By the late 1980’s, adidas had already established themselves among the top sports- and performance oriented brands with numerous iconic sneakers under their name. The german sportswear giant had become part of various sports and music related genres, and the three stripes proved that they deserved to be among the industry leading whilst the disco fever had the dance floors moving all over the world. From american hip hop concerts to tennis courts in Australia you could find the three stripes on the sides of both Superstars, Stan Smiths, Sambas and Gazelles.
Although Adidas was widely successful with a majority of their sneakers, every brand has a couple of missteps. More experimental designs might have had their periodic justification, but the more basic, streamlined designs seem to be the most successful ones. Some of the most popular ones are already mentioned above, but at Shoe Chapter we have always had a weak spot for the, arguably less known yet just as iconic, Adidas Campus.
The low-key lowtop was originally released at the beginning of the 1970’s under the name “Tournament”. During the 1970’s, Adidas already had multiple successful sportrelated footwear styles; on the European football fields you could find the Gazelle in its natural habitat, whilst the polished floors of college gym halls squeaked under the soles of the Forum High. The latter was actually worn by Michael Jordan in 1984; just one year prior to him signing one of, if not the, most profitable contracts ever… but that is a whole other story.
Originally, the Campus model was intended to be a lowtop alternative to Forum High, which until the Campus' introduction had been the preferred Adidas silhouette for three-pointers and slam dunks. In fact, a young Michael Jordan even played in the same Forum High in 1984, just one year before he signed the world's most profitable player contract with Nike… but that's a whole other story.
In the early 1980s, the Adidas Tournament was reintroduced as the Adidas Campus - and our German neighbors have apparently found no reason to change that, as it is still called to this day.
The Tournament was never too popular on the basketball court, but Adidas attempted to bring the sneaker back to life in the 1980 under the Campus name. However, the blooming skate- and hip hop culture adopted the sneaker; and although the most iconic collaboration was between Run D.M.C. and their love for the Adidas Superstar, the Campus got really popular with another New York based group; The Beastie Boys. The group actually swore to the Campus to such a degree that Adidas after stopping the Campus production in 1987, picked up the production again in the start of the 1990’s.
Although with reasonable suspicion one may speculate whether the members of the Run-D.M.C. has not from time to time given their rhythmic puzzle anchors a well-deserved break from the iconic Shelltoe and has jumped into a couple of Campuses, yet another hip-hop group from New York became the banner bearers for the Campus 'success - and further resurrection in the mid-1990s' erne. Until - and long after - Adidas stopped producing the Campus in 1987, the members of the Beastie Boys carried the model faithfully and legally… and praised it simply for both design and comfort to such an extent that in the mid-1990s Adidas resumed production.
Fortunate, at least in our humble opinion, as we are quite fond of the Campus. Since we opened our store, the Campus has become a staple in our assortment. If you wonder whether the Campus is a shoe for you, please feel free to stop by on Shoechapter.com or visit us in-store at Store Torv 6, st. in 8000 Aarhus C!