History of Adidas SPEZIAL collection 2014-Present.

This is a very comprehensive list of every Adidas SPEZIAL trainer release since the first launch in 2014. 

Please get in touch if there’s any mistakes or additions

SPEZIAL Capsule Collection Oct 2014 The first SPEZIAL collection launched to coincide with the second Spezial exhibition in Manchester.



This pair draws inspiration from a Spanish-made shoe from Adidas Collector Robert Brook’s personal collection, that generated a lot of interest at the first SPEZIAL exhibition. They come in a grey, white and cardinal colorway. Featuring a re-worked Boston upper, sitting atop the sole of the ZX710. The distance between the eyestay and the toe is significantly shorter than the Boston Super, adding a really sharp edge to the shoe’s profile. Also, the tongue and toe padding was removed to give the Boston SPZL an enhanced vintage quality.



Originally a Gazelle, this pair is known as the ‘Topanga’ edition, inspired by a pair of vintage Adidas Californias in Nigel Lawson’s ( Oi Polloi owner) collection.

They come in a chestnut and charcoal colorway. Featuring a revised upper which produces a relatively short toe profile, and distinguishes the silhouette from many other reissues from this era. Sporting a full chestnut suede upper with tonal nubuck stripes, while a charcoal grey midsole and a gum sole underneath complete the resurrection of this forgotten gem.

The name references Topanga Canyon in California and is a nod to its original identity.


Hand-burg SPZL hybrid trainers with a premium white leather upper (inspired by the Adidas Handball SPEZIAL  & the Hamburg from the legendary city series) built on a gum rubber Adidas Hamburg cupsole. Borrowing the upper from the classic handball silhouette and marrying it with a Hamburg style gum sole unit, the Adidas Spezial Hand-Burg is a unique hybrid silhouette.

This all white leather upper is inspired by a Japanese pair of Hadball Spezial from Gary Aspden personal collection that he picked up in Tokyo in 1999.





This version of adidas’ classic Touring shoe sees the pattern of the 2006 reissue reworked to bring it much closer to that of previous vintage editions. The adidas branding is also made from a stitched-down leather patch, rather than the horizontal eye-stay flap of the reissue. A brushed green nubuck upper sits atop a hot chocolately midsole, finished off with the unique SPEZIAL footbed, shoe box and swing tag.


”The original idea was to make a shoe that would help create excitement for the Manchester Spezial exhibition. We opted to do that with Oi poloi as they were the nearest stockist. The shoe was produced as a promo shoe (only 500 pairs released) hence why there were so few pairs. As a result of making it through this channels they incorrectly labelled the box as Ardwick and didn’t add the SPZL. This was the source of the confusion. The poster for the first collection shows them along with the other 4 shoes.”

Gary Aspden (Thanks for reading & confirming that the Ardwick are a Spezial release-Woody)

Also the first Topanga Spzl was based on an all time favourite pair of Adidas California (for copyright reasons Adidas had to change name to Topanga) from the personal archives of Oi Polloi‘s Nigel Lawson.

The name refers to Ardwick Green, Manchester. Constructed with suede uppers, this carefully executed design is set off with nubuck zig zag cut three stripes and sits on top of a classic gum sole unit.

Click here for the Oi Polloi Interview with Nigel Lawson about the origins of the Ardwick



SPEZIAL Collection Spring/Summer (SS) 2015 The second SPEZIAL collection came in 3 drops, the first was launched 28th February 2015, with 1 each in March & April.



Adidas limited release Waterproof SPZL (only 1000 pairs made mainly due to the £185 price tag!) running shoes in a granite Gore-Tex waterproof premium leather upper & with a metal Gore-Tex outside tab.
Built on an Adidas City Marathon sole unit, with a Trimm Star style lacing panel.

“Stylistically, the Waterproof looks a lot like the 1983’s New York training shoe (the Dellinger web version and not the alternate version) and its specialist, winterised look and feel made it a contemporary of the SRS (ostensibly, an LA Trainer on steroids) and the towering Jogging All-Round. But whereas those shoes looked like old favourites locked in a garage with the A-Team, the Waterproof was a more subdued looking creation.”

Gary Warnett 

Gary Aspden interview about Waterproof

Albrecht Low

Based on a rare pair of Adidas Sevilla’s, one of the most elusive silhouettes from their celebrated Leisure series.

A classic moc toe leisure shoe, the uppers are cut from smooth leathert and sit on top of a Gazelle inspired training tooled rubber sole unit.




Named after Adidas collector & Spezial co-conspirator Mike Chetcuti. These are a close cousin to vintage Adidas Granada, the Chetcuti uses the same upper specifications but with slight tweaks to the colour way and lining. The essential difference is that where the sole of the Granada used the Trimm Trabb tooling this shoe looks to the Adidas All Round Tooling to give the sole unit a slightly more angular finish.


Inspired by a vintage pair of french made Adria from the early 70’s. the shoes use a base of chalk white canvas with blue stripes and revised upper specifications for a more refined look. The toe cap is smaller than previous reissues giving them a sophisticated finish. A shoe designed for leisure and off court.


Indoor court

The upper of this hybrid was inspired by a pair of vintage Champion indoor L. This revised version married the indoor upper with the Adidas Grand Slam tooling to make it suitable to wear off court. The 3 plug suspension system retains it’s original iconic red, white & blue coloured pegs.


Released on March 14th, the Hyndburn SPZL is a real labour of love. Evolved from a Japanese version of a vintage Samoa and named after a local borough in Lancashire, this one features an enlarged toe guard and a premium set of materials.



Named after a Nightclub in Blackburn which Gary Aspden frequented during his acid house rave days and released on the 4th April. The settend includes elements from a trio of trefoil-adorned trabs-namely Athens, Shot & the famed Wien. 

SPEZIAL Collection Autumn/Winter (AW) 15 The third instalment & a collection of 6 SPZL trainers, to be followed by a legendary December release.



Kirkdale SPZL running shoes named after an area in Liverpool, the white and blue shoes acknowledge the part Merseyside football fans played in the rise of the UK trainer and streetwear scene & were launched at ‘Laces Out’ festival.

“Before the first season of Spezial I proposed doing a shoe called the adidas Mersey, which didn’t happen due to legal restrictions around that particular name.”

Gary Aspden

Also inspired by a pair of vintage adidas Silverstar discovered at Carlos’ shop in Argentina but produced using modern materials and a contemporary colour palette. 

Kirkdale 15


(Grand Slam)

G.S SPZL vintage tennis shoes which pay homage to the 1984 adidas Grand Slam, produced in a premium full grain leather upper and built on a sole unit featuring a nubuck toe insert panel and iconic adidas plug system heel cushioning. 


