Adidas Skateboarding, founded in 1998, is a global force. Its focus is to design skateboard footwear and apparel that improves both the look and feel of skateboarding through the use of innovative designs, materials, and testing. Adidas Shoes' strength comes from Adidas' ability to seamlessly weave in heritage styles from its Adidas Originals archive into new and innovative shoes for skateboarding.
Adidas Skateboarding can attribute a share of its success to its use of Adidas Originals’ classics, which when you’re arguably the biggest soccer brand in the world, are going to be soccer shoes. The Adidas Busenitz, for example, is a Frankenstein of the Samba, the Especial, and the Copa Mundia. For this reason, Adidas may be credited for really opening up the possibilities of using soccer shoe designs for inspiration of skateboard shoes. But that’s not to discredit the fact that skateboarders have been skating shoes that’ve worked for them since the beginning. The Superstar, for instance, has always been a popular non-skateboard shoe for skating. It wasn’t until Adidas Skateboarding made the Superstar Vulc, that it technically became a skateboard shoe thanks to reinforced materials, an improved sockliner, and a more skateboard friendly vulcanized sole. Other examples of popular Adidas heritage styles that inspired best-selling Adidas are the Adi-Ease Premiere, the Sellwood, and the Adidas Matchcourt.
It’d be impossible to talk about the history of Adidas Skateboarding without mentioning Mark Gonzales who’s been skating for Adidas since the beginning. In classic Gonz form, he was skating Adidas well before anyone else. He’s a pioneer in every sense of the word - he does what his brain tells him to, not what other skateboarders are doing, not what’s trending, or what he thinks he should be doing. It’s part of what makes him so great - only he knows what he’ll do next, and even that isn’t always true. Adidas credits Gonz with "developing and nurturing the skateboard program."
Adidas Skateboarding’s focus in apparel is as much about function as it is style. Materials such as its Climalite fabric, which sweeps sweat from your skin and dries quickly is used throughout its collections, while its minimalist/traditionalist approach to design is internationally supported. But Adidas Skateboarding’s success isn’t a result of one thing or another. It’s not just the shoes, or the apparel, or the designs, or the team - it’s the whole enchilada. Videos like 'Away Days' and its team, which supports innovative and individual skateboarders such as Mark Gonzales, Dennis Busenitz, Daewon Song, and Nakel Smith are two of the most obvious examples of Adidas Skateboarding getting it right. It invests money in what it recognizes as what’s important to up and coming skateboarders: stylish, durable skateboard shoes, functional, fashionable apparel, innovative, technical skateboarders, and inspiring skate videos.