Size and fit

The Adidas Tubular Shadow is a men's and women's sneaker. It has a lightweight knit upper that offers a lightweight, breathable, and durable feel. The wraparound burrito tongue delivers a snug fit, while the lace-up system helps in adjusting the fit. Lastly, the low collar provides freedom of movement around the ankle area. 

Adidas Tubular Shadow Style

The Shadow from Adidas mainly oozes with sophistication and urbanity. It is a very chic sneaker that should be well at home during sporty events, clubbing, or just a walk around the city. However, as the shoe offers elements of the 90’s runner, it does have its classy bit. It is best matched with jeans and shorts.

These kicks could also be dressed up for the office or for a laidback party or occasion. It is versatile enough to pair with casual work clothes such as pants and button-down shirts or skirts and blouses. Below are some more styling tips for men and women.

  Styling tips for the ladies

With its sporty style, the sneaker would go well with different athleisure outfits. Leggings, joggers or shorts paired with a hoodie, pullover or tank top should suit this shoe’s athletic appeal. The minimalistic colors, fabric upper, and overall neat design make these kicks belong with the trend of sporty shoes.

Meanwhile, the sneakers could also be worn with a variety of casual outfits, especially with a pair of jeans, capris or shorts. Colors such as white, black, gray, blue, and army green should fit with the model’s aesthetic, depending on the chosen colorway. Skirts or dresses are also suitable to pair with these shoes for more dressed-up occasions.

  Style how-to’s for the men

The men’s Adidas Tubular Shadow shoes offer a modern and sleek look that can be dressed in many different ways. For an athletic appeal, the kicks could be paired with joggers, track pants or suits, along with a sweater, sweatshirt, hoodie or t-shirt. The sporty vibe could be completed with a bomber jacket.

Casual outfits could also be worn with these shoes, especially jeans, chinos, cargo shorts or pants and more, paired with t-shirts or pullovers. A denim jacket will give the overall look a vintage vibe, providing a contrast to the model's ultramodern design. Minimalists can stick to neutral hues which will emphasize the sneaker's clean aesthetic.

Notable Features

The Adidas Tubular Shadow features a technologically advanced look balanced by its seamless and neat upper. It’s made to be a minimalist’s dream, showcasing a simple design and a clean appeal. It has always been the signature look of the Tubular series, offering a progressive outlook for the footwear scene that emphasizes clean lines and features for comfort.  

Among its many notable design details is its lightweight look and feel, which enables wearers to go where they may. It doesn’t have any flashy detailing, but its innovative appearance gives it an undeniable edge. It’s not surprising that the shoe offers more notable details with a closer look.

  Tube-like technology

A couple of things stand out in the Adidas Tubular Shadow shoes. It starts with the tube-like outsole and midsole combo, which is a remarkable innovation in itself. Based on the tubing of car tires, the technology offers good cushioning with shock-absorbing features. It was developed to provide excellent grip and traction, to which end car tires proved to be the perfect inspiration.

This technology proved too far ahead for its time when it was first introduced. The manufacturing costs simply couldn’t provide a competitive price point for the model, which meant that it would be too expensive for the market. As a result, the Tubular shoe was discontinued for a long time before its reappearance over a decade later.

Fortunately, the technology was revived when the time came, and thus the Tubular line was revitalized with much success. The importance and significance of the Tubular technology can be found in the number of shoes designed after this really ingenious design. This innovation also gives the midsole a distinct tire-like pattern, contributing to the fashion-forward appeal.

  Seamless upper

Another notable feature in this shoe is the entire one-piece upper. Although different models of the shoe differ in material, the one-piece construction is common among the different models. It keeps the foot in a comfortable wrap. The upper features a minimalistic and straightforward design, emphasizing a smooth and unfussy look that makes the shoe highly versatile.

Different materials are used on the upper of the shoe, depending on the colorway, including knit, canvas, and other fabric materials. There are also several options available for the colorways, such as the core black/cloud white/core black combo, Onix/clear grey/FTW white, and core black/solar red/mystery ink.

  A distinct lace-up closure

Additionally, the Tubular Shadow’s lace-up closure is quite eye-catching in addition to being unique while keeping the foot secure. Beneath this appealing lacing design is the “burrito” tongue that is designed to enhance the sock-like feel and comfort of the upper.

This lacing system is also built to enhance the snug fit of the sneaker, ensuring a secure and well-protected feel. With this unique lace-up look, the shoe offers a fashion-forward perspective that enhances its sporty appeal.

