Adidas Spezial Embraces Its Retro Roots

The Adidas Spezial captures the culture of the ultimate vintage trainer.

In a sneaker world of Instagram hype, eccentric designs, and long lines, where shoes are bought for the sake of being resold, the Adidas Spezial has quietly carved a solid niche for itself. Only launched back in 2014, but already a well-respected capsule collection, it continues to embrace the vintage Adidas philosophy to the fullest, making it a fixture in today’s modern classic footwear scene.

It’s a concept that works. Because a lot of Spezials sell out. And thanks to the creative minds behind the Adidas Originals brand, each batch is elegantly dropped to serve sneaker aficionados who are all about rare trainers from back in the day.

And besides all the nostalgia-fueled feelings about vintage design, these shoes hold serious clout due to their modernized construction and high quality materials, making them a step up over in-house mainstays like Sambas and Gazelles.

The Spezial is proof that limited release collection do not need to be flashy hypebeast endorsed kicks.

For the sake of keeping it fresh, Adidas continues to dig deep into its archives to revive designs that may have been forgotten, all while adding some modern touches, and finally adding the Spezial stamp of approval. It’s about staying close to the brand’s Euro roots - Where style and functionality mesh to create trainers that ooze retro elegance.

And thankfully, the Spezial is proof that limited release collections do not need to be flashy hypebeast-endorsed kicks. Instead, the brand has taken the more sustainable approach, creating well-made collections that are low-profile and distinct in design. Versatile sneakers that are just as relevant for a casual day at the office as they are for catching a show at The Fillmore.

The Adidas Intack Spezial: Low Key. Classic. & So Fresh.

The Adidas Intack Spezial: Low Key. Classic. & So Fresh.

With five years deep in the game, the collection has developed serious street cred and boasts a nice-sized catalog. And within the Spezial lineup, there are quite a few designs that have made strong impressions, offering sneakerheads the opportunity to stay super original and relive the aura of the UK’s early casual scene.

The Intack SPZL is one that does this seamlessly. It has all the elements one would search for in a vintage-inspired trainer. The dark green suede blends with three bright white stripes, a fresh overlay, and a thick gum midsole to create a sneaker ready to be paired with some crisp selvedge denim. Taking direct inspiration from the forgotten Freizeit collection, the materials and construction are on par with those of a premium sneaker, making these kicks a top shelf option that can stay in rotation for years.

With its distinct dark tan suede, the Cote SPZL is ideal footwear for the next rooftop shindig.

And then there is the Cote SPZL, which takes its inspiration from the ultra-classy French riviera. With a premium rich brown suede exterior and perforated three-stripe branding, one can forget about denim this time and pair these kicks up with some lush Zegna trousers. WIth a vintage label sewn right onto the tongue, and a low-key look to them, they are unique even for the Spezial line, and will be a clutch option for the next rooftop shindig.

This is what a capsule collection should be about. Premium materials. Distinct design. And boatloads of heritage. The Spezial embraces all these elements and continues to fuel the movement of reviving the old-school silhouette. And even though it’s known that copping a pair of real vIntage Adidas is on another level, the next closest thing, which is also on the exclusive tip, is a fresh pair of some Spezials.


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Aslan Moini