A bold sneaker prediction for the remainder of 2023: This will be the year of the Adidas Samba. You remember the Samba, right? The indoor soccer shoes your footy-playing pals rocked with too short nylon Umbro shorts and white tube socks in the ‘90s? They look great with chinos, camo, trim sweats or warm-ups.
My guess that 2023 is going to be the year of the Samba is not really an educated guess — it’s not based on any insights provided by the nice folks at Adidas. What I’m working with is a just a hunch; one brought on by a number of factors.
First and foremost, a recent paparazzi shot of rapper and style guru Pusha-T rocking a mysterious pair white Sambas featuring a white suede toe box, white stripes, and over-sized tongue with the word ’Thorn’ — perhaps a play on Pusha’s name, Terrence Thornton — and a dark gum sole. The photo sent the sneaker-loving world into a tizzy. Not just because it hints at a new Pusha/Adidas collaboration, but because the shoes are so freaking hot.
Pusha’s pair pushed me to the Adidas website where I rediscovered the Samba. I’m not really a fan of “dad sneakers” — like the Nike Monarch or the New Balance 624 — but I do love an inexpensive, easy-to-find shoe. The Samba tops out at about $100 and the Adidas site offers countless color ways.
I personally like the shoe in white. The Samba Real Madrid and Samba OG in cloud white and granite are favorites. If you’re willing to spend a bit more money and are feeling adventurous there is some serious Samba had to be had over on StockX (like this, or this, or this). Just please be advised: Your Umbros were never cool.
Alex French is a contributing editor for Fatherly and has been a journalist and editor for decades with work in Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ, Grantland, Wired, and many others. He’s also the co-author of Sneakers, which will tell you pretty much everything you need to know on the subject.