Finally, We’ve Found The Trainers Everyone’s Wearing As An Alternative To Adidas Sambas

These are guaranteed to also have future collector's item status.

Adidas Samba alternatives

by Natalie Hammond |
Updated on

It takes a certain kind of power to single-handedly stop a trend in its tracks. And while he’s not exactly performing at the polls ahead of this year’s presumed general election, Rishi Sunak is second to none – unparalleled, in fact – when it comes to making every fashion girlie in the land break up with their favourite pair of sneakers, adidas’s hallowed Sambas.

Bella Hadid adidas trainers
Bella Hadid ©Getty

Luckily, Dakota Johnson has already found a replacement: Nike's Cortez. A hero of the house for 50 years, Johnson's been wearing her brown suede pair with a relaxed outfit of a white tee and frayed jeans on the set of her new film, Materialists.

Dakota Johnson
Dakota Johnson ©Getty

But wait, what's happened to Sambas? Are we not wearing them anymore?! The Prime Minister basically sported a pair for a video interview with accountant Abigail Foster, appearing in ‘smart casual’ mode (i.e. no tie and wearing trainers). And the trainers in question were none other than black-and-white Sambas – not just the exact shoe, but the exact colourway repped by J-Lo, Kendall Jenner and EmRata. The internet’s reaction wasn’t kind, with comments underneath memes ranging from, ‘Destroyed them instantly’ to simply, ‘Dead!’ Because whatever your political leanings, the bipartisan takeaway is that it would be deemed uncool (nay, catastrophic) to keep wearing your Sambas.

EmRata Puma trainers
Emily Ratajkowski ©Getty

That’s not to say that you need to remove them from your current roster entirely (there’s almost guaranteed to be a comeback on the heels of say, Rihanna, getting hers out of storage), but now they’re firmly on the finance bros’ algorithm, it’s time to hotfoot it in the opposite direction.

Dakota Johnson
Dakota Johnson ©Getty

Several contenders have already emerged as we've discussed, one of which is another cult entry from adidas. The SL 72 is also a retro design and has already had the seal of approval from Bella Hadid, who didn’t need a persona non grata of a political nature to come along before she moved on from Sambas. EmRata, meanwhile, has turned to Puma’s Palermo, wearing the low-top sneaker with its distinctive gum sole on repeat this spring.

These are the exact trainers worn by Dakota Johnson - brown suede with khaki details on the upper that mean it will go with everything in your wardrobe.

But the one that's personally turned my head is Nike’s Cortez. Stylist Gabriella Karefa-Johnson has been wearing the suede green pair, which is perfect for this moment in time because of its ‘chlorophyll’ green suede upper and blue sole detailing.

Sambas, it’s been fun and, no doubt, will be fun in the (distant) future but, for now, it’s time for a new trainer to enter the chat.

SHOP: The Adidas Samba Alternatives

Nike, Cortez Textile
Price: $79.99

With a red upper and a hint of blue on the side of its sole, this version would be a punchy addition to any summer outfit.

Baby pink, with its signature tick in tomato red, this is the ultimate colourway for fashion girlies who are into their trainers.

An icon for five decades, Nike's Cortez has been updated with a wider toe area and firmer side panels for day in, day out wear.

Puma's Palermo debuted in the early '80s. EmRata's been wearing the cult terrace legend on repeat this spring.

If you're an adidas stan for life, try another sneaker from its retro hall of fame, the SL 72.

These tennis-inspired sneakers pay homage to the original Club C.

The next coolest adidas sneakers are by and large, the adidas Spezials. This baby blue colour is especially popular, so shop now.

Inject some colour into your spring wardrobe with a pair of these sneakers in deep green, Puma's Delphin.

Vans, Sport Low Shoes
Price: £52.50 (was £75)

On sale as part of the brand's mid-season promo, this streamlined trainer keeps the spirit of the '90s alive with a low-top profile.

Gola's iconic suede trainer, with its distinctive gum sole, is reminiscent of days spent in the school gym.

Natalie Hammond is Grazia’s Senior Fashion News Editor. She loves winter, hates summer and can often be found writing about the weather (and what on earth to wear).

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