Munchen SPZL were released in two colour ways (C/W) blue with gold stripes & Bark (brown) with cream stripes.

This version was a one to one reissue of a vintage Japanese adidas München from 1982.

Albrecht mid

Albrecht (Mid)

The Albrecht mid is based on a vintage Adidas wallabee (Clark’s Shoes famous one) and embodying the spirit of Freizeit – the 70’s adidas range the collection takes inspiration from – the suede mid chukka boot style shoes are crafted using a premium suede upper and pivot point rubber outsoles.



The mounfield pays homage to The Stone Roses Bassist, Gary Manny “Mani” Mounfield.

The Mounfield SPZL takes the Boston SPZL of A/W’14 and applies a trek-inspired make-up resulting in a more robust shoe and a trainer/trekking boot hybrid. 

Carlos 2
New York 2

New York (Carlos)

In February 2014 a group of adidas enthusiasts from the UK were tipped off about a shop in Buenos Aires that carried an extraordinary amount of Vintage/dead stock adidas products.

This group was made up of Ian Brown (Musician/Stone Roses), Robert Brooks (collector), Neil Bedford (Photographer), Greg Bond (film maker) along with Gary Aspden and Mike Chetcuti. They travelled to Argentina where they found the shop and met its owner Carlos Ruiz. The trip was documented in the now renowned Documentary ‘Sole Searching in South America.’

A number of the rare archive pieces brought back from this trip have been used by Gary Aspden as reference pieces to design the adidas Originals X Spezial Collections. By way of acknowledging Carlos and his kind support of the Spezial range, adidas created & released (Dec 14th) the New York SPZL ‘Carlos’ shoe. The New York Is a vintage running shoe from the 1980s, these were discovered in Carlos’s Shop, in recognition of this, it’s been made Carlos’s signature shoe.

A grey version, without Carlos’ face on the tongue was also released.

Sole Searching in South America 2-the follow up video

Gary Aspden interview on Carlos Spzl

SPEZIAL Collection SS 16 The forth volume & a collection of 6 SPZL trainers.



Based on the Adidas Montreal which was reintroduced to the Adidas historians thanks to a kind loan by collector Bobby McCarten. The Montreal first came out in 1975 just prior to the 1976 summer Olympic games which were held in Montreal, hence the name and was part of the now legendary City Series.

The rare blue with blue stripes version was a Bern colourway that was released some time later, thought to be around 1981-82 based on the tongue and in-sole design.

This new updated version of the Montreal, dubbed the Hochelaga takes it’s colour cues from the aforementioned 81-82 version and also adds a brand new grey/burgandy version.

Its new title of Hochelaga comes from the name of the native Canadian Indian village that the city of Montreal was built on.



“This was a new hybrid shoe that was developed it took inspiration from two vintage tennis styles — the adidas Newcombe for the upper and the Rod Laver Vintage for the sole. While the upper retains features like the iconic adidas ‘T’ toe, the specifications and branding executions are revised to give it a contemporary look and feel. When we set out to create a plain white shoe like this it is a challenge to get it absolutely right. For a plain white tennis shoe like this there is nothing to hide behind design wise so we had to pay a great deal attention to the specs and materials – without wanting to sound over dramatic – every millimeter counts.”

Gary Aspden interview



The Spezial Cote SPZL silhouette takes the english vibe to the archival Adidas ‘Beach’ silhouette featuring the OG stitching details, suede heel moustache and perforated side stripe branding.


AS 350

The adidas AS350 was arguably one of the rarest models to come out of Herzogenaurach. Originally a Japan exclusive, the tennis sneaker was released under the AS Series back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, but unfortunately the silhouette hasn’t been brought back from the archives since then.

This is a remake of the ultra-rare shoe, one which features a similar perforated toe and premium leather construction. The heritage design also features contrasting black leather accents and gold foil labeling along the side panel. Finished off with tonal lacing and a gum outsole.



One of the lesser known ZX styles makes a return for this Spezial 1:1 reissue, made using a subtle blue/chalk white colour palette with a distinctive 3M print overlay on both heel and tongue.


SPEZIAL Collection AW 16 The fifth volume & a collection of 5 SPZL trainers with a further classic spzl release in November.


Indoor Super

“We wanted to see if we could improve the previous reissue as for me the toe box wasn’t nearly as flat as the OG on the 2003 re-issue. We had to play around with lasts and toolings but I am very, very happy with the final result. If you put them next to a vintage pair and then the 2003 re-issue you can see how much effort has gone into developing them.”

Gary aspden



An obscure silhouette from the adidas archives. the Harwood trainer returns to adidas with heel underlays, webbed stripes and reflective heel arches that perfectly mirror the OG.


Mounfield (2)

The follow on from 2015’s Mounfield SPZL release, the Spezial team created a blacked-out adidas Mounfield II SPZL in time for the wet months ahead. The winterised offering is constructed with a combination of ‘Core Black’ nubuck, leather and Goretex, with the inclusion of a gusseted tongue to keep your feet dry and a rugged sole unit to make sure your feet stay firm on treacherous terrain. The sneaker is finished with gum highlights on the outsole that match the leather lining.



“The Bulhill SPZL which is somewhere between a leisure shoe and a trainer. The upper is based on a little-known vintage shoe called the adidas Rimini married up with the Hawaii tooling. We did them in two colourways, a navy and a brown. Both are colours that are synonymous with the leisure series. The name is a play on an area of my home town, Darwen.”

Gary Aspden

The Brown Bulhill was released with the Samba in November ’16


GT Manchester

“Whilst I have a lot of love for the 2002 version I have always felt that the shoe could be improved hence the name GT Manchester SPZL. GT Manchester is an abbreviation for Greater Manchester and is also a play on the name of the vintage Stockholm GT. Most importantly is a statement of intent for this release — these are in my view greater than any of the previous adidas Manchester incarnations. We redressed the toe box, the specs of the toe overlay, added a Mod Trefoil de-bossed tongue and a Spezial footbed as well as using better quality upper materials than previous versions.”

Gary Aspden



Released in November ’16 the adidas Samba Spzl was more of a faithful copy of a terrace classic. Complete with two colourways-black with fluro yellow strips or original white. 

Click here for a great History of the Adidas Samba


Manchester MRN SPZL x Oi Poloi

A bit of debate whether these were actually a Spezial release (mainly from me!) but I was persuaded by Adidas Collector and Spezial aficionado Martin Nilsson (Thanks for the email & kind words Martin!). If Gary Aspden official Instagram says they are a Spezial release then that’s good enough for me!

The MRN is the adidas Spezial trainer with a royal makeover. Drawing inspiration from the humble beginnings of Oi Polloi founders Steve Sanderson and Nigel Lawson selling imported adidas trainers.

