Extending its legacy as a cornerstone of the sneaker industry, adidas is having a moment this year. Rivalling the likes of Nike and New Balance, the German powerhouse has dominated the spotlight with a retro-inspired collection that leans heavily on archival silhouettes and fashion-forward styles. From viral collaborations with Wales Bonner to sought-after Samba releases, adidas has gone from strength to strength, changing the landscape of footwear and fashion along the way. 

With demand for the brand at an all-time high, fans are now looking for the next big thing. The Stan Smith enjoyed a full-force revival in recent years, while the Gazelle and Forum continue to top every wishlist. But while these styles have left a lasting impact on the industry, there’s one silhouette that’s predicted to return to the forefront: the adidas Superstar. Here, we take a look back at the Superstar’s history and how it came to be the next bestselling adidas sneaker.

Introduced to the public in 1970, the adidas Superstar debuted as a highly functional basketball shoe. Made with an all-leather construction and famous rubber toe shoe, it gained the love of athletes for its next-level grip and enhanced protection on the court. At one point, 75 percent of professional basketball players in the US wore Superstars.

As the Superstar continued to dominate basketball, it wasn’t long before it started attracting attention from outside the sporting sphere. In the ‘80s, Superstars began to influence the fashion and music scenes, becoming a staple of hip-hop culture. Decades later, the shell-toe shoes gained traction amongst skateboarders thanks to its durability fit and supportive sole. The 2000s saw the Superstar define the industry with an game-changing BAPE collaboration, while the trainer’s 25th anniversary in 2005 secured its place in sneaker history.

Fast forward to present day — after a brief hiatus — the Superstar is once again reigning supreme. The resurgence of retro silhouettes and adidas classics has confirmed the sneaker’s relentless staying power, with fans embracing the silhouette’s nostalgic heritage and enduring versatility. With more releases planned for 2023, the Superstar is showing clear signs of becoming the next ‘It’ shoe.

High-profile collaborations are a driving force behind the sneaker’s recent demand. Partnerships with the world’s biggest brands — Sean Wotherspoon, Human Race and Ivy Park — have drawn in a wider audience and introduced the silhouette to a whole new demographic. Prada and adidas’ elevated rendition saw the shoe enter the luxury realm, while collaborations with Disney and The Simpsons appeal to every generation.

But while exclusive releases and limited-edition collections have given the Superstar a level of prestige, the secret to the sneaker’s current success lies in its versatility. From all-white iterations to subdued black colourways, the silhouette’s endless wearability has allowed the shoe to transcend the seasonal trends and become a certified essential. Lauded by sneakerheads around the globe, the Superstar’s long-awaited return symbolises a rediscovery of minimalism, old-school style and timelessness.

As we head deeper into 2023, the adidas Superstar continues to be an unstoppable force. Tastemakers and A-listers like Bella Hadid and Kylie Jenner have all been spotted wearing the shoe, while Pharrell’s “Supercolor” pack received rave reviews. And while the Gazelle and Samba are leading the way this year, we expect the Superstar to fill the gap they leave behind.