adidas Mutombo

  • MADE ON: 11/92
  • ART.NO: 073723

The adidas Mutombo – or Mutumbo 1 – was the first high top pair endorsed by Dikembe, and although it came in many colorways this is probably one of the most iconic.

Seeing as how the return of the Mutombo is finally set for this year (2013), we thought it a prime time to drop another pair from the Mutombo family on all you basketball fans out there. And while I must admit I’m not actually b-ballin’ it up in these, I do personally own a couple pairs which I wear casually and also use for freestyle street dancing. The main distinction, in my opinion, of these first Mutombo’s is the chunky sole unit, which leaves one feeling as though they’re walking a bit above the ground. They also tend to click or clack as one walks, giving the presence of a boot more so than a sneaker.

Their inner lining is quite comfortable considering the shoe’s age (produced in 1992) and although the tongue is unnecessarily large and the lacing incredibly crazy, neither of these features detract from its absurd charm. After all, how can I deny the insanely grotesque colorway and – with all due respect to Dikembe’s Zaire heritage – the overly funky pattern that has become the iconography of his court style. It is widely known that this particular patterning was symbolic of the cut-pile raffia fabrics frequently seen out of Bukuba, Zaire.

A variety of colorways hit the scene as mentioned above, including white on black, black on white, and blue on white to name a few. These other variations are even harder to come by then the ‘staple’ Mutombo pictured here, and that itself is incredibly rare these days as well. Despite their underdog status at the time, the shoe just simply doesn’t last long enough, with cracking through use and easily weakened sole unit adhesives. From my personal experience a box-fresh pair of Mutombo 1′s will last significantly longer than a box-fresh pair of Mutombo 2′s, but this isn’t saying much as the last time I rocked a deadstock Mutombo 2 it was pushing up daisies within days, the sole units left like stragglers in the grass clippings behind my stride. On the bright side I got some sweet ass slippers now!

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol