Our verdict

The Adidas Samba OG is an update that keeps the classic's original look. Performing our lab tests, we found that it has improved in many aspects. Its upgraded premium materials and design made it a perfect choice for our everyday wear, as it's also incredibly comfortable! Following its soccer heritage, the sneaker is grippy and has a low stack that keeps things down to Earth. Pair that up with minimalist aesthetics and lightweight nature, and we are in love with the Samba OG! Honestly, with its cool '90s style, flexibility, durability, and reasonable price, who wouldn't want a pair or two of this icon!

Pros

  • Premium-quality and genuine materials
  • Long-lasting design
  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Comfortable for all-day wear
  • A lot of ground feel
  • Easy to slip-on
  • Great all-rounder
  • Iconic 90s style
  • It has eco-friendly versions
  • Worth the price

Cons

  • Slightly narrow and tight
  • Lacks arch support

Audience verdict

94
Superb!

Who should buy

This updated icon is ready to dance around the streets with you if:

  • You're looking for a long-lasting pair designed with premium and genuine materials.
  • You love minimalist sneakers and their key features (low stacked, simple, pliable, lightweight).
  • You need an all-rounder for your daily life but you want it to be iconic.
  • Keeping things easy and simple regarding functionality and aesthetics is what you vibe with.

Adidas Samba OG_007

Who should NOT buy

As we've just mentioned, this is no ordinary shoe... we're talking about an updated icon and all-rounder! Truth is, it shines in multiple aspects, but after our lab and wear tests, we also found it has a couple of hidden disadvantages.

Just by looking at the picture, you'll see it's a narrow, snug, and tight model. If you have wide feet, you'll most likely find this Adidas uncomfortable. As an alternative, we believe you should try the Adidas Superstar. It also has that retro vibe, but it has more space to accommodate wide feet.

Even though this shoe is ideal for all-day wear, we've found it lacks arch support. If you're looking for a model with this extra supportive feature and you don't mind going for another brand, we totally recommend the New Balance 480 and the 530. This brand specialises in arch support and has multiple shoes with different designs, don't hesitate and have a look at them in our catalog!

Adidas Samba OG_theonemissing

Breathability

If the Adidas Samba OG was actually a samba dancer... it would most likely have a hard time keeping up during long practices! And not because of its stamina, but because of its breathing technique!

The PUMA RS-X (on the right) could actually become a yoga teacher. Look at all the smoke coming out! But the Samba OG... couldn't keep up with that crazy rhythm. Earning a choking 2/5 in our breathability test, this shoe is not ready to let the air go in and out.

Pores? Ventilation holes? Any kind of gap? HA! Not the Samba OG, no.

Adidas Samba OG Breathability_woow

Using our microscope in the lab, we could look closer and check the materials.

Adidas Samba OG Breathability_sambasamba

Of course this wouldn't have any ventilation holes! It's a leather sneaker, and those aren't usually very breathable.

But let us tell you something. During our wearability tests, we put on this shoe in the summer, and it didn't become the Adidas River due to the sweat of our feet. We were pretty happy with it, to be honest! Thanks to its minimal design, it's not very stuffy, so we could walk comfortably around town even when it was quite warm.

Test results
Samba OG 2
Average 3
Compared to 46 sneakers
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Leather/Suede quality

Truth or dare, Samba OG? Or, wait... let's just do both!

Truth: are you a real or a fake friend for our feet?

Dare: we dare you to... burn.

We grabbed our torch and got ready to heat things up... Samba-thing time, but in our lab instead of on the beach!

We started with the white leather, and... it's real! If the material had caught fire, then we would have classified it as fake/synthetic.

Just like in the black part of the heel! Can you see the small flame? That literally gives it away!

And... the suede part? Good news: it's also real!

Test results
Samba OG Real leather

Toebox durability

The tests just keep coming, Samba OG! Come on, you can do this!

Let us tell you one thing, though. We were SUPER excited to actually take this shoe to our lab and let our feet enjoy it while walking around town. It's an icon, you know... and you don't always get to study and analyse models like this one!

Alright, enough chit-chat. Let's get down to business!

We grabbed our Dremel and went for the toebox. We always put the tool in the same spot, and this time the shoe has a suede layer protecting the toecap. After 12 seconds of spinning and spinning, the damage was... nonexistent.

