Adidas Superstar UP Strap History
The feminine-designed Adidas Superstar UP Strap is a total spin-off of the most recognizable men’s low-top basketball shoe of the 1960s to 1970s. Simply named the Adidas Superstar, this vintage hoop shoe became famous when it crossed over on the subculture as a lifestyle sneaker.
The story of the Adidas Superstar dates back to 1969. It landed on the hardwood following the drop of other ball shoes such as the Adidas Supergrip which is accompanied by the high-top Adidas Pro Model. Apparently, it was said that even before the Superstar debuted on the court in the late 1960s, a prototype of which surfaced under the label Supergrip.
The Supergrip had technical features akin to the Superstar such as the padded insole and collar, cushioned heel, arch support, and herringbone outsole pattern. What makes the Supergrip closely related and almost identical to the Superstar is the presence of a ridged rubber feature on the toe cap.
Basketball shoes at that time had toecaps wrapped with rubber to protect the front area from getting damaged easily. The rubber shell attached to the upper front part of the Superstar is one of the reasons why it is a well sought-after ball shoe in the NBA in the 1970s. Players such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rick Barry, and George Irvine are among those who placed this sneaker to fame on the court.
Towards the 1980s, the Adidas Superstar slowly weaned from the court and cascaded into the hip-hop scene. Its hard-wearing shell cap garnered street credibility, particularly among b-boys. And it was later nicknamed as shell toe, shell top, and shell shoes. Little by little, the Adidas Superstar slipped into streetwear fashion as it is used to partner with goose down jackets, hoodies, and baggy jeans.
In 1986 the rap group Run DMC created huge publicity for the Superstar when they produced a song titled, “My Adidas,” under their top-billing LP, “Raising Hell.” During their concert at the Madison Square Garden, throngs of fans were asked to raise their Adidas Superstars while singing after the hip-hop trio. The group also sparked a new fashion by wearing the Adidas Superstar without laces and tongues pushed out.
The Adidas Superstar’s celebrity status seems to be unstoppable. This model remains on the active roster of Adidas inventory that continues to be refashioned in countless ways in the succeeding years. In 1990, the Adidas Superstar II was born with an upper made of eco-friendly full grain leather and a comfortable textile interior.
From a low-top, the Superstar is entirely transformed into a high-top with an elevated heel height, branded as the Adidas Superstar UP Strap. This sneaker with a hidden wedge came after the Adidas Stan Smith UP which has a similar heel elevation. However, the high-top Adidas Superstar UP Strap is made with an adjustable padded leather strap and maxi-sized tongue.