Size and fit

The Adidas Superstar 80s CNY low-top lifestyle sneaker has a traditional lace-up closure that offers a secure, personalized fit. This sneaker that has the same DNA as the classic version generally runs true to size. This shoe is available in men’s sizes which range from 9.5 to 13 US and in medium width measurement.

Adidas Superstar 80s CNY Style

The ever-changing style of the low-top Adidas Superstar 80s CNY, which comes in limited pairs, is worth the wait. Expect to get different styles of the CNY each year as the design of its annual drop is dictated by the zodiac animal sign of the year. The sneaker itself is a conversation piece that adds punch to any casual wear. Some of the variations of the CNY blend well with a casual suit, especially if you plan not to put on a dress shoe.

Notable Features

The Adidas Superstar 80s CNY low-top casual shoe puts a very modern appeal to the classic trainer, which gets redressed every year using a wide array of materials, textures, and designs. Each variation of the CNY retained the original DNA of the classic profile including the distinct old-school shell toe feature. It adapts to the changing trends as the upper construction of this model is reworked every year.  Apart from the initial release of the new colorways at the start of the year, Adidas tends to launch more variations within the year as these special edition releases come in limited pairs.

Adidas Superstar 80s CNY History

Chinese zodiac animal signs have a significant impact on fashion trends and sometimes dictate the style guides of each year. Such direction influenced Adidas that it started producing Chinese zodiac-inspired sneaker selections annually.

The brand went to its vault and picked one of its 1980s favorite silhouettes, notably the Adidas Superstar that was extremely famous among b-boys and growing sneaker enthusiasts during such era. Adidas re-designed the cover of this iconic shoe and came up with the low-top Adidas Superstar 80s CNY, short for Chinese New Year, which was released in 2013.

Coincidentally, the initial drop of the CNY variation just happened two months after the screening of the “Chinese Zodiac” film with Hong-Kong star Jackie Chan. However, the movie and the sneaker have no direct relations.

The Three Stripes went all out in coming up with two serpent-inspired covers for its classic Shell Toe model, as the unveiling of this iteration falls on the Year of the Snake (YOTS). A stylish snake scale design in red-white and black-white combo colorways served as the skins of the low-top 2013 Adidas Superstar 80s CNY, accentuated by suede detailing on the side panels and heel patch.

This sneaker used a jade ornament across the front end of its shoelace and a lucky charm in its hangtag to add more touches of fortune elements to this profile. Jade is an exceptional, natural green gemstone that is said to promote balance and peace, while the suspended charm is believed to invite a stroke of luck to the wearer.

Following the lunar calendar, 2014 is marked as the Year of the Horse (YOTH). During such time, Adidas introduced the Superstar 80s CNY Year of the Horse dressed in metallic gold symbolizing good providence.

Adidas puts a trace of sophistication to this low-top YOTH edition, perhaps meant to attract financial prosperity to its wearer by using silken equine graphical prints on its upper in a gold shade. The cover of this shoe is complemented by shimmery gold laces and glossy metallic eyelets.

This drop was succeeded by the Adidas Superstar 80s CNY Year of the Goat (YOTG) in 2015, which is one of the seven updated profiles disclosed by the brand for the Chinese New Year. This edition is beaming with positivity as it took on the auspicious color in the Chinese culture that symbolizes happiness. It is the same color seen on its premium and glossy packaging, which resembles an opulent gift box that has a goat print on the cover and golden diagonal Three-Stripe logo across it.

Appropriately, the tongue of this vibrant-colored shoe with a red-red colorway is designed with printed goat head pattern, which matches the goat’s silhouette on the left heel tab. The Trefoil branding on the other heel is stamped in gold.

Adidas toned down on its Year of the Monkey iteration unveiled in 2016 by using pure black leather on the upper construction. The sneaker’s dark cover glows with streaks of rainbow colors designed on the lateral and medial branding and the heel tab. It comes in black laces to provide an elegant look to the timeless Adidas silhouette.

Adidas goes luxe with the low-top Year of the Rooster (YOTR) variation in 2017. This variety features a rich all-black leather upper with very soft feather detailing on the Three-Stripe logo on its side panels and heel patch, also in carbon tone. An embroidered rooster image is stitched towards the rear part of the lateral side.

The sockliner of the YOTR version is printed with a Mahjong tile design. Like the Year of the Snake edition, this sneaker has a hang tag made of a Mahjong tile that displays the rooster image on the white side and the Trefoil branding on the green side.

Additional Info

  • The outsole of the low-top Adidas Superstar 80s CNY modifications is made of herringbone tread pattern, a zig-zag shaped groove design which offers an excellent grip.
  • Adidas Superstar 80s CNY comes from the rich line of Adidas Superstar, a basketball shoe with a highly noticeable shell toe that was conceived in 1965.
  • The upper of the Adidas Superstar hoop shoe was made of full-grain leather with jagged Three-Stripe logo on the lateral and medial midfoot edges.
  • The Adidas Superstar was not an instant hit on the hardwood as the brand’s other legend, Adidas Stan Smith was on the court. It took 17 years before the Adidas Superstar gained its celebrity status in the sneaker market.
  • Adidas teamed up with a group of rappers named RUN DMC with for the relaunch of the Adidas Superstar in 1986.
  • RUN DMC, an influential hip-hop trio, ignited the hype over this classic-looking sneaker by coming up with a single titled, “My Adidas,” in their 1986 album “Raising Hell.”
  • The sales of the Adidas Superstar skyrocketed after its re-launch as it became a much-loved casual footwear among b-boys and sneaker enthusiasts.
  • Several variations were made on the Adidas Superstar over the years as its timeless silhouette is one of the much-sought subjects for retooling.
  • The YOTR made use of Mahjong elements in the design of the shoe. Mahjong is a strategy game with Chinese-origin played by four individuals. The players use pieces of tiles engraved with Chinese characters and symbols which serve as their deck of cards.  
  • The Chinese New Year variations come with extra laces.


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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.