Oi Polloi

The Antiques Clothes Show: Nigel's Trainers

Published: Thu Aug 14 2014

For this special, bumper edition of the Antiques Clothes Show, boss-man Nigel picked out some of his favourite adidas trainers from his collection. Take it away Nigel…

Stan Smith

Here we’ve got the most important sneaker of all time — the Stan Smith. This is actually in the Guinness Book of Records as the most popular sneaker of all time. Like a Converse All Star, it’s simple, it looks good with jeans and it looks good with shorts. It’s just a simple classic with a very nice shape.

These were an eBay buy about 8 years ago. This one was actually made in Morocco. It’s quite a big shoe, but its shape looks quite sleek and delicate. The later ones were made chunkier for hip hop purposes but this is the tennis shoe that was worn by everyone in France all through the 70s.


These were made for the Montreal Games of ‘76 and are in a very, very rare colour-way. This is dark royal with acid green. These were on eBay, again about 8 years ago, and I knew the guy that had them. He took a photograph with a flash on that was so bright that it appeared that the stripes were white — so I don’t think that many people even gathered what it actually was.

So with it being a blue shoe, on a gum Samba type sole unit, it’s just one of those very Northern trainers. There’s a lot of young lads who’ll understand this.


At the time the Rom (which is actually the Rome) was probably the most famous shoe in the 60s, but these things — only superstars would be wearing these. You might have found some top line footballer was given them by adidas. Vienna’s aren’t that rare, but this is a very early version without a trefoil in sight. Most of the early adidas shoes were black with white or white with black, so this appeared quite bold at the time.

This one was owned by Hans Bitzer — whoever he was. His name’s still on the inside.


This is a super rare shoe that just turned up one day. I bought them online, somewhere in the States. I thought they looked a bit like a Tobacco but the picture was taken from above so I couldn’t quite see the sole unit. It said size 10.5 and I’m a 9.5 so I just thought, “Oh well, I’ll buy them for the shop.”

When I opened the box I nearly collapsed, because these are probably one of the top brown, suede, flat adidas shoes of all time. I think it’s better than the Tobacco. They were 10.5 but they were such an old shoe that they fit perfectly.

It’s called California but I just called them Tobacco 64 when I first got them just because I thought they were an early Tobacco. To actually date it, it’s probably about ‘68 or somewhere around there. It was made as a leisure shoe to go with the California lifestyle of the time. Brown suede was pretty popular with the hippies, sneakers were pretty popular with the Californians and I think the Germans were trying to tap into that luxury, holiday thing.

It has a sister shoe which is called the Florida and then there’s the Hawaii, the Tahiti and the Bali. I think that, of this kind of shoe, this is the best, mainly because of the shape, the colour and the quality.


This one is called the Camargue. Named after somewhere in the South of France — it’s a valley I think. Anyway, it’s very similar to the Hawaii, and yet it’s on a little gum running shoe sole. I’d only ever seen a picture of a size 3 on eBay about 8 years ago, but obviously I’m not a size 3 so I didn’t buy them. Then I found these in Japan. The most exotic Rolls Royce of all time is called Camargue, so it fits nicely with that too.


I bought these for Steve because on eBay it said they were size 7, but when I got them they were size 9, so I snatched them. The colour-way is an absolutely all-time classic for anyone north of Watford… and south of Watford of course. I’ve worn this pair quite a few times, and I kind of wish I hadn’t…

It’s flat, it’s suede and it’s adidas’s most typical colourway. People might say that was black with white, like football boots, but outside of that it’s blue with white — the boxes are this colour. A lot of people used to wear these with semi-flared cords and it was all about that toe and the flat silhouette. In Europe this has got to be the biggest selling leisure shoe of all time.


When I was a kid this was seen as the future — trainers had never been made like this before. They were using technology you’d maybe see in racing cars to lighten bits and strengthen areas. The colour that was most popular in 1980 was navy with gold and it was probably one of the most popular shoes in Manchester at that time, but I’d never seen this colour until I found these.

See some slightly newer adidas here