Solebox x adidas Berlin

  • DESIGNED BY: Solebox
  • MADE ON: 08/09
  • ART.NO: G17486
  • FACTORY: SHW 675001

Rarely does a boutique collaboration achieve so much from so little, and Solebox is certainly the king when it comes to packing power into a simplistic, elegant punch.

Want proof? Just roll your clock back to 2009 when adidas Originals’ Consortium team pushed out the “Your City” pack, featuring twelve City Series silhouettes, each handed to a separate, independent sneaker shop for their own chance to clothe it as they see fit. Only one design stipulation stood outlined from adidas: each team must incorporate at least one color from the OG version of the shoe in their retro re-make.

We love the City Series shoes but always found them funny in one way, and that is each one (beyond the sometimes significant colorways) barely represents its corresponding city in any literal or even abstract fashion. When focused on Berlin, the one thing we’ve learned over the last half decade here is that the city never sleeps, and much like other ever-awake metropolises – such as New York – it has a bustling underbelly that is ripe with obscure, original, and downright out-there orchestrations going on.

Not only has Hikmet and his team incorporated the original “dawn” (or “powder”) blue of the vintage version into their re-release, but they’ve pushed it a step further by actually hiding the entire OG design within the confines of the inner lining. You probably don’t get what we mean: take the upper of the OG Berlin and flip it inside out and use it as the interior of the Solebox Berlin, including the side stripes and even the gold lettering that rides the last line of perforations on the lateral side (which, like the outer wall, reads “solebox” instead of “Berlin”).

As if that isn’t clever enough how they’ve snuck in the entire original design, Solebox goes even further by throwing their own twist on the shoe with some quality mesh and synthetic suede to make up the body. The leather tongue and heel patch are incredibly lush, overwhelmingly comfortable, and the extra thin, gold-tipped laces are a fantastic touch. Finally the entire congregation of greatness is laid atop a sturdy and – even more importantly – classic gum out sole. Yum, or as they say here in Berlin, “lecke!”

Speaking of the city, these parallel it perfectly. Solid, humble, reliable, and sat atop a down-to-earth foundation that is familiar to all, providing support to an ever-evolving, yet still quite lean, artistic, mysterious, magical, and classy city, though most vividly remembered (at least for those to who cared to look) by its astonishingly authentic and original interior, which is hidden well enough to keep out the masses, though truly reflects the outside at its core. These are simply put, one of the most accurate renditions of a shoe that could be called ‘Berlin’ that we’ve ever seen.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol

shoes contributed by Ross MacWaters