adidas Kegler Super “Ostrich”
- MODEL: ADIDAS KEGLER
- TYPE: BOWLING / KEGLEN / SKITTLES
- MADE IN: GERMANY
- MADE ON: --/00
- LIMITED TO 100 PAIRS
Make no mistake: these are not the same shoe as the limited edition Consortium release of 2007, and in fact, they are much more expensive, much higher quality, and ultimately much rarer to come by.
Don’t believe us? Just pull out your ‘one of three hundred fifty’ Consortium adidas Kegler Super ostrich skin trainers and look at the upper eyelet. Gold, right? Just as we thought. One can clearly see from even as far as down the street that the ‘gold box’ Kegler Super ostrich skin trainers pictured here do not feature this iconography of the Consortium series. And that’s not all, they also feature a variety of other build changes (outlined below), a more limited run (only 100 pairs worldwide), and cost a rumored 1900 German Marks (which equalled about 1000 EUR, 600 GBP, or 900 USD at that time). They were also sold in a startlingly bright, completely gold karton and each bore a tiny golden plaque near the lateral side wall’s upper eyelet, upon which was printed the shoe’s production number.
Literally void of any markings (seriously, we had to pull up the sockliner just to find out the shoe size), the only info on this pair is what circulates through the stories of collectors such as Robert Brooks. The (supposedly) authentic ostrich skin upper is superb, soft to the touch, yet strong and sturdy; it feels thick but they’re not a heavy shoe. The inner lining is absolutely to die for, incredibly soft and very velvety, even still in a worn down state as this pair obviously has been. The sole unit is as content as ever, completely intact even after good use, with the exception of the pegs whose tips have been worn down and cracked or split in places. But this is only minor damage and can certainly be expected of over-a-decade-old plastic. Unfortunately the damage to this pair carries past the pegs, showing no sign (except a small indentation) of where the gold number plate must have fallen off the shoe in its many travels.
The most incredible detail? We didn’t have a chance to take them to an appraiser, but supposedly the stitching on the heel is actual gold, which would explain the stiff way it feels and the stern way it looks. And the most hidden treat of these Keglers? The sockliner is of fantastic quality and very comfortable with thick padding underneath. Something that you can’t really see or read about anywhere online, but a feature that you fully feel once you’ve slipped the pair on.
Another aspect of these adidas artifacts that one can’t easily source is the reason why the company chose to celebrate Adi’s birthday with the Kegler Super silhouette. Obviously Adi was a sportsman himself, but as far as we know he was a renaissance man, performing and playing in more than one field of athletics. Maybe he just loved to bowl, because after all, whether you call it bowling, or skittles, or keglen, these shoes were made for a lawn game involving the tossing of a ball towards a gathering of blunt pins.
As difficult as such a game might be to some, it’s no where near the feat needed to find a pair of these Kegler Super’s in any size or condition. But it is in fact possible, and the craziest thing we experienced was uncovering a pair of them in Berlin’s own backyard vintage mecca, Paul’s Boutique. Digging there was none other than Ross Macwaters, one of the most energetic (and in this case luckiest) collectors of adidas around. But he wasn’t alone; his wonderful stumble upon this golden Trefoil treasure was made with trainer companion Joel Stoddart (from UDOX and No6) while they were paying the German eatmoreshoes HQ a visit for Solemart.
That tale alone should inspire fire (and maybe fury) in the hearts of collectors out there, but let it be a passionate, positive flame that burns. And remember, for every rare piece of adidas history, there’s no guarantee that it’s out there, but it a surefire bet that you won’t find it if you don’t look.
written by Dylan Cromwell
photography by errol
shoes contributed by Ross Macwaters & Joel Stoddart