Size and fit

Everyone can strut a pair of the Adidas Samoa as it is available in men's and women's sizes. It has a low-top profile, which allows wearers flexible foot movement while providing sufficient support and comfort. A synthetic textured upper has adequate support for casual use, and its traditional lace closure has an added lace strap along the tongue for a more secure but adjustable fit.

Adidas Samoa Style

The Adidas Samoa brings street style to the next level with a bit of ‘80s throwback. Characterized by a leather and suede upper with a noticeable rubber toe bumper, it has a casual yet cool look in a wide variety of colorways. Men and women alike can surely find a color that suits their personal style. Its structure and total look fit almost every look, may it be sporty, rugged, or casual.

Notable Features

Probably the most notable feature of the Adidas Samoa is the presence of a rubber toe bumper that is not commonly found in other sneakers ubiquitous on the market today. Featured not only as part of the shoe’s design, it functions for protection and added durability. The toe box also bears a suede overlay detailing. Another distinctive feature of this shoe is the trefoil pattern on the rubber outsole.

  Adidas Samoa vs. Adidas Superstar

Another Adidas classic sneaker that made a comeback in 2011 as part of the Adidas All Originals campaign alongside the Samoa is the Adidas Superstar. Like the Samoa, it flaunts a signature and classic serrated Three Stripes brandings to the sides, padded collar, and traditional lace-up closure with a central tongue loop. But what characterized the Superstar most is its rubber toe bumper, often called 'shell toe,' that can be likened to Adidas Samoa.

Adidas Samoa History

Most athletic shoes on the market slowly became more inclined to function on the fashion side than on the court or on the track as years go by. The market trend became more about sports-meet-fashion, and the footwear category was not an exception. Trendsetters and fashion influencers began incorporating sports/athletic shoes in their every day casual getups, and the general market followed, eventually giving birth to the "athleisure" trend that is popular up to this day.

In August 2011, Adidas launched an "All Originals" campaign and re-introduced four of its most iconic and classic shoes – the Gazelle, the Campus, the Superstar, and the Samoa.

The Adidas Samoa, which initially released in 1977 as a training shoe, became highly popular in the '80s. It featured a slim sole, a reinforced toe concluded with a rubber bumper, and a leather or suede upper with noticeable suede overlay detailing on the toe box. Though unconfirmed, reports were saying that it was named as such to honor the American Samoa National Soccer Team when they lost against Australia during the FIFA World Cup qualifying game. It was an absolute loss, but the team still managed to finish the match with utmost pride.

The Samoa shoe remains one of the iconic silhouettes from Adidas up to this day. To some, it is one of the underrated models from the brand, but that perception did not stop it from staying top. Throughout the years, several colorways and versions of this model have been released. Some Adidas models, like the Iniki Runner, even drew inspiration from the silhouette of this genuinely iconic classic.

  2015: Adidas Originals Revived its “Island Series”

The Adidas Island Series is a collection of 20 Three Stripes shoes that first released in the ‘70s. Each footwear in the series took inspiration from the various cultures of their particular island namesake. Some of the shoes that are included are Adidas Samoa, Adidas Jamaica, Adidas Cancun, Adidas Trinidad and Tobago, Adidas Hawaii, and Adidas Tahiti.

In 2015, Adidas through Adidas Originals made a smart move of bringing a new life to the renowned collection. Its Spring 2015 release included three favorite silhouettes from the series namely the Samoa, the Hawaii, and the Tahiti.  

First off the list is the Adidas Samoa that dropped in April 2015. It displays a rich suede upper in deep red, tonal flat laces, white accents on the Three Stripes and heel, and a semi-translucent gum rubber outsole. Following this is the Adidas Hawaii which flaunts a premium brown suede upper with a leather tongue and gum sole unit. It dropped on May 2, 2015. Then on May 16, 2015, the blue Adidas Tahiti made an entrance in a similar suede upper and tongue, flat blue laces, and matching blue sole unit.

For Fall/ Winter 2015, Adidas Originals made a series of follow-up releases for the Adidas Island Series. It included brand new renditions of the Adidas Jamaica in vibrant yellow hue (July 20, 2015), the Adidas Trinidad and Tobago in a bright orange upper (August 29, 2015), and the Adidas Cancun in a light beige with dark brown accents (October 30, 2015).

  Adidas Samoa “Pigskin” Pack

In late May 2016, Adidas dropped a luxurious take on the classic Samoa silhouette. Dubbed officially as the Adidas Samoa “Pigskin” pack is a three-piece collection of monochromatic Adidas Samoa shoes including colorways of soft shades of pink, tan, and grey. A follow-up release was made on August 27 of the same year, which involved two additional monochromatic colorways of vibrant Deep Red and Mint Green that possess similar luxurious and premium aesthetics as the first three colorways. Each pair initially retailed for $130.

