Size and fit

This running-inspired low-top sneaker comes in men’s and women’s sizing. The low-cut profile of the LA Trainer shoe allows non-restrictive foot movement. Flat laces in a traditional lace-up fastening system can be adjusted depending on the wearer's preference, or tied and styled using different lacing techniques. The shoe's overall hold and support are good.

Adidas LA Trainer Style

The Adidas LA Trainer, an iconic classic from the '80s, continues in making its existence relevant to the sneaker community. Made available since the '80s are several colorways and iterations of this classic Three Stripes, yet everything boils down to the LA Trainer's simple, stylish, and timeless design.

This low-top sneaker boasts a combination of mesh and leather or suede on the upper with contrasting Three Stripes branding on the sidewalls. A signature peg cushioning system on the heel part highlights the midsole. This heel peg provides not only aesthetic value but also superb comfort and lightweight cushioning.

Notable Features

With over 30 years of production, the Adidas LA Trainer definitely stood the test of time and proved its iconic status. Even from a distance, sneaker enthusiasts, especially those that are fanatics of the Three Stripes brand, could easily distinguish this retro-looking classic from other low-top sneakers today.

The Adidas LA Trainer’s most notable feature is the three adjustable and removable iconic heel plugs that primarily function for customized cushioning. Originally in red, blue, and white signature colors, the heel plugs in recent releases vary depending on the colorway. Some colorways present the heel plugs in varying colors, while other colorways feature such in tonal shades.

Another feature that stands out is the L.A. Trainer” foil branding on the stripe closest to the heel, which was not part of the shoe’s original aesthetics. It was only added in 1989 when the production was moved to Eastern Europe (Yugoslavia, then Croatia) and Asia.

Adidas LA Trainer History

It was in 1984 when Adidas introduced a revolutionary shoe to commemorate the Summer Olympics held in the City of Los Angeles. Named as the Adidas LA Trainer, it was the first Adidas shoe to feature the Vario Shock Absorption System or more commonly known as the removable tricolor heel pegs (or plugs). Represented by different colors of white, red, and blue, each peg has varying levels of cushioning that can be customized depending on the user’s weight, running style, or the kind of running surface they use.

The Vario Shock Absorption System was a technological experiment by Adidas, which turned out to be a successful one that it has also been used in other Three Stripes models such as the Kegler, the Columbia, and the Grand Slam. With this innovation and a function-over-style design approach, the Adidas LA Trainer eventually found its way to being one of the Three Stripes’ highly recognizable and most iconic shoes. Even today, more than 30 years since its inception, the Adidas LA Trainer remains as relevant as ever and a top favorite among sneaker collectors and users of all ages.

Similar to other popular Three Stripes shoes, this low-top has been released in a variety of colorways and iterations throughout the years with unswerving positive responses from the market only proving its significance as a Three Stripes icon.

Nice to know


  • The Adidas LA Trainer also features an OrthoLite sockliner for in-shoe comfort.
  • Several iterations of the LA Trainer have been released since, including the LA Trainer Weave, LA Trainer Iridescent, LA Trainer Textile, and more.


How Adidas LA Trainer ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 29% sneakers
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Top 34% Adidas sneakers
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Top 28% low sneakers
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The current trend of Adidas LA Trainer.
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.