Adidas Samba OG Toebox durability_9

This shoe showed an OUTSTANDING durability, earning a perfect 5 out of 5 in our test. This means that you can enjoy it as much as you want, every day even, as it's made to last!

Adidas, we knew we could trust you!

Test results
Samba OG 5
Average 3.7
Compared to 46 sneakers
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Second round! Are you ready to dance, Samba OG? Cause our Dremel sure is!

As Rihanna would say in Stay: Round and around and around and around we go... A song dedicated to our tool! And just like one of the modern queens of pop music, this shoe also stayed winning.

Adidas Samba OG Heel padding durability_11

We could barely spot the damage!! This is crazy, as it's not something common at all. You see, even though this is not the only model to ever earn a well-deserved 5/5 in our heel padding durability test, it's not the standard to see that the damage is almost invisible.

Yep. We're left in awe once again!

Test results
Samba OG 5
Average 3.4
Compared to 46 sneakers
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

We went for our durometer and pressed it against this shoe's outsole to check its hardness. At 84.3 HC, it's pretty much average, and that's good news!

Adidas Samba OG Outsole hardness_15

This means that the outsole offers a fantastic mix of grip and durability. Hooray!

Test results
Samba OG 84.3 HC
Average 85.1 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 46 sneakers
Number of shoes
72.9 HC
Outsole hardness
90.3 HC

Outsole durability

And... Dremel in, again!

After this 22-second-long drilling session, these kicks were still ready to dance! With the help of our tread gauge, we measured the depth of the damage at 0.8 mm.

Adidas Samba OG Outsole durability_13

Even though this score is pretty close to the average, this outsole is still slightly tougher than most sneakers'. So, just as the whole shoe, it's impressively durable!

Oh, Adidas, darling. You know we adore every shoe that will be our partner in crime for a long time... and this one just hits the spot!

Test results
Samba OG 0.8 mm
Average 1.0 mm
Compared to 46 sneakers
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

When you use a resistant and tough rubber for the outsole, sometimes you can sacrifice some of its thickness. In this way, you save up some weight and the shoe is still durable, as the material used is ready to last.

That's cool and all, but this Adidas didn't need to go for that trick!

Adidas Samba OG Outsole thickness_14

At 6.1 mm, its outsole is thicker than average! That means more material to wear out before you gotta discard the shoe. Which also means... a longer lifespan!

Note: While we could have measured the whole rubber piece as the outsole, we decided not to. As you can see, it's got holes in it, and we all agreed that once you wear through one of those cutout parts, the shoe is pretty much done for.

Test results
Samba OG 6.1 mm
Average 5.5 mm
Compared to 47 sneakers
Number of shoes
3.4 mm
Outsole thickness
8.2 mm

Weight

So, if Adidas didn't go for the "less material but tougher" strategy with the outsole, it might mean... it didn't need to? That would be amazing, though! We didn't want to have our expectations too high, but when we tried to calm down, they had already skyrocketed!

So we grabbed our scale, closed our eyes, and...

Adidas Samba OG Weight_scale

11.8 oz? Like... for real? 11.8 oz?! OH MY... SAMBA. Now this shoe is light!! Following its minimal design and vibe, it's not like we expected otherwise, but... we were just so happy to see this result after checking how durable its materials are in our previous tests.

Adidas Samba OG_012

We're more than happy to announce that it's a whole 17% lighter than the average sneaker! It might not sound like a lot to you, but to our feet? Oh, music to their ears... if they had any.

Anyways, what we mean is that thanks to its light and minimalist nature, we could walk around town with this pair for hours. It didn't drag our feet down and we didn't feel like we had some ballast weight tied to our legs!

Test results
Samba OG 11.82 oz (335g)
Average 14.18 oz (402g)
Compared to 47 sneakers
Number of shoes
8.54 oz (242g)
Weight
22.61 oz (641g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

As a minimalist shoe, its stack cannot be high!

Adidas Samba OG_018

There are many Adidas kicks that follow this style, such as the Gazelle (heel stack: 23.3 mm) or the Superstar (heel stack: 26.8 mm), but they are slightly taller. At 20.3 mm, Adidas went for a design choice in the Samba OG that makes your feet feel close to the ground and in contact with the surface you're walking on.

