There's nothing better than a sneaker that's modern in technology and build but old-fashioned in appearance. It's why brands continuously churn out offerings that visually reference the past but are thoroughly innovative under the classic silhouettes and retro materials. Adidas Originals' Never Made collection, which the brand describes as "a revolutionary footwear concept inspired by the past, designed for the future," is set to be one such offering. Launching October 17, it promises to tap into three decades of Adidas archival design in order to reimagine selected classic silhouettes through a modern lens, subsequently giving you the coolest dad sneakers out there. But don't worry, not all of them resemble the so-chunky-they-look-geriatric dad sneakers that are currently ruling fashion. You'll just have to read on to see.
The '70s, '80s, and '90s all served as inspiration for the Never Made collection, in both subtle and perfectly in-your-face ways. Certain colors, silhouettes, and materials speak to their "groovy" or "rad" decade of a muse, while their soles, particularly, boast cutting-edge newness. "Past icons from the adidas archive are reimagined, as their soles are swapped with the brand’s most innovative toolings," explains the brand in a press release. "Inspired by internal design workshops, which see the brand’s designers explore unexpected combinations, the collection is a manifestation of ideas into reality."
It seems only right we explore the collection linearly.
First up: the '70s.
There's the MARATHONx5923, "which sees one of the brand’s earliest running silhouettes remade with BOOST technology, bringing the past into the future in unexpected ways." The style comes in a vivid blue and white color way and sits atop a chunky, almost pebbled-looking sole.
Then there's the COUNTRYxKAMANDA, a chunky black leather sneaker that "merges aggressive all-terrain-inspired detailing from two eras," and looks like an old school basketball shoe to me.
And last in the '70s lineup is the Ix4D. It combines Adidas' vintage-inspired I-5923 silhouette with 4D carbon-printed tooling in the form of a sole.
Next up: the '80s.
As described by Adidas, "Looking to one of the brand’s modern day icons, the genealogy of NMD series revisits three key sources of inspiration from the 80’s, placing the silhouettes atop NMD_R1 tooling."
First up is the MICROPACERxR1, which truly looks like it should be worn by an astronaut starring in an '80s film. (It's got a back-to-the-future vibe, you feel me?)
The RISINGSTARxR1 is like its slightly less playful older brother of a shoe, if only for the fact that it entails laces.
And finally, there's the BOSTONSUPERxR1, which comes in a matte gray tone rather than silver and would make for an excellent everyday yet stylized sneaker.
Finally, we've arrived to the '90s, which Adidas calls "one of the most important decades in adidas Original’s recent history." The decade's offerings compose the genetically Modified 90’s Tech series, which sees two iconic footwear concepts, Feet You Wear and EQT, reimagined atop BOOST tooling.
The 98xCRAZYBYW sneaker looks like an iconic '90s basketball shoe but with a funky, chunky sole to match.
The ZX930xEQT, on the other hand, boasts an appearance akin to what's been walking the runways of designers like Balenciaga. In other words, it's got that super trendy dad sneaker aesthetic.
Head to adidas.com on October 17 to score a pair of your own (select styles are available to preview now). Just make sure to ask yourself, How far do you want to throw it back?