Our verdict

So often overshadowed by the Samba and Gazelle, we believe that the Adidas Campus 2 is worth your attention. The shoe features an original classic profile that dates back to the 80s. We are obsessed with its high-quality suede upper which not only looks clean but also lasts a good while. We must admit that the Campus 2 doesn't have the comfort and cushioning needed for long hours on the feet but instead, it offers a crisp retro vibe that never goes out of style.

Pros

  • Classis Adidas aesthetics
  • Impressive durability for the price
  • Low and grounded platform
  • Stable and supportive
  • Flexible, bends with the foot
  • Sleek and buttery suede upper
  • Very short break-in period

Cons

  • No cushioning for all-day wear
  • Lacks breathability
  • Not for wide feet

Audience verdict

89
Good!

Who should buy

We believe that the Adidas Campus 2 is right up your alley if:

  • you want a low-profile sneaker similar to the Adidas Samba and Gazelle
  • you need a clean classic silhouette with a suede (or leather) upper

Adidas Campus 2 review

Who should NOT buy

The Adidas Campus 2 is not commonly available among retailers right now. A similar silhouette that is much easier to cop is the Campus 00s. Released in 2022, it is offered in a myriad of sizes and colour options.

And if you want a minimalist sneaker that is more ready for warm weather, check out the Veja Campo.

Adidas Campus 2 lab test

Breathability

At first glance, the Adidas Campus 2 may seem like a great option for summertime but we found it to be quite the opposite. We cannot recommend this kick for warm weather as it lacks proper airflow.

The shoe's solid suede upper and unconvincing perforations just don't do enough to keep the interiors fresh.

The side perforations didn't even let the light through in our transparency test!

Using a smoke-pumping machine in our lab, we found that the smoke passed only through the gaps in the tongue area. The rest of the upper trapped the heat inside the kick.

Even the Campus 00s showed much better ventilation than the Campus 2, despite its immensely puffy tongue. The 00s also has extra perforations on the toebox and the tongue to enhance breathability.

Ventilation pores of the Campus 00s

Test results
Campus 2 2
Average 3
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Leather/Suede quality

The shoe's official description states that the Campus 2 uses silk suede which is an ethical alternative to pigskin suede.

Adidas Campus 2 Breathability microscope test

Checking the material up close through our microscope, we saw no apparent difference in quality compared to the suede on the Gazelle or the Samba.

Adidas Campus 2 vs Gazelle vs Samba suede comparison

To further test the quality of this silk suede, we grabbed a butane torch and a leather scratch awl.

Burning and scratching the material, we found that it performs very much like the genuine suede we've tested in other sneakers.

But don't expect real leather on the shoe's three stripes and the heel overlays. Both are purely synthetic.

Test results
Campus 2 Fake suede

Toebox durability

The Campus 2 proves that you can get unbeatable upper durability for a very reasonable price.

The shoe's silk suede stood up to our relentless Dremel test like it was nothing! Twelve seconds of drilling at a 5K RPM speed left a mere scuff on the shoe's toebox.

Adidas Campus 2 Toebox durability comparison

On a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the maximum possible durability, we rated the Campus 2's toebox as 5. This is much better off than the average sneaker in our lab (see the shoe on the right).

Test results
Campus 2 5
Average 3.7
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

We also found that Adidas took care of the Campus' inner lining. Even though it's made of mesh, it proved to be more wear-resistant than most textiles.

Because the inner side of the shoe's heel counter is more prone to wear, we chose it as the target for our Dremel. But after 4 seconds of drilling at consistent speed and pressure, the lining was almost intact!

Adidas Campus 2 Heel padding durability comparison

This earned the Adidas Campus 2 another high score - 4  out of 5 for heel padding durability.

Test results
Campus 2 4
Average 3.4
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

The outsole rubber of the Campus 2 is not particularly hard. It looks similar to the one on the Samba and the Gazelle but is a bit softer at 77.6 HC.

Because of this softer-than-average durometer measurement, we were concerned about the Campus' long-term outsole durability. But our Dremel test below eliminated our worries.

Adidas Campus 2 Outsole hardness
Test results
Campus 2 77.6 HC
Average 85.1 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
72.9 HC
Outsole hardness
90.3 HC

Outsole durability

With the Dremel set to a 10K RPM speed, we applied its sandpaper tip to the Campus 2's outsole for 22 seconds.

We were relieved to see that the damage was as shallow as 0.8 mm! To us, it is a reliable indicator of this Adidas kick's longevity.

