After The Prime Minister’s Recent Appearance, Have We Reached Peak Samba?

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In case you were wondering, we are existing in the era of peak Adidas Samba, as declared by our Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.

Last week the internet was alight over a promotional video the Conservatives worked on with budget-minded motherhood blogger Beth Turbutt-Rogers. But it wasn’t the Government’s expansion of free childcare that got everyone talking, rather it was Sunak’s choice of footwear.

The 43 year-old former hedge fund manager paired his standard-issue shirt and suit trousers with a pair of Adidas Sambas; the silently stealth trainer that was seemingly plucked from obscurity at some point in 2022 and has since been elevated to cult fashion status. Social media has sadly called Sunak’s sartorial choice the ‘kiss of death’ for the shoe style, but we say, after 14 years of Tory rule, don’t let them take anything more from you.

These are sneakers that whisper their style credentials rather than shout, perhaps owing to their humble beginnings as a men’s football shoe back in 1972. In today’s world, where the old becomes the new in the blink of an eye, the retro-inflected Adidas Sambas are still great sneakers to invest in.

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Their popularity exploded on TikTok in 2022, where views for #AdidasSamba on the app have now surpassed 1.7 billion. According to Lyst, searches for the trainers spiked by 350% last summer, while Google has reported a spike in over 300% for the sneakers in the past year alone. In its 2023 trend report, which predicts the brands and products that will explode in popularity in the coming months, Net-a-Porter revealed that demand for Sambas is up by 80%.

+ Sporty & Rich Samba

Adidas Originals + Sporty & Rich Samba

Sporty & Rich is another label Adidas joined forces with on a line of must-have trainers. Its neutral-toned Sambas have shot to the top of our wish lists.

Classic for a reason, Adidas’ monochrome Sambas have proven to be worth their weight in gold for the German brand – and for obvious reason, too.

It’s perhaps of little surprise then that on a March earnings call, Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden declared that the Samba was the ‘hottest shoe on the market,’ and that the company intends to sell ‘millions and millions’ of pairs by ‘heating up’ the sneaker franchise quarter over quarter.

adidas sambas black friday

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The Samba revival has been cemented by a sell-out collaboration with British-Jamaican menswear designer Wales Bonner, which is now in its fourth season. The Wales Bonner Adidas collaboration has proved to be so popular, in fact, that sneaker re-sale sites have noted pairs selling for ten times their RRP. Collaborations with Sporty & Rich and Pharrell, which debuted in 2023, have also added to the popularity of the shoe and have no doubt informed the fact that, in April, Adidas sold the highest number of Sambas in the retailer’s history.

+ Wales Bonner Samba

Adidas Originals + Wales Bonner Samba

Wales Bonner’s Sambas have reached cult status, thanks to their retro-inflected colourways and silhouettes.

Sporty And Rich Samba "Cream Blue" Sneakers

Adidas Originals Sporty And Rich Samba “Cream Blue” Sneakers

A blue and white trainer is never a bad addition for any wardrobe. Wear to inject a subtle flash of colour into otherwise monochrome outfits.

But, while we will still be sporting our OG Sambas and Wales Bonner collaboration iterations, we understand if their most recent endorsement might have you reconsidering your sneaker style of choice. If so, Bode’s new Nike Astro Grabber SP collaboration is set to drop later this month, and Adidas’ SL 72s could well be the trainer of the summer.


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