Dressed in premium dark blue nubuck with tonal suede overlays, the design eschews the usual “SPEZIAL” branding in favor of “MANCHESTER MRN” in gold foil alongside the serrated stripes.

Finished with special footbeds along with custom hangtags and packaging.


SPEZIAL Collection SS17 The sixth volume & a collection of 5 SPZL trainers with 2 further classic spzl releases in March & April.



“The Jogger SPZL is another 1:1 from what was a very important adidas shoe. The tooling existed from the Island series shoes but when I was a kid Jogger were way more important than Hawaii ever were. In the early conversations about the Manchester MRN with Oi Polloi last season, Nigel and Steve asked if they could look at doing something with the Jogger, only to discover that it had been faithfully recreated as a Spezial release.”

Gary Aspden


just like the debut version of the atlanta, these shoes combine proud city colours, originally a reflection of the fact that atlanta is the home of coca-cola, with details inspired by the original 1983 running style.



“The Trainer SPZL is an offshoot of a mid-90s shoe called the adidas Trainer. We changed a number of things — the height of the collar, the length of the toe box, the texture of the foxing. It really was a pain to get right — once you start changing the specifications of the upper it can unbalance the look of the whole shoe. I’m made up with them now though.”

Gary Aspden



Wensley SPZL named after ‘Wensley Fold’ an area in Aspden’s home town of Darwen. It  is made in a subtle Clear Granite/Off White/Collegiate Navy colourway. The Wensley SPZL is “Inspired by a little known Russian fencing shoe (its name translates as the ‘Rapier’) the shoe has an asymmetric pattern and  retains many of the original details (e.g. “no padding in the tongue”). 




MALLISON SPZL, named after Adidas collector and Airdrie FC supporter Mark Allison, who was diagnosed with cancer and given 6 months to live. He set about raising money for charity and garnered the interest of Gary Aspden who named this new shoe after him, sadly Mark never got to see the finished shoe. He lost his battle with cancer a few weeks after The phone call from Aspden.

The Mallison is a modern take on the adidas AS700, complete with the number 09 06 67 49 inside every shoe (Mark’s date of birth and age).

The story behind the Mallison



adidas’ Spezial line has its roots firmly embedded in the brand’s sporting heritage, with the Garwen acknowledging the brand’s 70s Freizeit collection, which marked the first time a sports brand created clothing for leisure. This contemporary iteration draws on the adidas Brisbane and boasts full leather uppers, a moccasin-like toebox detail and finished with a heavy duty rubber outsole for comfort and traction.


NG Garwen

The ADIDAS ORIGINALS NG GARWEN SPZL is (almost) a collaboration between adidas and Noel Gallagher.

In order to develop the Garwen SPZL, adidas fan and rock star Noel Gallagher kindly lent his vintage adidas Brisbanes to the Spezial product team as a reference sample. Noel’s love for the Three Stripes goes back a long way – before his days with Oasis – and over the years he has built a sizeable collection of adidas trainers. By way of acknowledging his support for the brand, adidas Spezial have worked with Noel to produce a limited run of the NG Garwen SPZL.

They are in an indigo blue c/w and they also have Noel’s date of birth – May 29, 1967 – on the inside

SPEZIAL Collection AW17 The seventh capsule with a bumper collection of 10 SPZL trainers.


Super Tobacco

Super Tobacco Is an updated reworking of the 1970’s trainer, with a T-Toe overlay and tooling taken from the Bermuda silhouette.



“The Intack SPZL – this was based on the vintage adidas Gaucho. After we discovered that we were going to have to rename them, we felt more justified in trying out a few tweaks such as adding an extra stitch line across the toe to make it 3 instead of 2”

Gary aspden 


“The Spiritus SPZL – these have been done in two colorways. The red/yellow is the iconic OG colorway of the adidas Spirit. We had to amend the name “Spirit” for legal reasons. The royal/red colorway was originally going to be a navy/red, but after we sampled the shoe in navy/red it just wasn’t as vibrant.”

Gary aspden


GT Wensley

The GT Wensley is in Clear Brown/Off White/Clear Granite boasting a premium suede upper; textile panelling on quarter; leather serrated side stripes and heel tab with adidas Trefoil branding; overlaid lacing panel; unpadded tongue; lightly padded leather collar; removable adidas Special branded sockliner and Samba tooling.


Lacombe (2)

“This season sees the return of the Lacombe SPZL, with the navy blue sign off switched to a bottle green. People who might have overlooked, missed, or worn out the first Lacombe SPZL DM me to ask for this shoe almost on a daily basis. For me, it’s one of the best and most versatile products we have produced in SPEZIAL, and in years to come I like to think it will be regarded as a classic shoe.”

Gary aspden



“The TRX SPEZIAL. We married the upper of the TRX Runner to the tooling of the TRX… Most good ideas are simple.“

Gary aspden



“The Winterhill SPZL was inspired by the outdoor boots worn by (legendary Italian mountaineer) Reinhold Messner. We reduced the height of them and, as a consequence, had to change the upper. It was the iconic single-color block in the sole that drew me to the Messner boots.”

Gary aspden

These were named after a TV mast in Darwen.



“The McCarten SPZL – this is a new hybrid leisure shoe inspired by the vintage leisure range. I see these as the successor to the Albrecht SPZL from a few seasons ago. The naming of these is dedicated to my friend, Bobby McCarten, who has been a good friend to me and has loyally supported SPEZIAL as well as me personally.”

Gary aspden

SPEZIAL Collection SS18 The eighth volume consisted of 2 drops of 10 SPZL trainers.



Based on a bizarre archive shoe, sporting samba tooling and a translucent gumsole, with a nylon upper.

Named after Little Hulton, an area in Salford, Greater Manchester.


Indoor kreft

Based on a faithful 1-1 of the Indoor Sport, apart from the eyestay. Includes the footbed detail which is in line with the original and differs from the normal Spzl version.




“The Glenbuck SPZL is a runner that we based on an unidentified vintage shoe. One of the details we worked hard on is the ‘ledge’ at the back of the shoe where the tooling meets the upper. I own a few OG shoes that have Dellinger web and I have noticed this lip on a few of them, yet I have never seen that reflected in any of the previous reissues of web based shoes. 

When I dug a bit deeper, the team in Herzo explained that it was the result of a practise called ‘grouping’. Grouping was a cost saving exercise where adidas licensees would reduce the number of moulds they would produce — so they might use a 7, 7.5 and an 8 on the size 8 tooling. As a result, a 7 upper on an 8 sole would create a gap — a ledge around the heel of the upper where you could see how the webbing was wrapped all the way around the midsole.”

Gary Aspden

Named after the village of Glenbuck, the birthplace of legendary Liverpool manager! Shankly’s birthday was placed inside the shoe. 

Produced in two c/w with the lime green version a nod to a very colourful pair of zX5020 that Aspden used to wear.



Named after a Lancashire town just outside burnley.

“We looked at some of the AS styles for inspiration on the Padiham SPZL — the shortened toe box, flock stripes and bigger perforations between the stripes differentiate these shoes from a lot of the existing flat gum sole shoes that are currently in the market.”

Gary aspden

Clmba (Columbia)

“A lot of people in the UK give that shoe ‘grail’ status nowadays and whilst it was a widely available shoe in the 80s it seems deadstock pairs are hard to come by. People only really bought shoes to wear out back then, so I guess most were destroyed on foot along the way. 

We worked from a couple of different vintage pairs, one pair was very kindly lent to us by a Mancunian collector for comparison. If you compare them to the Barbour version from a few years ago you can see we have slightly tweaked the upper pattern, furthermore the suspension plugs have been produced in differing densities like the OG shoe.”

Gary aspden


Handball Kreft

Based on the (then just re-released) Handball top tooling and also inspired by a pair of Aspden’s own Handball rarities.

The angle of the stripes have been reduced and it has a darker c/w than original.


Lacombe (3)

Third toned down version of the Lacombe-all white c/w with subtle gold lettering on tongue.

                 “Possibly one of my                                  favourite Spzl designs”

                  Gary aspden



Zx280 a faithful 1-1 copy from the very 1st zx series.

Aspden had the same c/w on a different ZX shoe and wanted to reproduce it.


Padiham (2)

Second version of the padiham in this most sort after brown c/w


SPEZIAL Collection aw18 The nineth volume consisted of 5 SPZL trainers & inspired by the late 80’s Acid House scene



adidas Lowertree SPZL, named after a farm house and subsequent public park in Darwen Lancashire, is a hybrid runner based on popular models from the adidas archives of the 1980’s. Launched in a vibrant purple colourway,  the Lowertree SPZL is a reference to the adidas shoes commonly worn to all night raves and parties in the latter stages of the 1980’s.

The Lowertree SPZL is a hybridised mid-80s runner equipped with an upper heavily influenced by adidas’s Marathon Competition.


Indoor comp

The adidas Indoor Comp SPZL, formerly known as the adidas Indoor Star.

A classic adidas indoor model, with distinctive adidas branding on the outside of the heel And with the obligatory 3 stripes, now finished with serrated edges for a more modern and clean finish.

In a classic adidas colourway, hugely popular throughout the 1980’s, and synonymous with the classic Adidas Lendl series from the era.



inspired by various models from the extensive adidas archives, including the classic adidas Korsika and the lesser known adidas Long Beach.

Built using the Hawaii tooling with a branded SPZL lining and the outstanding metal Trefoil.

Named after Punstock Road in Darwin Lancashire.

Munchen super

The lime green and blue suede colourway silhouettes, takes inspiration from the 1980’s Gazelle and a Munchen Super originally made to for the 1972 German Olympic team.


SPEZIAL Collection aw18 Part 2 The nineth volume Part 2 -consisted of 3 SPZL trainers



modern take on the adidas AS700 second Spzl in a brown & cream c/w

Named in tribute to the Adidas collector Mark Allison



The ZX 452 SPZL is based around an ultra-rare women’s exclusive ZX 452 discovered by SPEZIAL’s Gary Aspden in Buenos Aires (Sole Searching) back in 2013.

As well as taking inspiration from the pair Aspden found in Argentina, the ZX 452 SPZL also features elements from the Yugoslavian version of the sneaker, including the same Three Stripe branding. The sneaker comes with a tonal grey upper of suede and mesh, which is contrasted with bold pink Three Stripes and reflective detailing around the toebox.

ZX452 SPZL has a feminine aesthetic, this is a nod back to the late 80’s clubbers. who wore ‘women’s’ designed runners which were adopted by men due to the striking pastel colours.



Wilsy SPZL is a a faithful 1:1 recreation of a little-known Indoor model known as the Universal Super. The SPEZIAL remake beautifully recreates the original, right down to its use of lightweight materials and soft toe overlays.

Named after Anthony Wilson the Mancunian broadcaster and Hacienda/Factory records impresario.


Adidas Spzl x Union 2018 This collaboration with los angles Based shop Union contained 2 Spzl Garwens


Garwen X Union Spzl

“I noticed Chris had been wearing the Garwen SPZL from the Spring ’17 Spezial collection and that sparked the beginning of the conversation. Chris is worldly and has always had an eye on and appreciation of European style. I was with him on his first visit to Paris many moons ago and he was one of the only Americans I can recall that appreciated the adidas GS.

The conversation grew organically – we knew it had to be the Garwen SPZL and then on the apparel it needed to be a marriage of that very European Freizeit style clothing, finished off with the Heated Words font. Freizeit has always been a key point of reference for Spezial and it was good to dig into that and present it in a new context. The context of those type of products is crucial – it is how they are worn and who they are worn by that makes them what they are. That is the essence of adoption which is at the root of all the best casual styling.“

Gary Aspden interview on Union Spzl collection


SPEZIAL collection SS19 Tenth edition of the Spzl capsule of 6 trainers, inspired by the city of London- Part 1 March


Whalley (x2)

Named after the village of Whalley in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire.

The shoe is also the first model from the Spezial collection to feature the signature SPEZIAL logo on the tongue. 

Looking to the past to create a new terrace icon, the Whalley takes design lines from the Adidas All-Round; shortening the toe box and changing up the overlays, while its retro-infused gum rubber sole marks the ideals of any subculture classic.



The AS520 SPZL takes inspiration from the highly regarded AS500 from the adidas archives. Finished in premium suede, with contrasting leather stripes and heel tab, sitting on top of a foam cushioned mid sole unit. And for the lovers of the trefoil logo, the sole really is a thing of beauty. 




The ZX530 originally launched in 1987 recommended for high mileage running and strenuous training. The 2019 SPZL release retains the iconic colour palette and shape of the 87 OG but switches out the originals sole unit for a slightly differed unit with a ZX500 like outsole plate.


The Norfu SPZL, is a hybrid and takes its inspiration from the adidas Korfu OG and the more recently released adidas Nizza. A low profile white canvas shoe, with navy stripes, heel tab and tongue logo.

According to Gary Aspden’s instagram, these size up big, so he advises to go at least half a size down from your usual size. 



SL80 (A)

Taking inspiration from a previously unreleased version of the SL80 from the adidas archives, the SL80 (A) is Finished in a bright Gold and Orange colourway with a black heel and toe bumper.