Adidas Samba OG Heel stack_17

Test results
Samba OG 20.3 mm
Average 29.8 mm
Compared to 47 sneakers
Number of shoes
18.2 mm
Heel stack
41.8 mm

Forefoot stack

The forefoot stack is way lower than average, just like the heel one.

Adidas Samba OG Forefoot stack_16

At 11.7 mm, it's also lower than the Gazelle's (at 15.0 mm) and the Superstar's (at 13.6 mm). This allowed us to control our moves better, reminding us of its past as a soccer shoe.

Please, don't misunderstand us, this doesn't mean the shoe is not comfortable! As you can see, it still has some impact protection, so it's not like it let our feet absorb all the impact when we were walking.

Nevertheless, this low height means you'll pretty much feel each and every pebble you run into. So watch out! Also, try to be extra careful if you're walking on cobblestone streets and roads.

Adidas Samba OG_021

Test results
Samba OG 11.7 mm
Average 18.9 mm
Compared to 47 sneakers
Number of shoes
10.6 mm
Forefoot stack
28.3 mm

Drop

There's not a drastic difference between this Adidas' heel and forefoot stack heights.

Adidas Samba OG Drop_18

You can see it clearly in the picture. With a drop of 8.6 mm according to our measurements, the fact that this model's heel is not elevated just accentuates its minimal and down-to-Earth nature.

Adidas Samba OG_013

We didn't need to get used to it or anything. Walking around was just as simple as the Samba OG itself! But just in case, let us warn you: if you're used to plushier models, just like the Adidas Ozweego, you might find this shoe's low stack weird at the beginning. Nothing related to the drop, though, as the chunkier Ozweego has a drop of 7.5 mm.

Test results
Samba OG 8.6 mm
Average 10.9 mm
Compared to 47 sneakers
Number of shoes
6.7 mm
Drop
17.2 mm

Insole thickness

We grabbed our caliper and measured this shoe's insole.

Adidas Samba OG Insole thickness:9

At 3.3 mm, it's just what we expected. It's obviously lower than average, but that's not something surprising in a minimalist sneaker, right?

Test results
Samba OG 3.3 mm
Average 5.4 mm
Compared to 47 sneakers
Number of shoes
3.1 mm
Insole thickness
13.9 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

Before we tell you about the results of our lateral stability test, we want to praise the Adidas Samba OG a bit. These are our impressions when we walked around town wearing it:

You see, this shoe is stylish enough to go to work, as its retro vibe is super trendy nowadays, and many people wear it with either formal or informal clothing...+1 point!

Its resistant materials make you want to put it on EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And trust us, you won't get tired of it... +1 point!

Its light and minimalistic nature will make your feet really happy. You won't feel tired, and you'll definitely get compliments too... +1 point!

A lower stack height usually equals a more stable pair, and this time it's just like that... +1 point!

Adidas Samba OG_008

And now, its stability. When we went for a stroll with it, everything was fine. We were walking and we didn't have any "are my ankles okay?" issues. There was one time when we had to run a bit as we were late to our friend's party (oops), and it was no problem!

Even though this is not a buffed-up model, its materials are sturdy, resistant, and solid. This means its structure won't give in even if you move around in the shoe quite a bit.

And we loved it! With those 4 extra points in stability, we felt surefooted and close to the ground every single time.

Torsional rigidity

Even though we did feel stable when we were walking around in this shoe, we cannot say its whole structure is like a wall that shields your feet.

Wait, let us show you what we mean with the video of our torsional rigidity test:

See? So, even though our feet felt safe in the shoe, it bent with our every move. The materials are durable, but the structure is flexible enough to accompany our feet. This also made the kicks even more comfortable, as our feet did not need to make some extra effort to make the shoe bend with them.

Adidas Samba OG_016

The Samba OG earned a 3 out of 5 in our torsional rigidity test, which is a lower score than average. As 5 is the most rigid, we were pretty happy with its grade: it was a key point to avoid hot spots!

PS: That golden SAMBA detail? Pretty. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Stunning.

Test results
Samba OG 2
Average 3.5
Compared to 46 sneakers
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel is slightly less pliable, but literally just enough to keep your feet in place.

With a 3 our of 5 in our heel counter stiffness test, you can see in the video that it actually gives in and lets us play with it a bit.

