adidas Enforcer Mid

  • MADE ON: 09/12
  • ART.NO: G96678
  • FACTORY: APE 779001

As much as we love classic comebacks, when adidas reaches into their past archive to redo a shoe they unfortunately don’t always get it right.

These Enforcer Mid samples are a perfect example of that. While the shape and cut is generally on-point the materials are a let down and the colorway, well, do I even have to say much there?

Learning a lot from sneaker collector Bobby Mac in his recent rant on the adidas Trimm Star revival, I don’t want this to be an article chock-full of sneaker slate. However, for me, the Enforcer is a silhouette that represents sturdiness almost like no other vintage adidas basketball model. And being that I purchase shoes primarily for the purpose of freestyle street dancing, I don’t say this type of thing lightly. The OG’s I have from 1993 sport a seriously tough toe box thanks to the thick and stiff leather used in their production. The whole upper benefits from this choice of material as well, making the side walls, heel, and ankle collar super tough. Sure, this throws a bit of comfort out the window but the ample inner lining helps to ease that back into play.

With the above-mentioned OG’s and these new samples side by side I can state that the sole unit is pretty damn identical, though the color choice I don’t understand. That OG gum and black non-marking outsole is supreme (especially the gum aspect of it, giving an onlooker the same feeling they might have when gazing upon an icy sole), so why not just keep it classic adidas? The toe box on the newer pairs is a seriously less sturdy leather that leaves them feeling not so enforcing after all. And while I appreciate the experimentation with this rough suede leather (in black) that dominates the majority of the upper, it’s simply not executed right, drawing all the attention to the toe box, which isn’t really what visually makes the shoe (despite my steady opinion that this part of its anatomy is its structural claim to fame). In fact there was a black Enforcer Mid from 1995 that had the smoothest upper material all across its body; if only they’d mimicked that this time around.

Now despite its lack of strength, the white leather around the toe box (as well as the red leather in the ankle collar and upper tongue) is actually quite supple and nice to the touch. The inner lining ain’t bad either, appearing to have a lot of breathing room. And overall the shoes are definitely comfortable, I’ll give them that. I do wish the ankle strap had been reworked – as unorthodox as that might seem – to be thick or more easily removable, one of the two, so that it wasn’t required to wear. Because lets be honest, this is the least-desirable aspect of the sneaker and I do believe the Forum already takes the cake when it comes to a love affair with straps and such.

I love adidas, to death even, and I truly don’t mean to bash them down. I’m entirely glad to see this shoe come back into play. But if I spoke the truth, when I first laid eyes on these samples I had hoped that they were just an early staging round and that no one was seriously considering a mixture of red, blue, black, and white in these quantities and placements, because if so, it seems the design team at adidas has completely misunderstood the point of bringing back the classics (though I know to be untrue, as their trio of returning Pro Conference kicks are damn lush).

With that said, there is a second pair dropping in July as well in a less-black, more-white, and very nice purple and yellow highlights colorway that I do look forward to reviewing too. I’ve more hope for how that pair looks on foot than these, and despite my disciplinary critique I’m happy to admit I can end on a great note by saying the Bread and Butter samples of the snakeskin Enforcers (one black, one golden tan) for the third and fourth quarter of 2013 look incredibly delicious. Let’s hope those aren’t cancelled or simply rumor mill fodder, as they’re a twist on an old silhouette I certainly stomach!

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol

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