Take the Grand Tour With the adidas City Series
Every brand has its grails, and for adidas, you can’t look past their City Series. Dating back to the 1950s, when things kicked off with the adidas Roma, it wasn’t until the 1970s that adidas really began their grand tour of Europe. Traversing key European cities to create the collection, the City Series became responsible for some of the brand’s most hunted sneakers in adi history.
Each an homage to their respective location, every release is replete with unique design features and colourways to reflect the character and culture of the cities they represent. Over the years, the City Series has continued to make ground, adding more and more destinations to the roster. While new additions might get on board, retros of the classics (sometimes with subtle tweaks) never fail to receive fanfare and achieve sellout status. But it’s no wonder they’re still so popular today: they’re loaded with heritage and just look damn good.
You can never tick off everything in a jam-packed itinerary – which means we’ll have to book a second leg. Time to pack your bags and visit a handful of adidas City Series releases here.
Putting Scandinavia on the map was the capital of Sweden, which delivered the adidas Stockholm. Heroing the bold blue and yellow of the Swedish flag, this City Series entry is one that makes articulate use of the model as its canvas, bringing the nation’s flag to life across its features – namely the Stripes. Featuring blue suede uppers and gum soles, you can imagine how popular this retro was when it returned in 2021.
It should come as no surprise that the adidas London is one of the most popular in the group. A love letter to the UK capital’s world-renowned terrace culture, the London is loved in many corners of the globe by both collectors and fashion-savvy alike, taking fans straight to London in all their ‘Scarlet Red’ glory. A combination of red and black is as classically simplistic as it gets, with the palette also nodding to the uniforms of the King’s Guard. The adidas London was retroed in mid-2019.
adidas Wien (Vienna)
The adidas Wien arrived circa 1975. Paying love to the Austrian capital of Vienna, it’s still one of the most vibrant of the bunch, with its ‘Bluebird’ suede uppers contrasted with bright orange found on the Stripes, heel tabs and inners. As with the many pairs to come, Vienna’s namesake – in German – can be found in gold foil. Underneath, fan-favourite gum rubber soles round things out. The adidas Wien was last retroed in 2021.
The adidas Birmingham might be dedicated to the city’s Hacienda-venturing casuals, but it’s undeniably one for the sweet-toothed sneakerheads too. Those in the know will be aware that Birmingham has a rich history with Cadbury, with it being the birthplace of the global chocolate brand established by John Cadbury in 1824. While chocolate is no longer made in Birmingham, a Cadbury World still exists in the city today. As such, Cadbury’s decadent purple hue forms the basis of the adidas Birmingham, constructed in velvety smooth suede.
The adidas Dublin entered the scene circa 1976 and has long been revered by many as the most coveted City Series release created. Staying true to its 70s roots, the pairs are complete with deep blue suede uppers, solar red Stripes and heel tabs atop thin gum soles. The Dublin has been reissued a number of times, including most recently in 2023 and again in 2017. Just don’t expect to cop a pair if you sleep on the drop.
The adidas Brussels is another top pick of the bunch, although, at this point, it’s safe to say that every City Series entry is just as loved as the last. Dedicated to Belgium’s Brussels, the iteration features smooth black suede uppers met with rich orange leather Stripes and heel tabs. You may recall the colourway on other models, and that’s because it has, in fact, been translated into the Hamburg and Handball Spezial. The adidas Brussels was reissued a few years ago in 2019, replete with orange laces and commemorative print.
From the City of Lights came the adidas Paris, another of the most popular sneakers in the City Series hangar. Dressed in France’s national colours – red, white and blue – the French flag is brought to life by way of the blue uppers, red Stripes and slick white outsoles. The adidas Paris has seen multiple reissues, including in 2012 and 2020. Adapting the instantly recognisable colourway in 2017, size? incorporated it onto the Gazelle alongside GORE-TEX inners.
adidas Manchester GT
Returning in 2016, the adidas Manchester GT went on to have a big year. While it’s technically a part of the City Series canon, it’s also a part of the Spezial family. As it was only ever released in limited numbers, being able to secure a pair in 2016 was no mean feat, and this iteration is one of the most coveted releases from that year’s collection. Constructed with nubuck uppers, they’re bolstered with suede toe overlays and soft leather lining.
Later down the track of the freewheeling decade that was the 70s came the Berlin. Constructed with suede uppers, the adidas Berlin features primarily blue hues on the body, with even lighter blue stripes that match the tongue tabs. The Berlin is one of the series’ iterations that doesn’t call out its city’s flag directly, but they follow suit with gold embellishment marking Berlin. As expected, they’ve seen a reissue a number of times.,
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