From hoops to heelflips to hot retro, the adidas Forum deserves a spot in your collection
Back in the early 1980s, the basketball sneaker landscape looked a lot different to how it does today.
The shoes we all know and love for casual wear today — adidas Superstars, Converse Chuck Taylors, Nike Blazers, even Pro-Keds — were mainstays on the hardwood and the blacktop.
Even the iconic Air Force 1, one of sneaker culture’s most versatile and widespread models, was designed for hoops.
And while Nike and Jordan Brand dominate the basketball market in 2021, four decades ago they were far from the only major player.
In 1979, adidas released its high-tech new hoops model, the Top Ten, named as such because it was intended to be the signature shoe for the 10 best players in the NBA at the time.
The design, aided by veteran Rick Barry, debuted a lot of sneaker features that you’ll still see in classic retros today, and was such a hit that Three Stripes had to come up with a worthy follow-up.
The brand certainly did that, with the adidas Forum debuting in 1983.
As one of the first sneakers to arrive in high-, mid- and low-cut models, the Forum was a hit with its ankle strap and bold three-stripe design on the upper.
It also got a healthy dose of cultural clout from Patrick Ewing, who wore the Forum Hi in his first season with the New York Knicks on basketball’s biggest stage at Madison Square Garden.
Ewing wasn’t the only hoops royalty to rock the Forum Hi either. Perhaps you’ve heard about a young fella out of North Carolina by the name of Michael Jordan?
Yep, that very same shooting guard who transformed the sneaker game into what it is today. Jordan wore the adidas Forum Hi during the Team USA basketball trials ahead of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Much like the Air Jordan 1 and Nike Dunk of the same era, the adidas Forum became popular with skateboarders thanks to its grippy outsoles, padded collar and tongues and a reinforced heel counter that could withstand the wearer being flung down staircases and handrails.
Almost 40 years after its original release, the adidas Forum remains a classic sneaker for casual wear, even if its technology has been surpassed on the basketball court.
Now you can take it back to the 80s with one of the Three Stripes’ iconic designs when the adidas Forum Mid and Low release in Men’s and Kids’ sizing at finishline.com on 6/4.
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