How to Buy Vintage Adidas Shoes

Like if this Guide is helpful
How to Buy Vintage Adidas Shoes

The Adidas company has always held to its original standards of style and performance. These are the values that have kept Adidas popular throughout the world and solidified it as one of the major fashion brands with a rich history. Adidas began as a modest, athletic shoe manufacturer and has gone on to become a leader in the sports fashion industry. The Adidas brand is known for the three distinct stripes that originally were only put on the shoes to add support to them. Later, the three stripes have turned into their famous logo that is recognised everywhere.

Because Adidas has been around since the early 1900s, it is popular for fans to collect Adidas vintage apparel. Adidas shoes in particular are highly sought after because Adidas originally only made shoes and the brand is still best known for its footwear. Like all vintage products, it can be a little more challenging trying to find them, but knowing where and what to look for is all it takes to find a great pair of vintage Adidas shoes.

Brief History of Adidas

Adolf 'Adi' Dassler worked with his father in a shoe factory after fighting in World War I. After a short time there, he began using his mother's kitchen to start making his own sports shoes and eventually turned that into a business. In 1924, his brother Rudolf moved to the area to become a partner and they successfully ran the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory together.

The brothers' humble company hit it big when Adi Dassler took a trip to the 1936 Summer Olympics. He brought his shoes with him and managed to get a sprinter named Jesse Owens to wear them. This was the first time that an African American was sponsored in the Olympics. When the sprinter went on to win four gold medals, the Adidas shoes became instantly popular around the world. Before the start of World War II, the brothers were manufacturing 200,000 pairs of shoes annually.

How to Shop for Adidas Vintage Shoes

Vintage products are unique and full of history. It is no wonder that they are so highly sought after and are usually more expensive to buy than brand new products. Some people buy them because it is exciting to own something with a mysterious past. Others seek out products that were specifically owned by famous people. Regardless of the reason, shopping for vintage products is a fun challenge.

Get the Right Shoe Size

Luckily, the sizing of shoes has not changed too drastically over the years like it has with clothing sizes. On average, the sizes that are listed on the vintage shoes are usually fairly close, if not the same, as the sizes used with today's shoes. However, older shoes do have a tendency to be narrower than modern day ones. Because of this, it is always a good idea to use actual foot and shoe measurements. Some people try to save time by measuring the sole of their own shoes. However, this only works if the shoes do not have a lot of wear and tear on the bottom.

To measure foot size, stand with one foot on a piece of blank paper. Then use a pen or pencil to trace around the foot as accurately as possible. Now measure the length and width of the foot at the largest points. Not all sellers list the actual measurements of their shoes, but it is always good to contact them and ask for those numbers, especially when buying online. If the shoes are in a local shop, simply bring a tape measure along on the trip.

Thoroughly Inspect the Shoes

Vintage apparel is notorious for being higher quality than the clothing that is made today. Usually, it was handmade with care. Unfortunately, apparel made today is not generally made by hand unless it is priced extremely high. When it comes to buying anything older, like vintage Adidas shoes, the condition is very important. How much the shoes are worth depends heavily their condition. Most sellers of vintage items use the following terms to identify the condition of their products.

Product Condition



Shoes are in perfect condition and look like they did when they were originally made

Near Mint

Small amounts of wear and tear


Normal signs of wear

Very Good

Good enough condition to wear, but has apparent flaws such as staining


Good enough condition to wear, but has flaws that cannot be repaired


Damaged to the point that it cannot be worn or fixed

The older the Adidas shoes are, the more likely they are to be damaged or worn. It is normal for vintage apparel to have some signs of wear and tear, but too much damage affects the value. Keep in mind that shopping for vintage shoes takes time and patience. Do not expect to find some right away, and do not feel pressured into buying the first pair that shows up. It is better to be meticulous and find some shoes that are well maintained and priced reasonably.

Make Sure that the Vintage Adidas Shoes are Authentic

Unfortunately, there are a lot of sellers out there who make a living selling counterfeit products. To buy original vintage Adidas shoes, there are a number of things that shoppers can look for to help them identify whether or not the shoes are genuine. From the start, Adidas has always made high quality shoes. If there is anything on the vintage shoes, such as uneven stitching or misshaped stripes, the shoes are most likely counterfeit. Also look for realistic signs of wear and tear. These are vintage shoes and it is very unlikely that they are genuine if they look brand new. Lastly, look up what the label should look like for that specific time period. The most common mistake that counterfeiters make is not making the tag accurate.

How to Find Vintage Adidas Shoes on eBay

Shopping for vintage apparel is easy on eBay. This is a website where everyone around the world can list their products for sale. There is a wide variety of vintage apparel on eBay, including shoes. To see the vintage Adidas shoes, type 'vintage Adidas shoes' into the eBay search bar. The website then populates a list of all the products within your search criteria. Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on sports shoes for men, or women, eBay offers special deal promotions.

Make sure that you look through all of the available pictures and read the description thoroughly. If there is any confusion or doubt, be sure to ask the seller any questions you may have. Also, since pictures and descriptions can often be deceiving, make sure that the seller offers a refund for products that arrive in worse condition than they were described.


Adidas is a shoe company that everyone recognises and respects, and because of this, Adidas products are highly collectable. Adidas shoes were designed for athletes in the early 1900s and the company never failed to keep with their tradition of creating quality sports shoes. Collecting vintage Adidas shoes is not difficult, but it does require some extra time and research. It is important to verify that the shoes are authentic, that they are in good condition, and that they are not overpriced. Buyers can do all of these things by seeing what price similar shoes are selling for and learning about the original Adidas shoes and how they were made. Anyone with a basic working knowledge of the original Adidas shoes can usually point out whether or not shoes are counterfeit.

Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides