[Pictured: Adidas Samba available at Zappos for $59.95.]
Jack Purcells, Authentics, Stan Smiths and Chucks are so ubiquitous these days that certain publications are going as far as telling you to wear them with your suit. While you will never hear such a recommendation from myself you can expect a little nudge towards the road less traveled. Instead of getting another, or even your first, pair of the aforementioned sneakers why not get a pair of Adidas Sambas?
The Samba has been around since 1950 when it was first introduced as suitable footwear for soccer players who trained on icy, hard ground. Since its debut it has become the second largest seller for Adidas, behind the Stan Smith, with 35 million pairs sold worldwide. While you can still buy the original version used for training featuring the foldable, extended tongue, there are numerous "updated" (more manageable tongue, etc.) versions for those who don't play the beautiful game.
Being a former player myself, I can't recall a time in my life when I didn't own a pair of Sambas. Currently, my beautiful cream and olive pair (they look awesome, I swear) are being held hostage by my brother back in NJ, but that's another story for another day. During my earliest days playing indoor, I remember getting excited just to suit up for practice knowing I was going to be wearing my Sambas and they pretty much never left my feet for an extended portion of my childhood. Just as classic as it was almost 60 years ago, the Samba is your perfect understated sneaker. No bells. No whistles. No graphics. No neons. Just unwavering, steadfast soul.
Pick up a pair and wear 'em with your denim before the weather gets too crappy. And when the weather does take a turn for the worst, put 'em away until spring. You're sure to have a smile on your face the first time you lace up sockless in April. They were good enough for Roger Daltrey and Dr. Huxtable and, believe me, they are good enough for you.
"...you weren’t anything unless you had Adidas." - Bill Cosby, The Playboy Fashion Guide Interview, 9/2/09