The SL shoe was originally produced for the 1972 Summer Olympics, with the SL standing for “Super Light”. 

SPEZIAL collection SS19 Part 2 of the tenth edition of the Spzl Range, 3 trainers, released in June



Earlham, named after a street in Covent Garden, London. Is a new hybrid with roots in the tennis court and the lesser known Made in France shoe, Adidas Gaea 950.


Glxy (galaxy)

based on vintage Galaxy and reissued for the first time.




inspired by the adidas Denver with a name referencing the area in London where adidas collector & Spzl collaborator, Robert Brooks grew up. 


LG Spzl

Using The padiham silhouette…

“These were born out of a conversation I had with Liam Gallagher back in 2018 while we were having a breakfast meet-up near the place he was living up in Highgate. I first met him and Noel in the late 1990s and have remained friends with them both since then. 

He gave me an initial idea of what he wanted them to look like and I went away and worked on the first samples with the team in Germany. Two of the team then flew in to review the samples with me and him and let’s just say it was a memorable meeting for them! At each stage of the sampling he would give feedback and comments and in the end we were both really pleased with how the shoes came out. I can empathise with everyone who has said to me they are a very difficult shoe to keep clean – I actually flagged this up with Liam during the product creation and he told me that he likes his white shoes to look beaten up and worn in. They are now an iconic shoe and there are still people hunting pairs of them down.”

Gary Aspden 2020



SPEZIAL collection AW19 The eleventh edition of the Spzl Range, 4 trainers released to coincide with the Spezial exhibition in Blackburn




The second SL80 SPZL is a true one-to-one recreation of the 1980s original. Realised in the iconic navy blue, yellow and red colourway with matt gold Three-Stripe branding.

Winterhill (Green)

An update of the AW17 Spzl winter-ready adidas Winterhill SPZL in adi-tex and finished off in green c/w




Keeping up the Spezial tradition of shining a light on forgotten styles from adidas’s vast 70 year back catalog. the Hoddlesden SPZL is another new hybrid style that draws inspiration from a host of adidas’s revered Freizeit ‘leisure shoes’ namely from the Alyssio and Bahamas. A chocolate brown leather upper complete with old school adidas trefoil badge branding sits atop some adidas Hawaii tooling.

Named after a village in the old borough of Darwen, Lancashire.



the Blackburn SPZL, a shoe named after, and inspired by, the Lancashire town in which Gary Aspden spent much of his youth. Most of the European city series shoes would use colourways that were in some way relevant to the cities they were named after, the colourway of the Blackburn SPZL is no exception inspired by the green and red of the rose of Lancashire.

Aspden also released the adidas Blackburn SPZL “Nightsafe” edition exclusively for the Spezial exhibition in his home town. Only 200 pairs were available and all proceeds went towards the local homeless youth charity Nightsafe.

How it differs from the general release- “Blackburn” has been embossed in gold detailing on the lateral sides of the sneakers, while Three Stripes and Nightsafe co-branding can be found on the insole and it came with a red ‘spezial’ tag.


SPEZIAL collection SS20 Inspired by the British Northern soul scene the pandemic Delayed 12th Spezial SS20 is a Collection of 4 trainers

SPEZIAL collection SS20 Inspired by the British Northern soul scene the pandemic Delayed 12th Spezial SS20 is a Collection of 4 trainers


Training 76

the Training ’76 SPZL, which is inspired by the Japanese version of the Adidas Berlin


Lotherton SPZL takes the Ardwick SPZL silhouette from the very first Spezial collection and readjusts it to create a completely new hybrid that uses the vintage Adidas Florida brown and moss colourway

Named after a stately home near Leeds.




The Adidas Melbourne & Sydney from the City Runs series has been reimagined as the Ashurst SPZL

Named the Ashurst to honour the memory of devoted adidas collector Jack McLoughlin who’s date of birth also features as a serial code on the inside of the shoes.



the Zurro SPZL, whose upper pattern is based on the vintage Adidas Azzurro married with the striped midsole of the ultra rare Adidas Montreal ’76.



Spezial shoe box

2020 also marked a big change in the design of the Spezial shoebox.

Gone were the 3 stripe tracks that had been on every box since 2014.

Replaced by an enlarged Spezial logo and a slightly ‘less adidas blue’ more ‘Adidas aqua’ coloured box.




Released on 20th August 2020 the Elland Spzl is based on the Topanga.

“For this season a number of Yorkshire related names were submitted for Legal clearance for the naming of some of the products – some of which cleared and were used. We were very aware that Spezial has been consistently supported by a strong fan base in Yorkshire and that Hip Store has been a key player in that with some memorable product launches. We wanted to acknowledge and show some gratitude for that support.
The very first season of Spezial saw the release of the Topanga SPZL with its companion shoe the Ardwick SPZL. The Ardwick SPZL used the same build as the Topanga SPZL but was more limited and was designed with the intent of creating excitement and interest around the ‘Spezial’ footwear exhibition that launched in Manchester in 2014 as part of the Design Manchester festival. The team at adidas Spezial felt that the newly created Lotherton SPZL was in many ways a continuation of the Topanga’s lineage so in the same spirit it deserved a localised, more limited, companion shoe and Hip were the perfect choice to partner on it. The Lotherton SPZL has been one of if not the most popular adidas Spezial release of 2020 so far – a potential future icon. The colourway and naming of the Elland SPZL gives a nod to Elland Road and Leeds United with a serial code inside the shoe uses a key date in the club’s history (suggested by young Leeds fan @ben.c.asquith who works with us in Herzogenaurach). The shoe is signed off with the ‘Made in France’ style branding on the tongue and is co-signed with ‘Made for Hip’ as a nod to that. During the process of developing the shoe it was discovered (after the second sample round) that adidas football were finalising a deal to become the Leeds United kit supplier so a decision was made to hold back the release of the Elland SPZL to coincide with and further amplify the occasion. The recent (and long awaited) promotion of Leeds United to the Premier League has further added a sense of celebration to the timing of this release.”

Gary Aspden (instagram)



SPEZIAL collection AW20 Again the Covid-19 pandemic affected the 13th Spezial AW20 Collection. The first drop consisted of 4 trainers with an autumn drop of a Adidas summer classic!



Gary Aspden continues to shine a light on a few of the brand’s archival models, for AW20 the brand reintroduces a model that rose to fame amongst both British and German football fans in the late 80s/early 90s, the Harmony (also links to other Torsion models inc  Symmetry). Rechristened the HRMY SPZL, the archival pair sports mesh and suede across the top, while Torsion technology is featured underfoot – the first time for a SPZL silhouette




The classic adidas Adilette SPZL boasts a simplistic design and has iconic Spezial branding adding a terrace vibe to the release.




