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adidas has gone a long way since it first started making basketball boots. This small selection can only highlight our rich history and heritage in basketball.

adidas’ oldest basketball boot is from 1949 – it all started with the Trainingsstiefel from the year adidas was founded. This multi-purpose shoe was specifically manufactured for the US Army and was primarily used for playing basketball. The main requirement was to provide protection. For this reason it was equipped with a soft, cushioning sole, a stiff toe cap and heel counter and an ankle pad.

The shoe from 1955 with an unlined beige upper was endorsed by and developed in cooperation with the German Basketball Federation (Deutscher Basketballbund). Canvas was the material of choice in the 1950s and ‘60s. The shoe also features two ventilation eyelets on the inside.

20 years after the Trainingsstiefel, the prototype of the Superstar appeared. The Superstar is derived from the Supergrip. The rubber shell attached to the vamp proved particularly successful and made this shoe the most-worn basketball shoe in the NBA in the 1970s. The sole is made of white compact rubber with a wave tread on the running surface and a hammer-blow finish at the side. This Supergrip was worn by Jerry A. West during the L.A. Lakers vs Phoenix Suns match in the 1973 NBA season. West became the third basketball player to hit the magic 25,000 point mark. To celebrate this success, his shoe was gilded and the NBA logo was modelled on Jerry A. West’s silhouette.

Stay tuned for a look at the 1980s and 1990s and find out more on www.adidas-archive.org. The History Management team works on archiving these objects and telling the stories behind these great products.