I guess if I am doing a blog I need to include my shoes as part of the story. I'm starting with one of my favourite shoes the 'Saphir'. In 1970 adidas Germany started to experiment with soft, crushed patent leather and they produced three training shoes made from this material; - 'Saphir', 'Rubin' (red patent) and 'Diamant' (white patent with green stripes). Now these shoes only seem to appear in the 1970 catalogue which may suggest they were just too out there for the time. Adidas describe them as 'Sporty with an elegant note...a harmony in combination quality, practicality and fashion'. Whether they were popular or not - they are a perfect example of adidas coming to terms with their shoes being fashion items. Up until the late 60s the company always considered themselves sports shoe makers for athletes. They only paid limited interest in producing textiles and bags, marketed their shoes for specific sports and spent little on glossy or attractive advertising. But times were changing, eventually they could not ignore the fact that people were increasingly wearing their shoes off the court and the track as fashion items. So into the 1970s we see an increase in the manufacture of bags, tracksuits, t-shirts and inevitably shoes aimed solely at the leisure market. The 'Saphir', as well as the 'Adria', 'Tobacco' and 'Riviera' are ideal demonstrations of the company in transition.
I bought these shoes from a German seller a good few years ago. They were in perfect condition; - boxed, unworn, unlaced, stored well, wrapped in their original tissue paper. I must admit I have worn them sparingly as I concerned that the patent material may split and crack. I've seen that on a few used pairs and they end up looking like a 'Varsity' which is exactly what they are if we were to strip away the glossy varnished surface - same silhouette, same Stern profile sole.