Originals, these truly are the best of both worlds.

They start from £110 but seeing as they are not a staple of the Originals line, many are already popping up on sale from as little as £55 - expect to see even more of these kind of deals in the lead up to Black Friday.

5. adidas Ozweego

Image from adidas.

Bringing it slightly forward with a 90s remaster now, it’s the Ozweegos. These feature a large sole for maximum absorption and cushioning, yet are surprisingly lightweight. Dedicated forefoot support further enhances their comfort - this, along with their overall durability ensures they are perfect for any busy days. Starting at £90.

4. adidas Sobakov

Image from adidas.

Also released in 2019, these understated casual trainers divide opinion. Inspired by modern football culture, they offer a unique take on the famous three stripes, however I think it is the gum sole that is putting some people off rather than the actual shoe itself. They are decidedly laid back in appearance and as such look great with a pair of tracksuit bottoms.

They start at £100 but again, don’t be surprised if you could grab a pair for around the £60 mark. Oh, and a pair featuring a Boost sole have been released now too.

3. adidas Yung 1

Image from adidas.

The men's equivalent of the adidas Falcon, these are another revamp of a 90s classic. A remaster of the 1997 adidas Falcon Dorf, they are actually quite similar to the Ozweegos in many ways, but feature a smaller sole and aren't as ‘chunky’ overall. A layered look cements the 90s feel, but it is matched with Torsion technology to provide modern levels of comfort.

They start at £90 but places such as size? and Office are running select colourways around the £45 - £50 mark.

2. adidas Continental 80

Image from adidas.

Aside from the serious retro vibes that these give off (which of course is always great), what’s really great about the Continental 80 is the variety of colourways they come in. Many versions feature tones that are seemingly faded, making the shoe look as if it’s been dropped in dye then left in the sun for a few years; it really adds to the retro vibe. An overall classy trainer, and a more reasonably priced one too, starting at £75.

1. adidas Gazelle

Image from adidas.

Here we are, the ultimate adidas trainer, where would Originals be without the Gazelle? A timeless classic first released 51 years ago as an indoor football trainer, this icon of the fashion game has definitely stood the test of time. The simple design highlights the brilliance of the three stripes and goes perfectly with any outfit. It’s minimal look is a winning formula and adidas are fully aware of this - it’s why the shoe largely looks the same as when it was first released.

The most popular colours are definitely the classic Denim Blue and Black - the Blue colourway just has this definite retro sport feel to it, like you could be heading for a game of 5 o’s in your local gym hall in 1974.

Contemporary models have added very slight tweaks, with updates such as gum soles and all-leather material, that will further ensure this legend of the game is as relevant today as it always has been. Still very fairly priced too at £70, the Gazelle will surely be an icon for many more years to come.

Some amazing deals on Gazelles can be found right here.

Honourable mentions too go to the Handball Classics, the Spezials, and the most famous tennis shoes of all time, the Stan Smiths.

adidas Originals special editions

Arguably the most famous of all the adidas Originals limited releases are the highly sought after City Series’. First released in the 1970s and 80s, these are special releases that each time honour a specific city which has a rich history of culture. The shoes themselves are designed in similar ways to many heritage Originals trainers, but tweaked slightly and then decorated in a colourway that honours the city. They are finished off with gold branding that displays the city’s name next to the stripes.

Some of these editions release only in the city itself at a selected location, or at an exclusive stockist making them very rare and therefore hugely expensive on the resale market - you may remember the adidas Dublin’s being re-released in 2010 and again in 2017, both going on to fetch around £300-£400 on marketplaces such as eBay or depop. Others are much more readily available, such as the Malmo, which was recently widely released on the adidas website and at other stockists like Consortium, with high levels of stock (some sizes are still available at these locations!).

adidas yeezy
Image from adidas.

Like many fashion brands nowadays, adidas also love a collaboration - whether this be with another brand, artist, or celebrity. The most notorious adidas collaboration needs no introduction - the Yeezy range curated alongside Kanye West. These are famous high-end casual products designed by the man himself, that instantly sell out in their thousands the world over. Looking past the Yeezy line, there’s also the successful partnership with Pharrell Williams which has produced, amongst others, the famous line of brightly coloured NMD’s known as ‘Hu’. These also sell out very quickly and are some of adidas Originals’ most acclaimed work in recent years, we definitely recommend checking them out.

Where can I buy adidas Originals trainers?

Whilst the adidas website is the obvious answer, their stock tends to be hit and miss, and they seem to favour their newer releases over the classics. Sites like Footlocker and Size? are both great for the more contemporary models, and both regularly run promotions that give 10/20/25% off.

Shoutout too to places like Office, ASOS, schuh and END Clothing who can also always be relied on to stock Originals. The latter in particular have some absolute steals in the sale the moment!

It’s quite a job to keep on top of all these various destinations, but here at FOOTY.COM we compare prices from all the above retailers and more. Prices are updated regularly, so it’s well worth bookmarking any pages for trainers you’re after (like the Continental 80 for example) to stay ahead of the game.

All the best finding the trainers of your dreams!

Chris Semple

Manchester City season ticket holder and FC Schalke armchair. Wannabe trainer collector and travelling enthusiast.