Adidas Campus 2 Outsole durability test
Test results
Campus 2 0.8 mm
Average 1.0 mm
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Measuring the shoe's rubber outsole, our caliper showed 4.8 mm of thickness.

This thinner-than-average outsole may hold the Campus 2 back from being the most durable sneaker but it is just enough to help it last like most lifestyle kicks.

Adidas Campus 2 Outsole thickness
Test results
Campus 2 4.8 mm
Average 5.5 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
3.4 mm
Outsole thickness
8.2 mm

Weight

The Campus 2 is a slightly thicker and puffier alternative to the popular Samba and the Gazelle. Even though it's not as chunky as the 00s, it is a bit heftier than average.

Adidas Campus 2 Weight

Weighing it in a men's US size 9, our scale showed 14.6 oz (414g). It doesn't feel heavy on foot, so we didn't really notice that 15g difference with the average.

Adidas Campus 2 style

For comparison, here is how the Campus 2 stacks up against similar Adidas kicks:

Adidas Campus 00s 14.9 oz 422g
Adidas Campus 2 14.6 oz 414g
Adidas Gazelle 13.0 oz 369g
Adidas Samba 12.1 oz 342g
Test results
Campus 2 14.60 oz (414g)
Average 14.18 oz (402g)
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
8.54 oz (242g)
Weight
22.61 oz (641g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

Despite having a slightly thicker sole than the Samba and Gazelle, we found that the Campus 2 is still a very low-profile silhouette.

Based on our caliper measurements, its heel stack is only 23.9 mm which is nearly 7 mm lower than average!

Expect pretty sensitive ground feedback in this Adidas sneaker.

Adidas Campus 2 Heel stack
Test results
Campus 2 23.9 mm
Average 29.8 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
18.2 mm
Heel stack
41.8 mm

Forefoot stack

In the front, the Campus 2 gets even closer to the ground. The shoe's forefoot stack is only 11.5 mm thick!

There is pretty much no cushioning under the ball of the foot.

Adidas Campus 2 Forefoot stack
Test results
Campus 2 11.5 mm
Average 18.9 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
10.6 mm
Forefoot stack
28.3 mm

Drop

The heel-to-toe offset in the Campus 2 is pretty standard - 12.4 mm. This moderate heel elevation creates a touch of support minimizing stress on the Achilles.

Adidas Campus 2 Drop
Test results
Campus 2 12.4 mm
Average 10.9 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
6.7 mm
Drop
17.2 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

We did not measure the softness of this shoe's midsole because well...there is no midsole in the Campus 2.

The foot basically stands on top of stiff rubberized pillars inside the sole which makes for a pretty hard underfoot sensation.

Because of that, we cannot recommend this Adidas sneaker for long hours of walking or standing. There is just not enough cushioning to keep you comfortable all day.

Insole thickness

A moderately thick insole creates a buffer between the hard rubber sole and the foot. Based on our caliper, it is slightly thinner than average at 4.1 mm.

What can we say, the Adidas Campus 2 is not your comfy-cozy sneaker. Shoes from Adidas' Ultraboost collection will treat you better in that regard.

Adidas Campus 2 Insole thickness
Test results
Campus 2 4.1 mm
Average 5.4 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
3.1 mm
Insole thickness
13.9 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

What's the benefit of a firm, low-stacked, incompressible sole? It feels more stable underfoot.

Even though the Campus 2 doesn't have any arch support, it will help folks with overpronation feel a bit more surefooted.

Torsional rigidity

The Campus 2 may seem like a highly rigid sneaker akin to the Nike Dunk Low but, to our surprise, it has a lot of give!

Manually testing the shoe's torsional rigidity, we found it very easy to twist and bend. On a 1-5 scale, where 1 is the most flexible, we rated this Adidas sneaker as 2.

It moves along with the foot quite naturally.

Test results
Campus 2 2
Average 3.5
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

We love us some sturdy heel counters! They do a great job of keeping the heels and ankles securely in place.

The backs of our feet felt well held inside the heel cups of the Adidas Campus 2. Assessing the shoe's heel counter in our manual test, we rated its stiffness as 4 out of 5.

It contributes to the kick's overall stability and doesn't let the heels slip out of the shoe.

Test results
Campus 2 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Like most classic silhouettes from Adidas, the Campus 2 features a slightly narrower platform.

Measuring its sole in the widest part of the forefoot, our caliper showed 103.4 mm. It is a few millimeters narrower than average but not critically narrow to make it unstable.

