adidas Keeps It Old School And Stays On Campus

adidas’ penchant for court shoes is evident when delving into their back catalogue, as they have done recently with reissuing in original trim the Superstar, Stan Smith, Gazelle et al. Another sports shoe-turned-pavement pounder is set to return in a big way in 2017, some 30 years since production ended of the original batch: the Campus.

Originally dubbed the Tournament during its 1970s inception, it was conceived as a low-cut basketball shoe like other companies were experimenting with at the time. The shoe comprises suede uppers with a rubber cup sole archetypical of most court shoes of the era. Metal eyelets prevented the quarter and eyestays from excessive stretching whilst retaining perfect fit and a proven herringbone outsole ensured consistent grip. Upon rebirth as the newly-named Campus in 1980 sans the metal eyelets, its easy-to-wear design gave way from varsity team floorboards to skateboards. The hard-wearing soles and durable collegiate coloured uppers made the Campus the choice of dance crews and street skaters.

If the U.K. is allowed to have the Gazelle as the trainer of the football casual and mod movements, then the U.S. can lay claim to the Campus as the street sneaker for its cool cliques. Adidas was already riding high from the unprecedented success of having rap masters Run-D.M.C. behind the brand with the three striped, shell-toed Superstar. Their iconic track “My Adidas” cemented rap’s first ever endorsement and adidas’ ongoing relationship with the music genre.

adidas campus

The Campus would feature on hip hop trio Beastie Boys’ promotional material and follow suit in immortalisation on the cover art of their seminal album Check Your Head. Hip hop is almost a quintessential flavour of the Campus itself, being the blank canvas for a multitude of collaborations with other big bodies House of Pain and Def Jam Recordings, amongst others. Interestingly, the 80s silhouette also served as the base for a number of joint efforts with various Japanese design houses in the beginning of the decade. Bape, Kazuki, and Bedwin & the Heartbreakers all had a go at their own interpretations.

After a period of hibernation during the 90s to make way for the great arms race of footwear technology, the Campus returned in the early 2000s as a perennial sleeper hit under the new Originals umbrella line of heritage footwear bearing the iconic trefoil emblem.

adidas campus

Shop the adidas Campus Collection at Hype DC

The seemingly simple layout of the shoe actually reveals thousands of colour and material permutations possible. Some may spend their entire lives finding every pair released - but to get started, Hype DC brings back a handful of essential OG suede flavours.

The adidas Campus collection for women & men launches Thursday, June 15th.

adidas campus