- MODEL: ADIDAS T-MASTER
- MADE IN: WEST GERMANY
The adidas T-Master: probably one of the rarest models from the three stripe stable for low cut trainer collectors.
Stemming from adidas’ jump aboard the bandwagon to make free use of the German confederation of sports marketing campaign – stimulate fitness in the population around the mid 1970s – the Trimm Trab range of clothing and footwear were launched.
This pair is the range topper of the Trimm range, which also includes Trimm Star, Trimm Master, and Trimm Trab. For those wondering what it means, the rough translation to English is “workout trot”. Though, we’d like to think this sounds better in German.
The T-Master (we’ll let you guess what the ‘T’ stands for) shows off a strikingly sleek design, especially compared to the Trimm Trab of the same range. Made in West Germany using premium suede for the uppers and lacestays, with tyre manufacturer, Continental, supplying the gum rubber soles, this was adidas at their manufacturing best.
Its light green and yellow colourway is so of the moment, simple boxed gold lettering to identify the model, and the Ghilly lacing system used was quite inspiring and has now been widely copied by other manufacturers to the present day.
Although a top of the range training shoe of its time – one that certainly wouldn’t have been a bargain purchase – it would appear from the numbers that turn up in collectors’ circles that very few pairs were sold or have survived. We can only hope there’s a couple of pallets yet to be discovered in the back of a Bavarian warehouse somewhere.
Thankfully, due to the quality of the materials used in the initial construction, the few we’ve seen that have survived are in fine condition, although normally nowhere near as outstanding as the pair pictured here. Luckily they did not suffer the fate of the cheaper Trimm Trab model, with its revolutionary Polyurethane based sole (also known as a PU sole) that has a tendency to go sticky, crack, and then crumble to dust, even if the pair are unworn. Time is not kind to them unfortunately, quite unlike the T-Masters, which seem to grow more gorgeous with age.
written by Mike Stopforth
photography by errol