The Spezial capsule continues its tradition with the release of terrace-focused leisure footwear, with the Newrad being the result. In Gary Aspden’s usual fashion, they’re given a no-frills aesthetic thanks to light brown nubuck across the uppers, with subtle detail given through a tonal Mod Trefoil embossed at the sidewalls. A gum rubber sole — which is borrowed from the Adidas Bermuda  is used to complete things underneath.

Tongue Graphic detail copied from a pair of Adidas Wanderer showcased at the Spezial Exhibition in Blackburn.

Also Newrad is Darwen backwards…..



‘A new hybrid shoe that takes its inspiration from the unidentified (and to our knowledge unreleased) shoe from the adidas archive in plate 2. I personally have been looking to follow up on the Lacombe SPZL for an easy to wear white court shoe that feels premium and we felt the shoe in plate 2 could serve as a good foundation for that. It was clear that the back of that OG shoe needed revision and after trying a first round sample with stripes we knew we wanted to keep that unique perforated toe box but decided fo begin removing and reducing those elements of the OG shoe that we felt were unnecessary to the look we were aiming for. To get a simpler but more refined overall look to the shoe we opted to replace elements like the 3 stripes with subtle understated features that ardent collectors tend to appreciate. For the upper we were aiming to achieve a more sophisticated look than the OG shoe we took inspiration found and after finding the right mesh we went for the foxing, heel guard and lining in shades of chalk white to give a slight contrast between these features. The foxing is graded from the heel to the toe to make the line of the shoe more fluid. The leather outer of the tongue has a ‘U’ cut away with mesh insert and outer perforations (not unlike the Earlham SPZL) that take their lead from 80s indoor shoes (I will post a separate image of that detail later). The depth of the toe box gives an extra wide first lace on the eyestay which is another feature that is taken from the OG. The shoe is signed off by adidas branding on the woven tongue patch and heel (with a Mod Trefoil print on the left heel moustache) in the classic adidas bluebird colour with a bluebird ‘swivel’ insert in the outsole. There is a Spezial branded graphic footbed with a second lace option in a chalk white. It’s the ones that appear the simplest that are often the most difficult to get right in my experience.‘

Gary Aspden

Aderley is a parish located in Cheshire, Just south of Manchester. 



Spezial AW 2020 Chapter 2: _nwrdrSPZL The second part of the autumn/winter 2020 was a collaborative capsule range designed with New Order. The founder and curator of adidas Spezial, Gary Aspden. is a long time friend and fan of New Order and this collaboration was born out of that relationship. The adidas Spezial team and New Order worked very closely on this project, with New Order travelling over to Herzogenaurach for each design meeting and sample review. The aesthetic of every piece links back to the repeated three-block New Order 'Tour' graphic that the band have used for recent live performances.


_nwrdr SPZL Wilsy

The choice of footwear silhouette was an easy decision as Bernard Sumner has worn the Wilsy SPZL as a mainstay for New Order’s live shows over the past couple of years. The challenge was how to bring a New Order aesthetic to the existing shoe without losing the essence of its adidas design origins. The New Order version comes in a premium clean white leather with a white translucent sole along with updated vamp details, co-branding and the subtle addition of white eyelets. The footbed carries the coloured ‘Tour’ graphic and the shoes with interchangeable branded lace jewels and reflective laces that offer a colour stab to a limited release of this iconic silhouette. The shoes come packaged in co-branded tissue paper and graphically led shoe box.



Spezial AW 2020 The final Spzl drop of 2020 was the Manchester ‘89. Staying with the Handball SPEZIAL silhouette that all of the previous Manchester adidas city creations had followed. The stripes and heel moustache comprise reflective materials and feature parallel-edged stripes — a unique detail of a number of late 1980s Austrian made ‘City Series’ footwear releases. Rounding out the look is the addition of debossed Mod Trefoil logos on both tongues as well as the heel moustache of the left shoe.

Manchester ‘89

‘The roots of the idea for the Manchester 89 SPZL came from the collaboration between adidas Spezial and New Order.I had suggested to New Order that given how important they have been to the culture and regeneration of the city that we do a special ‘New Order’ edition of the adidas Manchester.They had their own ideas on what they wanted to do for their shoe so in the end they politely declined my suggestion.These discussions had got me thinking about what a new version of an adidas Manchester could be and so we decided to pursue this idea as part of the main adidas Spezial range.The ’89’ in the naming obviously has cultural connotations for Manchester but is primarily about the fact that the use of parallel edged stripes was common place in late 80s designs from adidas.If we were to revisit the Manchester then the shoe needed to go somewhere new but it needed to reference previous colour palettes of adidas Manchester releases and probably needed to stay with the Handball Spezial silhouette that the Manchester is synonymous with.We felt that grafting its colourway onto a different silhouette would lose an essential element in the shoe’s identity.Flatteringly a number of colourways have been used on the Handball Spezial silhouette with various other city names since the release of the first adidas Manchester – it was the original that set that agenda so this release needed to be handled with care and respect.Retention of its colour story with a revision in its usage (as a homage to its predecessors)would be an essential ingredient to differentiate it from other releases.In the early stages of its design we drew up about 12 versions with the assistance of Gary Watson (who works with me on Spezial).These were then presented to the Spezial team in Germany.We toyed with different ideas in these CADs-we contemplated changing the toolings and added suspension plugs on some versions but in the end felt that the parallel (and reflective) stripe execution with reworked upper specs moved it on just enough without losing the foundations of the shoe’s DNA.Image‘

@GaryAspden Instagram


SPEZIAL collection SS2021 The first Spezial capsule (Number 14 in the series) of 2021 was released in July, again delayed due to distribution issues (Covid Pandemic & Brexit) that featured a drop of 5 new pairs with the return of a favourite and a couple of classic yellow and blue c/w


Malmo Net

‘There have been a number of Malmö reissues in the 23 years I have worked with adidas so the challenge was to bring newness to a shoe that many will have preconceived ideas about.We knew immediately that we would want to revise the uppers and completely rework the toe box.We pulled together as many relevant references as possible.Like the Marathon 86 SPZL there is no definitive version of the Malmö but our ambition was to try and create a shoe that improves on their ancestry.We had a number of vintage Malmö (and other shoes) to work from,these shoes gave us a foundation to compare and contrast with whilst we took their traditional look in this new direction.We opted to use a degree of translucency in the sole (instead of a solid) which gives a ‘screening’ effect to the base of the 3 stripes. The shoes come with a second lace option in blue.We realise that to some these shoes are ‘sacred cows’ and our aim was to maintain the look and feel of a vintage shoe whilst taking the silhouette of the Malmö into a territory that previous reissues haven’t explored.’

