adidas Rivalry Low

  • MADE ON: --/12
  • ART.NO: Q35072

If you thought pizza was the only thing New York and Chicago fought over, you were wrong. Since 1966, the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks have played each other every year fighting for their city. In the late 80s, things began to heat up when they both became huge playoff contenders. They were playing constantly in high-stake games with reputations on the line and big players like Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing. And the rivalry begins.

Off the courts, that same big player for the Knicks, Patrick Ewing, was getting endorsed by adidas. A shoe was released in his name, “the Ewing”, with a high top and the three stripes in 1986. Then in 1991 when Next Sports signed a licensing deal to release footwear for him under his name, the name had to be changed. Off branched the Conductor, Attitude, as well as the Rivalry. Later in the lifetime of the Rivalry, it was converted into a low and adidas gave birth to the model we see here.

Being called rivalry and seeing as how Ewing was on the Knicks, it only made sense to create a pack displaying his team’s rivalry. adidas set off on a quest to create this pack and ended up with the two pairs, each one sporting its team’s colors. The Knick’s pair has a white leather base with orange and blue highlights, while the rival has a black base with red and white highlights. It creates a Ying Yang or ‘good versus evil’ effect, with one light side and one dark side (not implying that the Bulls are the bad side).

The Bull’s rivalry with the Knicks was strongest during the playoffs and the Bulls always wear black shoes during the playoffs. Is it just a coincidence that they chose black to be the main color for the shoe or did adidas dig deep into determining the colorway? We’ll never know for sure but I wouldn’t be surprised if the folks at adidas really got to the roots of these kicks.

One way or another, the colorway wasn’t just slapped on there. They’re all official team colors. There’s no need for adding flashy neon greens and blues when you already have a perfect color scheme that’s simple and noticeable. The red highlights can be seen on the stripes, midsole, inner, stitching, and other occasional flashes. It’s seen in the Chicago Bulls as the color of the Bull mascot. The white is subtle on the upper. It appears in small doses on the ribbed heel tab, lining the tongue, shadowing the stripes, Consortium tongue tag, and on the lonesome Ghilly ring eyelet. But get to the bottom and it dominates the majority of the outsole.

It does make one wonder though; if they wanted to get this shoe right, why didn’t they make it more similar to the OG Ewing model by creating a high top? The high version was the one seen on Patrick Ewing, not this cleaned out low cut take on the model.

written by Kyle Zemborain

photography by errol

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