Each shoe included in the “Pigskin” pack features a premium construction with a tonal pigskin suede upper, embossed branding to the tongue, heel, and sidewalls, rope laces, leather interior, and tonal suede Three Stripes overlays.  

  Adidas Samoa Vintage

One of the modern-day renditions of the classic and iconic Adidas Samoa silhouette from the ‘80s is the Adidas Samoa Vintage. Although released in recent years, this rendition gives the nod to the classic's heritage roots and delivers a "vintage" aesthetic fitted for the contemporary audience.

The Samoa Vintage shadows the original Samoa profile. The core, signature features are retained such as the notable rubber toe bumper, sidewall Three Stripes branding, T-toe reinforcement, Trefoil-patterned outsole, low-top construction, and lace-up closure system. However, what sets it apart from the original model is the material used on the upper. While the Adidas Samoa primarily uses leather with suede overlays on its upper, the Samoa Vintage iteration utilizes an all-suede upper from the base material to the sidewall, toe, and heel overlays.

Another difference between the Samoa Vintage from the Adidas Samoa is the nylon tongue that holds the signature Adidas Trefoil logo.

Notable Adidas Samoa Vintage colorways:

  • Adidas Samoa Vintage ‘Olive/ Cargo Green’
  • Adidas Samoa Vintage ‘Maroon’
  • Adidas Samoa Vintage ‘Tactile Green’
  • Adidas Samoa Vintage ‘Collegiate Navy and Yellow’

  Adidas Samoa Leather

One of the many contemporary versions of the iconic Adidas Samoa comes in a full-leather form called officially as the Adidas Samoa Leather. As the name suggests, this version uses a high-quality leather material. While the original-slash-core Adidas Samoa model features a combination of leather and suede materials on the upper, this modern-day rendition opts for a full grain leather all throughout the upper, including the tongue and all the reinforcements on the sides, toe box, and heel.

Like the other renditions of the Adidas Originals Samoa, the Samoa Leather retains the signature feature of the legendary soccer-inspired low-top Three Stripes including the side stripes branding and the Trefoil-patterned outsole.

Some Adidas Samoa Leather colorways:

  • Adidas Samoa Leather ‘Core Black’
  • Adidas Samoa Leather ‘Black/ White’
  • Adidas Samoa Leather ‘New Navy/ White/ White’
  • Adidas Samoa Leather ‘Footwear White/ Footwear White/ Clear Grey’

  Adidas Samoa Plus

The Adidas Samoa Plus took the DNA of the ’80 Samoa silhouette and re-created it with a slightly bulkier build, hence the “Plus” in the name. Although the classic look of the Samoa is retained through the rubber toe bumper and Trefoil-patterned rubber outsole, its upper received a contemporary update. This rendition flaunts a synthetic leather upper designed with a 3D puff stripe print all throughout. Additional features include EVA midsole, metallic gold detailing, and a padded collar.

Some colorways of the Adidas Samoa Plus:

  • Adidas Samoa Plus ‘Black’
  • Adidas Samoa Plus ‘White’
  • Adidas Samoa Plus ‘Red and Black’
  • Adidas Samoa Plus ‘Black/ White/ Gold Metallic’

  Adidas Samoa ‘Infrared/ Black’

This special Adidas Samoa in red released exclusively at retailer Finish Line in time for Christmas of 2013. The low-top Adidas Originals Samoa casual shoes flaunt a vibrant red upper in a mix of leather and suede with complementing flat red laces and rubber toe bumper. A contrast of white is seen on the midsole which matches the “SAMOA” text branding to the sides. The heel and tongue branding, on the other hand, are seen in black.

  Adidas Samoa ‘Camo’

In February 2012, Adidas released the Adidas Originals Camo Pack exclusively at Footaction stores and online in commemoration of the brand’s Fabric Mix Track Top. The pack includes two Adidas Originals silhouettes namely the Top Court Mid and the Samoa.

The Adidas Originals Samoa in this pack retailed for $60 and featured bold colorways. Each pair is a reinterpretation of the basic tiger camo print combined with a pop of ‘Infrared’ color. The first pair (Black/ Infrared) donned a black upper with pops of infrared on the Three Stripes and heel while a white midsole and brandings seal off the classic look. The second pair (White/ Infrared), on the other hand, featured a white base upper with a black rubber toe bumper and outsole. Like the first pair, hints of infrared Three Stripes are displayed on the Three Stripes and heel.  

Nice to know

  • The Adidas Samoa features an EVA midsole cushioning for all-day comfort.
  • The iconic Three-Stripes branding on the side presents “Samoa” script to complete the look.
  • The upper is made of leather or suede.
  • There is an Adidas label on the tongue and a debossed logo on the back collar.
  • Celebrities photographed wearing the Samoa are Kanye West and Sarah Michelle Gellar.


How Adidas Samoa ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 17% sneakers
All sneakers
Top 20% Adidas sneakers
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Top 16% low sneakers
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The current trend of Adidas Samoa.
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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.