Towards the back end of last year adidas, well-known adidas aficionado and designer Gary Aspden created the adidas Spezial Exhibition in Manchester to celebrate the vast archives and collections from the iconic three-striped German brand.
The name of the exhibition, Spezial, goes some way to showing the significance of that particular design which has seen a dramatic resurgence in popularity during 2014 and the early part of 2015.
Spezial was originally designed as a handball shoe in the adidas homeland of Germany for the indoor sports game which is very demanding on footwear and needs to be robust enough to deal with short, sharp movements and heavy friction which the players create. It was first worn in 1979 and players from Germany, Holland and Scandinavia soon made them their favourites.
It wasn’t until the 1980s and the start of the Casuals movement in football that these shoes really came into their own as a permanent fixture in fashion too though. Travelling fans enjoyed their comfort and sporty aesthetic, soon realising they looked the part with jeans and other popular outfits in the 80s male wardrobe.
The Spezial itself is characterized by a high quality suede upper exterior with a generous offer of cushioning on the feet. It also has a thick gum sole and a reinforced heel panel to weather the wear and tear it is subject to. It has a simplistic appearance which is no doubt partly the reason why it has achieved a timeless “three-stripe” look.
Fashion moves in cycles and at present the Spezial offers a unique retro appeal which is reminiscent of the late 70s and early 80s era. You don’t need to athletic or particularly brave with your fashion choices to pull off the Spezial’s either, they’re a simplistic shoe which can take a beating and- aside from the office or formal occasions- you’ll struggle to find a setting they aren’t appropriate to wear in.
Extremely light in weight, the Spezial shoe will surprise you in its ability to retain this attribute alongside such a tough exterior. The sole features a four-zone construction for the hard wear required, and originally in 1982 the Handball Spezial was produced in red and white, white and black or white and blue. Having seen the trainer become a collectors item, adidas soon expanded these colourways and now there are any number of adaptations available.
The low-cut sports design is now available in three unique colours at Mainline Menswear and you can buy one for £60. View them here!
COMPETITION: WIN 12 PAIRS OF ADIDAS TRAINERS
If you’re an adidas fan and love trainers like the Spezial, Gazelle, Stan Smith or any of their other great designs then you should consider entering our current competition before it closes on the 16th of March. The winner will win a year’s supply of adidas trainers- or a pair for each month of the year – from the Mainline Menswear range.
Enter the competition here by filling in the details and the prize could be yours!