Once again, this is great news! Why? Well, because of two main reasons:

1. No blisters around! No pain when walking, no uncomfortable rubbing... Nothing that could disturb our time together with this Adidas!

2. No heel slippage! Even though it's not one of the most rigid heels, it made sure our heel stayed where it had to. The only dancing here is on its name!

Adidas Samba OG_011

Test results
Samba OG 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 46 sneakers
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

When the Adidas Samba OG decided to be minimalistic, it went all out with the idea!

At 101.8 mm, our caliper told us the midsole width in the forefoot of this shoe is narrower than our current lab average.

Adidas Samba OG Midsole width in the forefoot_22

But don't worry, this doesn't mean the shoe will have stability issues, as it's got a low stack!

Test results
Samba OG 101.8 mm
Average 108.5 mm
Compared to 47 sneakers
Number of shoes
100.0 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
121.0 mm

Midsole width in the heel

Following the same path, the midsole is also narrower than average in the heel.

Adidas Samba OG Midsole width in the heel_24

At 72.3 mm, this might feel slightly weird at the beginning for those who are used to wider platforms. If you're one of them and you're looking for something roomier or you're a wide-feet user, then we believe you should have a look at the Adidas Forum Low. It also has durable leather materials and an iconic look in many colorways!

Test results
Samba OG 72.3 mm
Average 82.8 mm
Compared to 47 sneakers
Number of shoes
69.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
103.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

We did mention this shoe comes from a past full of soccer but, honestly, it should try gymnastics! Like, not even Simone Biles might be as flexible as the Samba OG!

Adidas Samba OG_010

We performed our flex test, and we couldn't believe our eyes when we saw the result! At 11.7N, it's 57% more flexible than the average sneaker that we have analysed in our lab.

This means that you'll walk around just as easily and comfortably as we did!

Test results
Samba OG 11.7N
Average 23.0N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 47 sneakers
Number of shoes
5.8N
Stiffness
51.8N

Grip / Traction

After all the tests we have performed in this shoe, we know a bright future awaits. But... it also has a magnificent past!

It decided to keep its predecessor's outsole pattern and, as a former soccer kick, these baddies are grippy.

Adidas Samba OG Lug depth_outsole

The shoe is really pliable, so it didn't actually need extra deep or long flex grooves. Instead, it has different patterns that adapt to multiple directions and path changes. We can also see two semi-spheres that increase the traction level due to pressure, and a big pivot point made of three different circumferences.

Adidas Samba OG_017

As you can see, this outsole is designed not only to be very grippy, but also to avoid catching pebbles. As we've mentioned before, it's way thinner than average, which means that if you're constantly stepping on small rocks, your feet will definitely notice.

Still, we loved this detail! It made us realise just how well-thought the design of this icon is. That's most likely why Adidas decided not to change it.

Thank you, pal!

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

At 98.6 mm, our caliper told us that there was nothing surprising or unexpected at the widest part of the toebox.

Adidas Samba OG Toebox width at the widest p_wideart

Even though it's an average reading... we don't think this pair welcomes wide feet.

Why? We'll talk about it in our next section!

Test results
Samba OG 98.8 mm
Average 99.1 mm
Compared to 47 sneakers
Number of shoes
94.0 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
107.7 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

Well, its toebox width at the big toe didn't look promising. And, at 72.9 mm, our caliper just confirmed it.

Adidas Samba OG Toebox width at the big toe_wiwiwide

So, regarding our standard-sized feet experience during our wear tests, we'll tell you why you should not get this shoe if your feet are wider than average:

1. There's not enough space for you to stretch your toes!

2. Actually... there's just not enough space for your toes in general. Trust us, they will feel cramped.

3. If you walk around for a while or you don't want to miss a thing visiting a new city, your feet will swell and the shoe might start feeling uncomfortable.

4. If you are a big-toed person... just skip it! It'll definitely hurt the tip of your toes and/or your nails.

Adidas Samba OG_014

If you're looking for a comfy model with old-school vibes that accommodates different foot sizes and forms, we believe you should go for the Adidas Campus 00S!

Test results
Samba OG 72.9 mm
Average 74.8 mm
Compared to 46 sneakers
Number of shoes
63.7 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
82.7 mm

Tongue: gusset type

This Adidas doesn't have a gusseted tongue, but we didn't really feel like it needed one!