©Instagram-Gary Aspden


A 1-1 reissue of a very rare Adidas trainer, made in South Africa, called the Adi-runner found by legendary Adidas Collector (and Spezial Curator) Bobby McCarten.

It’s named after Bobby’s home town of Hoylake in the Wirral.


Marathon 86

Inspired by the ’80s Italian Paninaro fashion movement and one of the all-time favourite archival adidas runners, these Marathon 86 SPZL Shoes show off a modern take on vintage running style. The shoe sticks with the bold fluorescent yellow suede and textile upper with navy stripes but is updated with additional suede overlays (these were used on early prototypes of the original shoe) and a deep red line on the midsole contrasts with a bold suede and textile upper for statement style that’s smooth to the touch.


Blackburn (Ewood Edition)

‘The original idea to revisit the Blackburn SPZL came from me posting a picture on Instagram of the first round sample from 2018/19. The first round sample of the original Blackburn SPZL shoe was produced before the correct materials arrived at the factory so had an all red (rather than green) suede upper with a purple tongue. The first round sample is primarily about getting the specs of the upper right whilst the factory await the delivery of the correct materials in the correct colours.After showing the sample on Instagram I was inundated with DMs suggesting that we should consider releasing them. I knew that to do that we would need to revise the shoe and change the tongue colour.The colours needed to remain in keeping with the red/green of the Lancashire rose that inspired the original shoe and the red needed to be more vibrant than the sample that inspired them.We then wanted to bring a new/old element to it with the foil print of the rose below the collar.At the time we were getting final clearance on the naming of the shoes last summer we sadly lost my father Allan Aspden who is laid to rest in Ewood – a place where he also had some of his happiest (and saddest!) of times. I asked adidas if it would be ok to subtly acknowledge him by including ‘Ewood’ in the naming of the shoe which they kindly and generously agreed to.
My dad was a hard worker, a good man and my biggest supporter – I sincerely hope the pleasure these shoes bring to people might in some way honour his memory’

@GaryAspden Instagram



The Burnden is Gary Aspden’s vision of what an all white trainer should look like. He was inspired by a conversation with Adidas design legend Jacques Chassaing  Using the Adidas Powerphase sole and featuring full leather uppers, eva midsole and a rubber outsole and coloured up in a clean White and Blue colourway.  A perforated toe box and metallic Burnden SPZL sign off complete the look. As a kid Gary Aspden spent a lot of time in Bolton and Farnworth in the north of  England, where workout/indoor shoes were always popular, so the name is a subtle nod to that. Burnden Park is the home of Bolton Wanderers FC. 


Spezial 2021 Adidas Italian x CP October 21 The adidas Italia SPZL - a collaboration between cp company and adidas Spezial released to mark the C.P. Company 50th anniversary. The C.P. Company team were keen to work with the Italia silhouette as it fitted well with the anniversary story. It turned out that Alessandro Pungetti had several pairs of previous reissues that he had worn into the ground (a couple of these appeared in/on our design meetings) and was a fan of the shoe. Our aim was to better the previous reissues and there was some back and forth on the various elements of the shoes - particularly the midsole and whether or not to add the 'cross' on the heel into them (which would have affected the depth of the collar, the heel 'moustache' and the overall look of the shoe). During design discussions on this shoe, Paul Harvey proposed the idea of adding an extra set of outsoles and toe guards. The idea of this was to give the message that the design of these shoes is timeless and they could be resoled in the future as their classic look will never date/lose its relevance. The inner wrapping paper is co-branded and the leather swing tag that has become synonymous with Spezial shoe releases comes in a white leather and is embossed with the C.P. Company 'sailor' logo. The shoes comes with a chalk white lace in them and an extra set of bottle green laces. © Gary Aspden -instagram


SPEZIAL collection SP2022 The first Spezial capsule (Number 15 in the series) of 2022 was released in February, again delayed due to distribution issues (Covid Pandemic & Brexit) that featured a drop of 5 new pairs with the third iteration of the Winterhill, a couple of leisure shoes and a brand new silhouette.



adidas are very aware of the fact that there is an customer out there who leans towards the flat/suede/gum sole training shoe styles so they produce shoes accordingly. The challenge we face in Spezial is how to create something new in that vein that will appeal to this audience and doesn’t veer too far from that formula that they know and love. As some of us love Indoor shoes we had originally been toying with doing something with the South African ‘Court’ for some time because of it’s asymmetric upper/toe box pattern. We figured it was a really interesting feature of the shoe that we wanted to explore and potentially tweak. We had the idea of ‘transplanting’ that feature onto/into a new hybrid – the Barrowland SPZL. For the first round sample we tried a slightly reworked version of the asymmetric toe box but on receiving felt it could be improved and transformed into something far more ‘palatable’. We looked at the cutaway ‘window’ in the overlay on the lateral side and mirrored that on the medial side to give it more symmetry. Replacing the deco stitching on the medial side with this additional window gave the toe box a new take on the classic ‘T’ toe beloved of adidas fans. The uppers use a mix of materials and the tongue has the repeat Mod Trefoil embossed into it. This silhouette comes in two colourways.

Gary Aspden-Instagram

The name was suggested by a group of Scottish Adi-fanatics and is taken from the Barrowlands Venue in Glasgow. 



This shoe takes inspiration from vintage adidas outdoor/walking shoes – particularly the adidas Madrisa (see catalogue image) There were some details on the adidas Madrisa that we felt were of interest but the tooling was not available to us so we were not in a position to reproduce them as a 1:1 and to be completely honest neither did we want to.There are no attempts at 1:1s of anything from the adidas archive in this season’s Spezial range.They say necessity is the mother of invention and by using alternate toolings we created this new hybrid shoe.We strongly believed that we could come up with something better/more relevant to today than the shoes we took for our inspirations.There was some discussion on colour as the shoe needed to merchandise within the collection.We had the green Barrowland SPZL and wanted a non gum sole olive shoe to compliment the apparel and had to decide whether that would be the Carnforth SPZL or the Moscrop SPZL (there was a green OG Raider that I personally was a fan of).We opted to stick with a brown colourway for the Moscrop SPZL so pushed ahead with the olive colourway for this shoe (although it probably would have also worked well in a shade of brown). We looked at the upper specs of the OG Madrisa and felt we could improve them by revising the proportions as well as adding/removing a few elements. We opted for lace holes over D rings – on early versions we removed the top lace hole and tried out a ‘hook’ to loop the lace around (as used on a lot of walking/hiking footwear) but after sampling decided against it. By sticking with lace holes to the top of the eyestay we felt it took the shoe into an area that sits somewhere between an outdoor shoe and a leisure shoe.

Gary Aspden- Instagram

Carnforth gets its name from the Town in Lancashire.



