We spent 7.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

9 reasons to buy

  • Several reviewers appreciate the superior quality and construction of the Adidas Pro Shell 80s.
  • A large number of users say they feel comfortable wearing the sneaker with its Ortholite sockliner and synthetic lining.
  • The shell toe front is stylish and protective of the feet, a good number of wearers have mentioned.
  • A few sneaker fans give compliments on the use of oiled suede material.
  • The herringbone-pattern rubber cupsole has a solid grip and hold to many types of surfaces, according to some customers.
  • The neutral colorways of the Adidas ProShell 80s make it versatile in pairing with various clothes and is ideal for everyday wear, others have noted.
  • The suede leather and rubber upper combination feel surprisingly lightweight, some wearers disclose.
  • For its heritage appeal and quality, several buyers find the retail price reasonable.
  • Quite a lot of users praise the vintage hook and loop strap of the shoe that completes their 1980s fashion style. 

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some loyal customers find that their Pro Shell 80s lack support as compared to the original ones they have worn before.
  • Some customers complain that the suede upper material is difficult to clean once it gets stained or dirty.
  • The thin synthetic lining feels hard and digs to the side of the feet, a couple of reviewers have mentioned.

Bottom line

Heritage Adidas sneakers like the Pro Shell 80s have superior built and quality that is why their popularity has never wavered for many old school sneaker fans. Such is the case of the Pro Shell 80s with its classic shell toe construction and high-quality outsole grip sold over the leather upper.

The retro basketball-inspired sneaker never fails to impress when comfort and durability are combined, which is why it is worth considering if one starts looking for classic kicks from the 1980s.


Style: Retro
Top: Mid
Inspired from: Basketball
Collection: Adidas Originals
Closure: Laces, Strap
Material: Cup Sole, Others, Suede
Price: $110
Colorways: Grey
Small True to size Large
Tight Loose
Neutral Stable
Stiff Flexible
Warm Breathable
Firm Plush
Stability 4/10
Durability 8/10
Comfort 7/10
Traction 8/10
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A top rated sneaker
A top rated Adidas sneaker
It has never been more popular than this April

The Adidas Pro Shell 80s has a retro design and classic styling. It is ideal for those traveling and those wanting a secured lockdown from the Velcro strap and flat lacing for their daily activities. The mid-top shoe is roomy enough with enough wiggle room for those with narrow to wide feet.

The classic oiled suede material of the Adidas Pro Shell 80s with its clamshell toe front and the Velcro-strapped mid collar is oozing with style. The fashionable footwear takes each wearer back to the 1980s when this silhouette first became famous as a basketball sneaker and later on the part of the hip-hop culture.

The mid-top Adidas Pro Shell 80s shoe comes in neutral tones of grey and black that smoothly blends with a variety of clothing. The entire mid-top suede sneaker look of the Adidas Pro Shell 80s is not trying to pull off as its casual sneaker look and colorways are compatible with every millennial's existing wardrobe.

Whether the male wearer is in jeans, shorts, joggers, and pants, the Adidas Pro Shell 80s men’s basketball-inspired shoes are flexible enough to mix and match without overpowering one’s outfit of the day. Wear tops like hoodies, denim jackets, jerseys, and t-shirts with a vintage design and rock your Adidas Pro Shell 80s with an old school swagger. Introduce a mid-top vintage sneaker into your shoe rotation and pair them with nostalgic fashion pieces reminiscent of the era.

The most noticeable features of the Adidas Pro Shell 80s are its vintage silhouette of rubber shell toe front and Velcro leather hook-and-loop strap. These elements make the sneaker take us back in time during the eighties when it was embraced from being a loved off-court sneaker to a hip-hop culture favorite.  The oiled suede leather with vintage suede details compliments the comfortable synthetic Ortholite lining with a metallic gold accent reminiscent of the 1980s.

The history of the Adidas Pro Shell 80s is deeply connected with one of Adidas’ most iconic silhouettes – the Adidas Pro Model and the Adidas Superstar.       

Before chunky basketball shoes were the standard, sleek and street-style court kicks were the norm. Among those that took the spotlight and never left the pedestal is the Adidas Pro Model that was launched in 1965. This successful launch of the mid-top basketball sneaker led to Adidas manufacturing another shell-toe sneaker a few years later.

Drawing inspiration from the mid-top Adidas Pro Model, the bestselling iconic Adidas Superstar came out in 1969. The shell-toe design, basketball shoes were then being greeted with satisfaction on the basketball court for its innovative leather upper, rubber shell toe, advanced sneaker technology, and low top design.  A few years later, the Adidas Superstar was the talk of the town among players of the NCAA and the NBA that at some point some 75 percent of on-court players in the leagues have been wearing the Adidas Superstar. Among those that donned the Adidas Superstar is NBA legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Over the years, however, it would not be long for the Superstar to be noticed by an entirely new different audience, the hip-hop and street-style loving kind of fans. Around the time when sales of the Adidas Superstar has started to decline with the entry of more advanced basketball shoes that it has been given special attention by hip-hop superstars Run D.M.C. who wore the clamshell toe sneakers in their concerts and gave it a special mention in their song “My Adidas.”

The rest, of course, was history as by the time Adidas noticed the group raising the shoe on one of their concerts, Run D.M.C. was immediately offered endorsement contracts and customized the design of the Superstar to the tastes of its new fans.

Then in 1984, at the height of the public’s clamor for Velcro hook straps, the first silhouette of the Adidas Pro Shell was launched. The all-suede and rubber shoe endured popularity at some point in the 1980s. It took a couple of decades for the German company to revive the design as the Adidas Pro Shell 80s as part of the Adidas Originals designs in late 2017. The shoe was offered in a grey and black colorway with an oiled suede leather upper material and the recognizable Velcro strap on top and clamshell toe design.

  • The Adidas Pro Shell 80s has a synthetic lining comprising of a metallic-gold sockliner promising pure comfort and performance with its Ortholite technology.
  • Mid-high collar accentuates the hook-and-strap Velcro feature over flat lacing.
  • Classic rubber shell toe offers support and protection to the toe.
  • Metallic-gold Adidas Pro Shell logo gives the sneaker added name recall.
  • Herringbone-pattern in the rubber cupsole has superior traction and durability.


Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.