  Subtle branding

Adidas kept the branding fairly minimal when it came to the Tubular Shadow, in line with the shoe’s simple and neat detailing. On the tongue is the iconic Adidas Trefoil logo, which has been exclusively used by Adidas Originals products since 1997. The same logo is found on the heel near the collar.

Additional branding is found on the outsole and the insole. These subtle branding details fit the shoe’s minimalistic aspirations and should appeal to those who don’t like flashy kicks that bear too many labels.

Adidas Tubular Shadow History

The Adidas Tubular line is a force to be reckoned with, featuring many styles to suit different tastes. This modern series has an interesting story of its own, from its days as a court sneaker to its shelving up to its resurrection. The shoe’s rebirth can be attributed to Nic Galway, the VP of Global Designs at Adidas.

Galway firmly believed that the Three-Stripe company’s archives held more potential and promise than they previously thought. Some of those shoes were just far too advanced to be produced efficiently and without being too costly. The Tubular series is clearly one of those that were technologically ahead of its time.

  The shoe’s birth under Adidas Originals

In 1993, the Adidas Originals Tubular was first introduced to the world under the brand’s heritage line. It was initially designed as a basketball shoe, but it quickly transcended its purpose. The first inflatable sneaker of its kind in the world was destined for something more.

This model was called “Tubular” due to its design on the outsole, which was inspired by inner tire tubes. Despite its striking design, the shoe was shelved just a couple of years after its release. It was deemed to be too ultramodern for sneakerheads at the time. Furthermore, although it was considered to be an excellent shoe, the manufacturing itself was very complicated.

However, Nic Galway saw a lot of potential in the model. Thus, he set to work over the years to make sure that the Tubular would have its time in the spotlight. Eventually, his efforts paid off, especially when the technology of the times finally caught up with the features needed for the Tubular model.

  The Rebirth of the Tubular

The Adidas Tubular shoes were unique as they featured an outsole design that is based on the concept of the inner tubing of car tires. With the technology now available, Galway and his team successfully produced the shoes carrying their then complex ideas. As a result, the model was able to balance a heritage style with modern details.

In 2014, the all-new Tubular silhouette, the Tubular Runner, was introduced under Adidas Originals. The sneaker was the result of over ten years’ worth of research. Its revolutionary design mesmerized sneaker lovers, leaving them wanting more. The new model, which seemingly came out of nowhere, became a global phenomenon that gave birth to a new era of lifestyle footwear.

Following its reissuing, the model has been well-received by many sneaker lovers, especially as it delivered a dynamic appeal that melded the past and future together. Such an undertaking is what Adidas has aimed for with some of its releases, especially from the heritage Adidas Originals Tubular Shadow shoes.

  The legacy continues with the Tubular Shadow

The Tubular line of shoes now includes, among others, the Defiant, Doom, Radial, and the Shadow. The low-top Adidas Tubular Shadow is the latest iteration in this line. Adidas offered different variations of this line to allow the masses to get the most out of their shoes, depending on their needs.

It is often rare to find a whole range of shoes that are basically built under the concept of one technology. Adidas offers this in the Tubular series, among other very popular collections of shoes. As there are several models to choose from, it is very likely that this series will continue to flourish.

In the Adidas Originals Tubular Shadow, the brand keeps the style fresh and innovative by using different types of material in the upper. With each new release, the sneaker fan can have his or her share of style to choose from. More than just their performance, sneakerheads can also get their fill when it comes to style as these shoes straddle the line between performance and casual wear.

The Adidas Tubular Shadow sneakers have also been getting a lot of attention because they look very similar to the Yeezy Boosts, minus the mind-boggling cost. Unlike the Yeezy sneakers, however, the Tubular shoe offers a subtler appeal in looks, branding, and marketing. Thus, it could appeal to those who like their kicks simple and straightforward without all the hype.

Nice to know

  • Rapper, singer, and songwriter Lil Yachty, was seen sporting the Adidas Tubular Shadow.
  • Adidas introduces a new upper material with each new Tubular Shadow that comes out.
  • Although the shoes are of exactly the same name, outsole, and midsole, the upper changes. Some of these sneakers with different uppers also have varying prices.
  • Some of the upper materials available are knit fabric, distressed canvas, and 3D-textured upper. The 3D-textured version has a different price for the men's compared to the women's edition.
  • The “burrito” style construction of the Adidas Tubular Shadow helps keep the foot secure.


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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.