adidas Forum Hi “Crest”

  • MADE ON: 08/90
  • ART.NO: 073599

An undeniably classic silhouette, the Forum has been around since 1984 but even many people who work at adidas mistake the Mid for the Hi.

And that’s exactly why we want to show you this pair from 1990; hopefully it will remind people that today’s Forum Mid is not the real deal high top that adidas dropped back in the day (and while this remark may sound exorbitant, it’s proven to be the truth when one looks at one of Jeremy Scott’s Forum releases, clearly labeled as a Hi but even more clearly built as a Mid). The truth is that it was the Forum Hi which cast a shadow on the other two traditional variations. Such a classic sneaker that originally hit the stores at unbelievable high prices for the time (reportedly a bill or so in both Boston and New York) and dropped regionally in such small quantities that it immediately became a rarity.

For whatever reason (possibly to compete with the fabricated ‘prestige’ of other sneaker brands) adidas felt the need to upgrade their favorite basketball silhouette with an embroidered, dual-color, crest emblem, forever marking this style of the Forum to be the truly proud release representing their past basketball heritage. But this wasn’t the only change in design, as they experimented six years later, adding in more synthetic materials (and removing the crest) as can be seen on these Forum Hi’s from ’96.

Even decades after its drop the sole unit is tougher than the boys and girls from Brooklyn’s Bed Stuy, and the leather is living large void of cracking or natural decay. Only the tongue succumbs to minor tragedy, peeling a bit on the front and splitting around its edges. Despite their large size I of course gave ‘em a spin and wasn’t entirely comforted by the deprecated sockliner, turned to semi-mush at some point by water damage or via other organic deterioration (possibly stored in locations too moist during its adolescence).

Other than those minor points this shoe is solid. In fact, it’s by and large the most durable Forum I have ever had the pleasure to come across in-person, ten times more so than any of the modern Mid and Low releases, and even at least three to four times more hardcore than Frank the Butcher’s own tribute to these (but that’s not to say I don’t love him for it, I think what he did needed to be done and I was pleasantly surprised at his choice for that buttery nubuck suede instead of this here undying leather armor upper). It’s exceptional that you find trainers like this pair these days and I’m happy to find such a healthy pair, even if I’m gutted (once again) by their size.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol