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The Blog from Oi Polloi presents: by Nigel Lawson •

The ultra-classic, super-rare adidas Koln has returned, and will be available for all at 00:01 on Friday the 10th of November (GMT). For a bit of context, Nigel brought his old pair in (that's them above) and scoured his mind for a bit of back-story...  

With the Koln, it’s about this ‘flat’ thing. For a lot of people of a certain age, the most popular shoe of the time was the Forest Hills – which had a big fat sole. But there was a look that seemed to emanate from Manchester which was this flat, suede 70s silhouette worn with flared cords, and a Marks and Spencer’s crew neck. It was dressed down – a very traditional Manchester look.

The Koln, the Dublin and the Berlin were the three shoes that were brought into Sports Box in the Underground Market. What was going on there was similar to what was going on in Liverpool with Trimm Trabs. You couldn’t buy these in Topman or All Sports, they were only really available in Germany. The lads at Sports Box must have been going over and ‘borrowing’ them from shop displays.

If you wanted to buy a pair of Gazelles, they’d be 18 quid, but these were 30 quid at Sports Box, due to the rarity value. I remember a lad who used to go in there saying that there was never anything on display, and you had to ask somebody and they’d open a bag.

It’s only really now that people are able to get their hands on these flat gum sole things. I remember when I had my shop in Affleck’s, people would always ask for these.

I didn’t know anything about Sports Box at the time. It was only the really cool ones who knew about that. I was just into Forrest Hills and Grand Slam and the obvious ones at the time.

The adidas Koln go online at 00:01 on Friday the 10th of November (GMT). See them here.

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The people say...

  • Mustafa Winj

    Have you seen the kip of the reissues tho. They look look like fakes, the Dublin’s are just as bad. Is someone at Adidas doing this on purpose, Near vertical stripes, toe box that looks as tho there’s a steel cage hidden beneath ……. Sakes, I’m off to Tommy Balls for some pasties

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  • Crumpsall

    A load of us did a long weekend in Hamburg a few months before City played Spurs in the Cup Final in 81 . There wasn’t a man/boy who hadn’t ‘acquired’ a pair of Koln . Still got the original pair , looking good, ‘ made in Yugoslavia’ . Bowled into a local shop this afternoon and bought a new pair off the shelf . Great memories , classic trainers .

  • Simon newland

    Looking forward to these , were they not going to be made in Germany?

  • Simon newland

    Looking forward to these , were they not going to be made in Germany?

  • Keith Falllon

    One of the few great trainers I never got around to buying from the stall in the underground market. But so glad they have finally got around to reissuing them so i can finally own a pair

  • JohnP

    Ahh, Donalds gaff in the Underground, happy days

  • Ben Lunt

    Fully agree. These will go nicely with my yugoslavian koln and Roumanian koln. Deserved a reissue

  • jason

    yes i remember buying Adidas Berlin from the small sports shop in the oasis above underground market manchester 1984 worn with semi flared levi or wrangler cords and lambswool crew neck jumper happy days.

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