A lesser-known Three-Stripes basketball sneaker with a coveted off-court appeal.

As adidas continues to look to its archives for reissued releases, several of the brand’s heritage styles continue to dominate current sneaker trends. While the Samba and Gazelle have become It-girl staples, one silhouette has slowly found its way into stylish wardrobes, patiently waiting to carry on where its low-profile siblings left off; the adidas Campus. 

First released in 1980 as a follow-up to the adidas Tournament, the Campus was made with the basketball court in mind. A low-top design works with a vulcanised sole for a sports-focused build with durability at the forefront. Despite its roots on the court, the Campus was released as casual footwear was reaching new audiences and rising in popularity, swiftly becoming the shoe of choice for mainstream consumers. 

adidas Campus 00s Black White Gum. Credit Laced Studio

As hip-hop began its swift ascent into popular culture, adidas’ shoes became a part of the genre’s uniform. With rap trio Run-D.M.C. pushing the Superstar to new audiences in their song ‘My Adidas’, the Three Stripes brand’s silhouettes became a must-have in hip-hop, with the Campus being no exception. 

Spanning from the East Coast to the West, the Campus’s simple durability found its way into the wardrobe of hip-hop greats. From Eazy E to the Beastie Boys the shoe became a feature of album covers and magazine photo shoots. 

As the sneaker rose in prominence within hip-hop, the adidas Campus also found a home within the skateboarding community. While not officially designed for skating, a practical appeal and hard-wearing construction made for a seamless crossover. Thanks to a sturdy suede build, it could withstand the abrasive wear of grip tape, lending itself nicely to the streets and skateparks of the ‘80s and ‘90s. The Campus’ legacy as a skateboarding shoe has now been honoured by adidas’ skateboarding division, which recently partnered with Amsterdam-based skate label Pop Trading Company for a collaborative Campus model.

adidas Campus 00s Dark Green Gum. Credit: Laced Studio

With the adidas Campus associated with hip-hop in the USA, the classic adidas style found itself attached to the patriotic sounds of Britpop in the UK, gracing the feet of Damon Alburn of Blur amongst a host of other famous fans. As well as featuring in the outfits of musicians, the Campus, like other classic silhouettes from the brand, was a part of the casual wardrobe, becoming a favourite in football fashion up and down the United Kingdom. 

For 2023, adidas have honoured the Campus’ place in sneaker history by looking at the shoe’s subcultural impact. The adidas Canvas 00s is your next shoedrobe essential, alongside your baggiest jeans and wrap-around shades. A pinnacle of early 2000s fashion, the chunky skate sneaker became a uniform for a life lived to the soundtrack of Avril Lavigne’s Sk8er Boi. With the Y2K aesthetic showing no signs of slowing, adidas have responded to the nostalgic call for chunky throwback sneakers, repurposing the Campus 80s with a padded tongue and chunkier laces. Boasting over 39 million views on TikTok, the #Campus00s hashtag demonstrates a near-insatiable appetite for retro sneakers that adidas continues to fill.