adidas DT-500

  • MADE ON: 09/92
  • ART.NO: 073778

Thrown onto the scene as part of the adidas Streetball releases in 1992, these mid-top sneakers are nearly the epitome of early 90s basketball boots from the trefoil team. Solid leather uppers, extremely well-padded lining, ridiculously sturdy toe boxes, thick, fat tongues, simple lacing, and some crazy looking outsole design.

Special features of the DT-500 Streetball shoe that might’ve helped to keep it off the sidelines in its heyday were those raised eyelets on the top-line (cut to stick out a bit higher than the rest of the ankle collar), and the super intense overbite of the sole, climbing up and onto the tip of the shoe, forming a seriously heavy-duty toe cap for increased durability and maximum support. Slightly up-turned in a duck bill fashion, the toes resemble that of the Titan 96′s, released some years later.

Beyond those key components smaller details bring the pair to life. The lay-low branding – only visible on the tongue, heel, and, of course, within the trademark Streetball iconography on the outsole waist – is a nice touch, keeping this elephant of a trainer as quiet as possible. The unique perforation patterns in both the vamp and quarter keep it fresh and lively, though we can’t say that either are decisions which help to beautify this ugly duckling one bit. Finally the miniature beaded texture on the heel tab is quite a nice touch, though its durability is highly questionable.

Overall lifetime seems excellent, though we’ve seriously gonna need to take them for a spin to know for sure (and you can count on us to do just that). However the tongue is quite an obvious place for fast disaster, covered in a strange, delicate membrane of white coloring that is just begging to be peeled off like some fried chicken skin. I wouldn’t count on that to last past one half time, and it’s certainly not the first occassion we’ve seen this sort of degradation in an adidas basketball shoe from the early 90s. Finally, as with other, uncountable vintage trainers, yellowing is setting in around the midsole as the welt decays over time. Luckily it doesn’t appear to be anything more than a cosmetic condition though.

Despite the minor aesthetic set backs this shoe is a furious beast that certainly holds its own. If the recent Streetball retros aren’t enough to get your going on your hoop game then get in the hunt and see if you can’t score a pair of DT-500′s.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol

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    [...] show ain’t all fun and games though. The tongue, like that of an adidas Phantom Hi or the DT-500 Street Ball shoe from ’92 really breaks down over time, its surface layer of painted synthetic material becoming a super [...]