Adidas GT Wensley SPZL History
The GT Wensley SPZL is part of Adidas Spezial’s collection which is an archive-inspired line headed by Adidas shoe collector and die-hard fan, Gary Aspden. The Spezial collection features heritage shoes reimagined and reworked into a more modern design using far nicer and more technologically-advanced materials.
The Spezial collection started in 2013 and took off from Gary’s idea of showcasing the diversity of Adidas through an exhibition. The exhibition, named Spezial, was held in Shoreditch, East London and featured more than 600 pairs of vintage and deadstock products put together through 8000 painstaking hours of research and design. From that exhibition came the concept of creating a new Adidas line using rare and vintage shoes as a starting point.
In 2014, based on a tip about a huge amount of vintage and deadstock shoes in Buenos Aires, Gary Aspden, along with a group of other Adidas enthusiasts, set off for Argentina. From that trip, they came back with dozens of rare and archived shoes that they used as reference pieces to create the Spezial line. They would later come back to Argentina to present the shop owner, Carlos Ruiz, with his own signature Spezial shoe as a way of acknowledgment and thanks for his help.
The year 2014 saw the first collection of the Spezials line launched with four models. It was followed in February of 2015 with seven more models including the Hynburn and Adria Spezials. In Autumn of that same year, two colors of the Munchen Spezial was released along with five new models, one of which was the New York Spezial. The New York Spezial included the “Carlos” shoe, named for the Argentine shoe collector and shop owner. The OG was light blue in color and featured grey “New York” print. It also carried Carlos’ name and image on the tongue and had a golden accent on the sole.
Fast-forward to 2017, Adidas launched, along with a few other models, the Wensley SPZL. It was a shoe based on a combination of two other shoes: a Russian fencing shoe and a German trainer. It had a nylon upper, suede overlays, and soft leather lining finished off with a durable sole.
The GT Wensley SPZL quickly followed. It was a more premium update of the original Wensley Spezial. It had samba detailing, a soft suede upper, nylon panels at the rear, and crinkled leather stripes which contrast against the sidewall. The shoe was offered in grey and beige colorways.