Why These Rather Unassuming Adidas Sneakers Just Sold For Almost $100,000

11 October 2019
Style, Fashion, Sneaker, Adidas, Streetwear, Football
Image: Adidas

A footballing icon, but make it art

Every now and then, a rather unassuming side of the sneaker community rears its head to remind us that it's there. It's a part of the scene dominated by 80s style and inspired primarily by football, where rare colourways of old-school tennis and running trainers sell for hundreds of pounds each, and it's primarily a celebration of the music, fashion and culture and that surrounded football fandom in the late 20th century.

Read more: Adidas Originals Introduces New 'Home of Classics' Footwear Collection

However a new pair of trainers (as those who wear them generally prefer to call them) that otherwise wouldn't turn that many heads has smashed records by selling for nearly $100k AUD overnight, establishing themselves as some of modern history's most valuable sneakers in the process.

The shoes themselves are a flip of the Adidas SPEZIAL handball sneaker that was adopted by casuals in the 1980s as a go-to trainer. The 'Blackburn' green and red colourway, named after the Lancashire red rose that stands as a symbol of the city, launched at the Cotton Exchange as part of the British Textile Biennial in Blackburn, where adidas have a special exhibition set up to honour the Spezial series.

The main reason for the shoes' collectability comes down to the fact that it's not only a unique, never before seen spin on the new trainer, but one that's been thought up by the designer of the original Spezial, Gary Aspden. A Blackburn native, Aspden collaborated with Adidas on an ultra-limited drop of the Blackburn colourway, featuring an exclusive in-sole and internal detailing designed by Aspden himself.

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adidas Blackburn SPZL from adidas Spezial AW19. Image by @gary_watsongraphicdesign and @nathandamour. In keeping with the aesthetic of the adidas ‘city series’ featuring a colourway inspired by the red rose of Lancashire. These are built on the Athens tooling with a completely new upper pattern (the toe box is my favourite of any Spezial release to date) and Mod Trefoil branded tongue (as was used on the GT Manchester SPZL). 200 pairs of a ‘Nightsafe’ edition of these shoes will be available exclusively from the adidas Spezial exhibition in Blackburn. These 200 pairs will have a Nightsafe branded footbed and the brown leather Spezial swing tag will be in red leather. Priced at £100 - all proceeds from these shoes will go to @nightsafebwd to support the incredible work they are doing for youth homelessness in Blackburn. Release details will be announced ahead of the Spezial exhibition opening. Thanks to @bwdcouncil and @rovers. #adidasspezial #blackburn #britishtextilebiennal #nightsafe

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Basically, it's the footballing equivalent of getting a pair of Jordans with an ultra-limited spin designed by Tinker Hatfield himself.

The "Nightsafe" shoes were sold with all proceeds going towards the local youth charity Nightsafe, which aims to support homeless and vulnerably housed young people in the Blackburn area. Just 200 pairs were released, with 40 reserved for the charity themselves. It looks as if a punter got their hands on one of the other pairs and immediately flipped it for an insane price at resell. Here's hoping they plan on giving some of that money back to the charity.

A non-Nightsafe version of the shoes will also be sold, and will go on sale in the coming days.

Via GQ Australia