Size and fit

The premium leather upper of the Adidas BW Army is soft enough to stretch and follow the shape of the foot for a more comfortable fit over time. This shoe also utilizes a traditional lace-up closure with flat cotton laces for an adjustable and secure lockdown fit.

Adidas BW Army Style

The low-top Adidas BW Army retains the GAT’s original silhouette that exhibits a sleek and timeless style. It offers an old-school yet versatile design that could be dressed up or down. The shoe’s mixed textures and contrasting color accents amp up its overall design.

  Men’s styling suggestions

Match your Adidas BW Army sneakers with chino shorts and a polo shirt for a casual dapper look. For a dressier but still casual ensemble, reach for your dark denim jeans and cuff its hem and pair it with a printed button-down tee and finish with a cap.

  Women’s styling suggestions

For laidback days, the ladies could opt for a pair of shorts or jeans with a stylish tee. On days you want to look dressier without compromising comfort go for a shirtdress or a flowy dress. Matching your sneakers with high waist trousers and a vintage band tee could be a great retro-inspired outfit. Finally, if you plan on just hanging out around the neighborhood or in your house go for a stylishly cozy ensemble by pairing your kicks with sweatpants and a sweatshirt combo.

Notable Features

This shoe is a replica of the vintage German army indoor kick that’s most sought after by most die-hard vintage sneaker fans. The Adidas Originals BW Army is crafted with smooth leather upper and suede overlays. Its collar is slightly padded for extra comfort and cushioning. Lastly, its outsole is made of gum rubber that provides added grip and visual appeal.

Apart from the shoe being a significant piece of sneaker history, most consumers today found this shoe appealing because of its gum soles and contrasting textures and colors.

Adidas BW Army History

In 1924, the Dassler brothers started a shoe company called the Gebrüder Dassler Schuhafabrik that translates to Dassler Brother Shoe Factory. In the 1936 Summer Olympics, one of the brothers named Adi reportedly drove to Berlin to persuade Jesse Owens, an American track star, to wear the company's track shoe in the competition. This shoe featured extra long spikes and handmade leather in which Jesse Owens garnered four gold medals in the competition. Owens' triumph helped catapult the brand's popularity amongst athletes, with hundreds of thousands of sales coming in.

In 1948, due to misunderstandings, the brothers went their separate ways and established their own brands named Adidas and Puma. Their feud lasted for decades, and one of their most famous disputes is when the two brothers fought over a German army contract to construct and provide footwear for German troops to train in. It resulted in both companies producing footwear inspired by the track shoe that Owens famously wore, and claiming the design as their own.

This shoe featured a rubber gum sole for excellent traction and an all-leather upper for stability and comfort. It was referred to as the Bundeswehr sportschuhe, which means "Federal Defense Sports Shoe" in German. After its release in the 70s, sports shoe designs have evidently changed and seemed to take after the original military trainer's style. Shoe models like the Adidas Samba and Adidas Gazelle, Puma Whirlwind, and Nike Killshots are some examples of footwear reportedly inspired by it.

Today, even high-end designers like Maison Martin Margiela and Dior have a replica model of the German Army Trainer or GAT. These expensive iterations of the GAT had some sneaker fans looking for a more affordable option until Adidas decided to release a reissue of the original at a more affordable price point.

Re-introduced in 2017 with an updated name under the Originals category the Adidas BW Army retained the initial design with a few minor upgrades to match today's standards. Long-time sneaker enthusiasts were delighted that it retailed at $150, a much lower cost compared to its designer counterparts, while some newer sneakerheads thought Adidas ripped it from some high-end brands' designs.


The BW Army shoe by Adidas is offered in a number of color options. Choose from pale nude/chalk white, collegiate burgundy/chalk white, footwear white/linen, utility black/core black, collegiate navy/trace blue, and core black/linen. The sneaker is also available in a collaborative colorway called footwear white/off white/core black with LA brand Oyster Holdings.

Additional Info

  • The BW stands for Bundeswehr that translates to “Armed Forces” in German.
  • The brand’s Trefoil logo is placed on the tongue, giving an ode to Adidas’ history.
  • It features authentic retro rubber cupsole.
  • The two most popular colorways of the Adidas BW Army are white and black.

Facts / Specs

Style: Retro, Minimalist
Top: Low
Inspired from: Other
Collection: Adidas Originals
Closure: Laces
Material: Leather, Suede, Gum Sole, EVA, Rubber Sole
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Compare popularity Interactive

Compare the popularity of another shoe to Adidas BW Army:

Adidas BW Army unboxing and on-feet videos


Sheena is a wordsmith turned sneaker addict. Her sneaker fixation intensified as her passion for writing grew. A hands-on mom of two sweet yet spunky kids (plus three dogs and two cats), she finds solitude in leafing through shoe catalogs to find the next "it" sneaker. Scrutinizing hugely popular and underrated kicks is her favorite pastime.