Adidas Campus 2 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Campus 2 103.4 mm
Average 108.5 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
100.0 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
121.0 mm

Midsole width in the heel

In the widest part of the shoe's heel, our caliper measured 77.2 mm.

Notably narrower than average, it is the complete opposite of the chunky platforms that are so popular these days. The widest part of the Adidas Ozweego, for example, comes at 98.9 mm!

Adidas Campus 2 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Campus 2 77.2 mm
Average 82.8 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
69.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
103.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

As we already mentioned, the Adidas Campus 2 is a rather pliable sneaker.

Adidas Campus 2 flexibility

This was once again proved in our stiffness test where it only took 11.5N of force to bend the shoe to a 90-degree angle. That is a whopping 100% less than it takes an average sneaker in our lab!

Test results
Campus 2 11.5N
Average 23.0N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
5.8N
Stiffness
51.8N

Grip / Traction

The Adidas Campus 2 features an old-school herringbone pattern which was very common for basketball shoes and trainers back in the day.

Adidas Campus 2 outsole

We haven't put the shoe's outsole through any athletic activities because it's not what it's meant for anyway. But rest assured that on wet pavements this kick will keep you confident.

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

One thing to be aware of in the Adidas Campus 2 is its narrower-than-average toebox. We found it to be even narrower than those of the Samba and the Gazelle!

Adidas Campus 2 fit

In the widest part of the shoe's toebox, our caliper measured only 94.2 mm. The sneaker indeed feels very close-fitting.

Adidas Campus 2 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Campus 2 94.2 mm
Average 99.1 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
94.0 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
107.7 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The shoe's upper also tapers towards the toes becoming even narrower. Measuring the toebox width near the big toe, our caliper showed 71.9 mm.

The Adidas Campus 2 is definitely NOT the shoe for wide feet.

Adidas Campus 2 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Campus 2 71.9 mm
Average 74.8 mm
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
63.7 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
82.7 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The tongue of the Campus 2 is non-gusseted which means that it's not attached to the sides of the upper.

However, we didn't have any issues with the tongue sliding sideways throughout the walk.

Adidas Campus 2 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Campus 2 None

Comfort

Tongue padding

The Adidas Campus 2 has an adequately thick tongue unlike its puffier sibling, the Campus 00s.

Our caliper showed a pretty standard thickness of 9.6 mm in the Campus 2. Meanwhile, the 00s has a monstrous tongue that's 23 mm thick!

Adidas Campus 2 vs Adidas Campus 00s tongue thickness

Test results
Campus 2 9.6 mm
Average 9.3 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
1.0 mm
Tongue padding
38.4 mm

Heel tab

The Campus 2 doesn't have any heel tabs but the slightly extended heel collar and the fairly stiff heel counter help to get the shoe on pretty effortlessly.

Adidas Campus 2 Heel tab
Test results
Campus 2 None

Removable insole

To add a touch of plushness or arch support underfoot, you can swap the shoe's stock insole with the one of your choice.

Adidas Campus 2 Removable insole
Test results
Campus 2 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

The Adidas Campus 2 has no reflective elements.

Adidas Campus 2 Reflective elements
Test results
Campus 2 No

Origins of the Adidas Campus

The Campus silhouette was first released in 1970 as a performance basketball shoe and was initially called the Tournament.

The shoe received its current name when it was reintroduced as a lifestyle sneaker in the '80s. It was aiming to steal the market share from the highly popular PUMA Suede as an alternative low-profile suede kick.

When the hip-hop culture started to rule the scene in the '90s, it helped to push the Adidas Campus into the spotlight.

Adidas Campus 2 lacing

Bands like the Run DMC and the Beastie Boys were seen sporting the Campus which helped accelerate its fame in the lifestyle arena. Even during the production hiatus of the Campus in the market, the Beastie Boys still wore them throughout their career.

This Adidas kick also become the shoe of choice for skateboarders thanks to its durability and firm grounded sole. The skater community demand grew so much that Adidas has even launched a special edition called the Campus Vulc.

Recently, the Adidas Originals rebooted this iconic profile. The Campus is back again in the market as fresh and better than ever. The Adidas Campus 2 is a lifestyle shoe that features soft suede with the iconic 3-Stripe and bulky rubber sole. It is updated with a better fit which is a tad wider than the first released Campus.

These days, the Adidas Campus is somewhat lost in the shadow of the iconic Superstar, Gazelle, and Stan Smith kicks. But we believe that such a lack of hype also gives the Campus wearers an edge and stand out from the crowd.