An aditex (adidas own version of waterproof material Gortex) iteration of the Lotherton released in 2020.

Like a number of vintage adidas waterproof shoes we wanted to call out the technology with the metallic branding (as well as printing it onto the inside lining) but needed to find the correct position on the shoe. We tried versions where we changed the pattern of the eyestay to accommodate it but it unbalanced the shoe so in the end we opted to position it below the collar where adidas traditionally use gold foil prints. The colourway of this new hybrid gives a nod to the OG adidas Florida.

Gary Aspden – Instagram



This shoe was inspired by the OG adidas Raider. The outsole of the OG Raider was not available to us so we had to look at other options – the early samples used the ZX500 outsole but we felt it ‘flattened’ the silhouette so with the additional time we were able to explore other options. The OG adidas Raider from 86/87 was listed in catalogues as a Trekking shoe and came in several colourways. With its original purpose in mind we wanted to explore the idea of moving it further into the realms of a winterised trekking shoe – using an outsole that would look ‘chunkier’. We wanted the materials to be more robust and opted for a Cordura base (with Cordura branding). We made some further tweaks (e.g. adding eyelets, horizontal patch branding on the Cordura tongue and the cream cutaway in the outsole) before arriving at a shoe that we were all excited about.

Gary Aspden- Instagram

I actually got a sneaky photo exclusive of the Moscrop at the CP Company panel talk in October 2021. GA was wearing them and I just happened to be on the front row!

Named in honour of Manchester Band ‘A Certain Ratio’ member and Hacienda Nightclub Trumpeter Martin Moscrop.  



We released the first Winterhill SPZL in grey leather back in Spezial AW17 and after it sold out immediately we revisited the silhouette in AW19 adding an adi Tex membrane and a new material mix which was again very popular. This latest version sees a revision in the colourway and a new material mix with a rip stop upper supported once again by adi Tex technology.

I am sometimes asked what my favourite Spezial release is and i find it an impossible question to answer (like asking me what my favourite album is) but what I can say is that the Winterhill SPZL is up there and is one of the styles that I have worn most regularly. They are super practical and have become my ‘go to’ shoe for two of my favourite pastimes – watching football and walking on the West Pennine moors.

Gary Aspden -Instagram


Adidas LG2 Spzl July 2022 the discussion around this new hybrid came from Liam's love of the vintage adidas Barrington Smash. The first design meeting with Liam involved us looking at vintage shoes - a number of which had been designed for squash player Jonah Barrington. We wanted this new LG to be a new shoe rather than adopting a 1:1 of someone else's signature shoe.We identified the different elements we liked from various shoes to relay back to the design/development team to find out what might be possible. Liam was a big fan of the wrapped suede toe boxes on some of the shoes we looked at and I suggested that we try and combine that with a T toe. There was also discussion where Liam talked about doing them in a bold colourway but in the end we opted to stay with shades of white which we felt aligned better with their predecessor, their ancestry and would also be much easier to wear. Like the first LG SPZL we wanted to get various shades of white through contrasting material choices.The LG2 SPZL features a chalk white nylon upper (which took some work by the developers to get right) atop a grey and white EVA Die cut midsole with a rubber outsole - getting the slight slope at the back of the heel right was another challenge we faced. There are a number of tonal elements - light grey flock stripes, the asymmetric suede overlay on the toe box with a matching suede overlay on the heel and an asymmetric rubber toe guard.With the shape of the toe guard we wanted to give a nod to their references whilst maintaining their wearability. The photo for the new signature portrait came from Liam's team and was translated into the graphic by the team in Herzogenaurach. Liam was actively involved in the whole process and gave feedback at every stage of the design and sampling - it was collaboration in its truest sense.Gary Aspden - Instagram


SPEZIAL collection SM2022 The second Spezial drop (Number 16 in the series) of 2022 was released in July, that featured a drop of 4 new pairs featuring a brand new City series shoe and another spezial iteration of the adilette


Adilette Spzl

A white version of the Adilette Spzl that were released as part of the AW2020 capsule.

Adi Dassler invented the beach sandals back in 1963 when, so the story goes, a football manager and friend of his mentioned a problem that they encountered after the final whistle. Back then, walking barefoot into the showers of a football league club was like walking into a swamp of germs.

Although Dassler knew what he wanted to invent, he had to wait until the early 1970s and advances in technology to do so. When he found a machine that would inject foam into the soles, Dassler had finally achieved his goal. The Adilette Slides were brought to market in 1972, shortly before the Summer Olympic Games in Munich. The sandals were designed with suction pads on the sole to stop athletes from slipping in the shower. They were wide and had three stripes across the top, they were mostly dark blue and white. Their owners absolutely loved them. The Adilette Slide was precisely what they had been looking for.

However, it didn’t all start in 1963. It began much earlier than that. Dassler had actually been wearing his vision for a functional beach sandal for many years. On his feet, he was donning the predecessor to the Adilette Slide. It had a wide sole, wide band for the foot and a casual simplistic look. It was decades before his invention finally went into production.



These are virtually a 1:1 of the adidas Tramp (a name that was later re-used by another sportswear brand) – the name ‘Stapfen’ is a German word that translates as ‘trudge’. The original adidas Tramp was released in 1972 for the Danish market and are now very hard to find. The colourway, the lacing system (coupled with the ‘rope’ laces), purpose and overall look of this silhouette puts them somewhere between a trainer and a leisure shoe.

Gary Aspden – Instagram



We had talked about creating a new ‘City Series’ style shoe for Spezial but if we were to do that then we wanted to create a shoe that we felt respectfully paid homage to its ancestry.This new shoe needed to have a unique identity. We wanted it to be a flat suede/gum soled trainer so in keeping with adidas’s history if we were to create something in that style we felt it should carry the name of a European city. We knew we wanted to use the name Warszawa before we had a clear idea on the design and colourway. First and foremost it’s a city that has never had its own adidas shoe before.

The Warszawa SPZL is a new hybrid that borrows inspiration from some of the vintage adidas shoes in my personal archive.The key point of difference between the Warszawa and other ‘City Series’ silhouettes is the toe overlay. It is not a traditional ‘T’ toe and curves/flares out on the sides which accentuates the tightness of the toe box. That overlay was inspired by a vintage Argentinian made pair of adidas that I own but we took that idea further and refined it.

Gary Aspden – Instagram




These are based on the Austrian made version of the vintage adidas Ibiza with a few minor tweaks. Unlike the vintage shoes there are subtle differences like the chalk white lining and the contrast white circular ‘swivel’ pad in the outsole. The Yabisah name was the name for the island of Ibiza prior to the 12th century (the island has gone under a number of different names throughout its history).