Good to know

Previously a women’s exclusive, these kicks inclusion in the Spezial line means that they’re now unisex although based in men’s sizes. The sizes for these shoes range from 5 to 13. Women can still enjoy them of course, provided that they size down by 1.5 sizes from their usual since men’s measurements are much larger and wider.

These retro runners contain a classic charm that looks good when paired with jeans, shorts, and other types of bottoms. The Clear Grey/Haze Coral color combination is understated yet polished-looking, a clean colorway that matches well with casual ensembles of all kinds.

  Style Tips

  • Pair these Adidas Originals ZX 452 SPZL kicks with light-colored pants and a blue shirt for a cool and relaxed vibe.
  • Nothing beats the classic blue jeans and white shirt combo. Accessorize with these shoes.

Famed for helping women run on road surfaces in the 80s, these kicks’ lifestyle reincarnations are now making waves in the fashion arena. The classic good looks of the Adidas ZX 452 SPZL are, thankfully, not consigned to the archives anymore but here for us to enjoy. Although the tech features these kicks have may now be obsolete, it doesn’t change the fact that they’re just as comfy as ever and probably even more stylish.

The ZX 452 came from the famed ZX series that started with the debut of the ZX 500. It was in 1984 when the ZX 500 launched, and it was during this time when technological breakthroughs were being made everywhere.

Jaques Chassaing, who designed most of the ZX shoes, had a goal to create a model for each specific type of runner to tackle different motion problems. The advancements featured in each of the shoe models Adidas churned out completely changed the way the shoe industry looked at the running market. It also revolutionized how running sneakers should look since the ZX 500 started the trend of runners being able to metamorphose into lifestyle shoes when needed.

The 452s were launched three years after the series was born. The shoes were designed for female runners and made for road racing. These had suede and mesh uppers, side and rear enforcements, a Dellinger web covering for dispersing shock, and dual-density outsoles.

The ZX series had more than a dozen silhouettes that ranged from the 3-digit ones to the 4-digit collection. The brand kept aggressively producing model after model for five full years until 1989 when the last of the ZX silhouettes—the ZX 9000—came out.

In 2006, the Adidas brand decided to relaunch the series as lifestyle footwear with four of their most well-loved silhouettes: the ZX 500, ZX 600, ZX 700, and ZX 800 in Patent, Weave, Camo, and Animal applications. After this, it was a simple matter of returning the other models. It would take several more years for the 452 to make a comeback but come back it did on September 20 of 2018. This was made possible by Gary Aspden’s discovery of the rare shoe in his Buenos Aires trip in 2013.

Aside from taking inspiration from the Argentinian ZX 452, the Adidas Spezial ZX 452 also takes some elements from the Yugoslavian-made version, particularly in the Three-Stripes branding.

  • The Adidas ZX 452 SPZL shoes belong to the “Acid Winter” drop of the Spezial’s FW18 collection.
  • The shoes have rubber outsoles, EVA sockliners, and reflective detailing around the toebox.


How Adidas ZX 452 SPZL ranks compared to all other shoes
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The current trend of Adidas ZX 452 SPZL.
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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.