adidas Gym


My first thought when I saw the adidas Gym was that it looked a lot like the Olympia silhouette. Now you wouldn’t notice this if you only looked at the 2008 perf’d Olympia’s, but the vintage pairs from the ’70s or ’80s certainly hold a lot of similarities to the Gym. Obviously they’re both black-on-white colorways, but more importantly the cut and build are quite alike. Main differences for the Gym include the lower-cut ankle collar, reinforced heel, lack of side wall stitching, and of course the more prominent toe patch (as pictured here).

Alternate versions of the Gym appear to have D-ring eyelets as well, and some show off the model name on the tongue in black (unlike the gold lettering seen on these); an interesting point actually, when one considers that adidas’ (and even other brands’) traditional vintage move is to slap the silhouette’s call-sign across the side wall in shimmering print. This pair, however, is likely one of the oldest, given the lack of wall branding and that its three side stripes aren’t even perfectly spaced apart, which is quite a nice clue to the age of an adidas trainer in general. A final lovely little detail is the embossed star beneath the size print on tongue. Curious and magical somehow, and a detail that I’ve never seen on another vintage trefoil trainer.

As for fit, the only reports we’ve heard are those of a slippery sole, thanks to the square-shaped treads (or lack of treads). Given this and the general anatomy of the shoe we can only assume their were an indoor trainer primarily, and years later they’ve now become a casual piece, distanced from the sporting world almost entirely, despite their athletic name.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol

shoes contributed by Will Clayton