Adidas Samba OG Tongue: gusset type_gusset

There's a small detail in the middle of the tongue that holds it in place, making sure you can tightly wrap the shoe around your feet. The lack of this extra supportive feature also means more room for the air to come in and out, which is quite necessary in this pair in particular.

Adidas Samba OG_020

Note: That blue detail with the brand logo? YES, YES, and YES!

Test results
Samba OG None

Comfort

Tongue padding

And... a minimalistic tongue, of course!

Adidas Samba OG Tongue padding_tonggggue

At 2.7 mm, it contributes to keep the whole shoe light, following its non-gusseted nature.

As you can see in the video, this Adidas is only padded where it needs to be. Adding some extra padding would mean more weight, less breathability, and less room. So we do believe the brand went for the right design choice, here!

Test results
Samba OG 2.7 mm
Average 9.3 mm
Compared to 47 sneakers
Number of shoes
1.0 mm
Tongue padding
38.4 mm

Heel tab

It doesn't have a heel tab but, once again, we didn't need one. Putting on the shoe was easy-peasy.

Adidas Samba OG Heel tab_heel

It has a three stripes detail that we ADORE. And it contributes to that 90s vibe the kicks have.

It's so aesthetically pleasing!!

Test results
Samba OG None

Removable insole

Having a removable insole is always a plus, and the Samba OG is dancing to that tune!

Adidas Samba OG Removable insole_again

You can use your own orthotics if you need it or if you feel like it. Just please, keep in mind that this is a minimalist and narrow shoe, so not every insole might fit just right!

Adidas Samba OG Removable insole_insolesole

Test results
Samba OG Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

No reflective elements here! But who needs those if you're the one shining in this pair?

Adidas Samba OG Reflective elements_30

(Just kidding, it would have been a cool detail. Maybe next time, Adidas!).

Test results
Samba OG No

Adidas Samba vs. Adidas Samba OG

It doesn't matter if you're trying to decide if you want to buy the Adidas Samba or the Adidas Samba OG, if you already have the Samba and you're wondering if you should go for the OG, or if you just wanna see which one is more suitable for your needs... we have gathered all our lab test results of both models.

We'll divide them into different sections and add a short explanation with numbers so it's easier to understand. Let's get started!

1. Breathability: The Adidas Samba is slightly more breathable (3/5) than the Samba OG, but your feet will barely notice this.

2. Leather and/or suede quality: Both shoes have authentic and high-quality materials.

3. Durability: The Samba OG's materials are more durable (toebox: 5/5, heel padding: 5/5), the Samba's are just 1 point below.

4. Outsole: The Samba OG's outsole is harder, more durable, and thicker (84.3 HC, 0.88 mm damage, 6.1 mm thickness) than the Samba's (76.9 HC, 1.9 mm damage, 4.7 mm thickness).

5. Weight: The Samba OG is lighter (11.8 oz / 335 g) than the Samba (12.1 oz / 432 g).

6. Stack: The Samba OG has a higher heel stack (20.3 mm vs. 19.3 mm), but the Samba has a slightly higher forefoot stack (11.9 mm vs. 11.7 mm).

7. Drop: The Samba OG has a drop of 8.6 mm, and the Samba a 7.4 mm one. Both are pretty much standard so your feet will most likely not know the difference.

8. Insole: Both have the same thickness, 3.3 mm.

9. Torsional rigidity: The Samba is more pliable (1/5 vs. 2/5).

10. Heel counter stiffness: The heel of the Samba is stiffer (4/5 vs. 3/5). Even though it's just 1 point, this does make a difference.

11. Midsole width: The Samba is wider in both the forefoot and the heel (with 102.4 mm and 75.4 mm respectively, vs. 101.8 mm and 72.3 mm).

12. Stiffness: The Samba OG is, overall, more flexible (11.7N vs. 13.7N).

13. Toebox width: The Samba OG is wider at the widest part (98.8 mm vs 98.1 mm), but the Samba is wider at the big toe (75.6 mm vs. 72.9 mm).

14. Gusseted tongue: None.

15. Tongue padding: The Samba has a slightly more padded tongue (3.1 mm vs. 2.7 mm).

16. Heel tab: None.

17. Removable insole: Both.

18. Reflective elements: None.