There is hardly a person in the world who is not familiar with Adidas, one of the world’s largest sporting goods and footwear companies. The company’s history began as a small family business in 1920. After World War I, the Dassler father and son began sewing shoes. The family business’ product was indoor shoes. Retired military uniforms were used for sewing and the soles of the shoes were made from old car tires. The business brought in good income and in 1924, Rudolf and Adolf Dassler founded the “Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory”. You will learn more about The Story of How Adidas Went Outdoors Sports by the LCN Outdoors article.
In 1925, Adolf created and patented the world’s first soccer shoe with cleats forged specifically for it. At the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, a number of athletes competed in Dassler’s shoes, and at the 1936 Summer Olympics, Adolf Dassler provided his shoes to the American Jesse Owens. Owens won four gold medals, and his success cemented the good reputation of Dassler shoes in the sports world. The business grew rapidly.
The Second World War was a big test for the business and the brothers. Shortly thereafter, in the spring of 1948, the brothers quarreled and split the company, each setting up their own business. Rudolph took over a factory that was later transformed into the famous Puma Group, while Adolf founded Adas, changing the brand name to Adidas (short for Adi Dassler). As irreconcilable rivals, the brothers produced two notable sportswear manufacturers.
At the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, the majority of athletes chose Adidas shoes. Since then, the company’s product range and turnover have grown steadily. Bags and sportswear with the Adidas logo began to appear, and the company’s success was confirmed in 1972 when Adidas became the first official sponsor of the Munich Olympics. Athletes wearing Adidas won 35 gold medals, 37 silver medals, and 35 bronze medals. This record has yet to be broken by any other company. Adidas’s success during this period was also due to the fact that it was the only major manufacturer of sportswear and footwear that encountered little competition.
Adidas Outdoor History
Today, Adidas’ outdoor apparel and footwear line occupies a special place in the Adidas collection. Adidas’s interest in the outdoors grew in the 1970s. Adi Dassler himself was an outdoor enthusiast and understood the importance of quality footwear. His first development project was the classic “Eiger” mountain boot, made of full-cut leather with a thick, aggressive tread sole and metal inserts in the midsole.
Adidas is developing another innovative model of mountain boot specifically for the legendary Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner, who himself approached the company with a request for a new mountain boot. During his training in Tyrolia, Messner realized that having a lightweight and sturdy pair of shoes would save him a lot of energy during anaerobic climbs in the Himalayas. The idea attracted Toni Reiter, an Adidas mountain sports consultant and an accomplished climber, who organized a meeting between Messner and Dassler in 1977 to discuss the concept in detail. This meeting led to Messner using the first prototype of the new Adidas mountaineering shoe that year on the road to the south face of the Dowagiari Mountains.
Messner and Adi continued their collaboration, working on the design of the new shoe. 1978 saw the completion of work on the first pair of Adidas hiking shoes. They were still nameless, but stronger, lighter in weight, and quicker to dry. The pair accompanied Messner on his first anaerobic ascent of Everest and on his way to other peaks. 1979, Messner used his shoes while climbing K2. He sent a postcard to Adidas saying, “We climbed 3.8 miles (6,200 meters) in Adidas shoes. A new altitude record (for shoes). Thank you, R. Messner”.
In 1980, Messner made the first solo summit of Mount Everest without oxygen. Wearing Adidas mountaineering boots, he climbed the 4.3 miles (7000 m) mark on the North Face of Everest. Another high record for footwear and one of the most important achievements of Reinhold’s career.
“The Adidas Super Trekking became the first successful example of a lightweight trekking boot, but despite their high quality and functionality, they were still not mass-produced. The reason for this may be the death of the company’s founder, Adi Dassler, who personally oversaw the project. Due to financial problems, the production of hiking shoes was suspended and did not resume until the early 1990s.
In 1978, after Adolf Dassler’s death, the management of the company was handed over to his wife Katharina and son Horst. Horst Dassler carried out a consultancy study on the company’s future development strategy and began a reorganization. Unfortunately, there was no time to finish the work he had started and Horst died suddenly in 1987. In the early 1990s, the company suffered major losses as more and more competitors, mainly Nike, moved production to Southeast Asian countries. Economic passions boiled around her and her owners changed several times. The business was no longer a family business.
In search of a way out of the crisis, the company began to discover new areas of sport. So far, Adidas “remembered” their experience in the production of mountain shoes. The active entertainment industry was seen as a promising area of development. In large part, because Nike’s closest competitor had already launched an outdoor line in this market, the ACG shoe. The German company’s “response” was the direction of Adidas’ equipment adventure. His motto is “Whatever you need. That’s all.”
The concept is based on the ability to use the new shoes for a variety of outdoor activities: mountain biking, climbing, hiking, kayaking, etc. With the Adidas Equipment Adventure line, the company became one of the pioneers in the development and production of sports shoes lightweight hiking shoes, including hiking sneakers. Trekker, Seattle, Adventure, and Bavaria boots from Adidas are steadily making their way into the touring market, as evidenced by rave reviews from major equipment critics such as the respected Backpacker magazine.
Even today, Adidas outdoor footwear and boots bear the mark of collaboration with Solomon’s technical experts and designers – this is the use of speed lacing, softshell materials, a hard “chassis” in the midsole, and a zipper valve that protects the lacing from dirt, water and snow in athletic footwear. In 2005, Amer Sports Corporation acquired Salomon. In August of the same year, Adidas acquired 100% of Reebok, joining Nike as the world’s largest sporting goods manufacturer.
About Adidas TERREX
Since 2010, Adidas has been highlighting a special line of equipment and shoes in the outdoor direction – TERREX. as before, the company relies on the lightness and versatility of its footwear and apparel, while expanding the range of the collection.
A modern concept: “twice the work for half the effort”.
Adidas design director Tim Maud had this to say about TERREX: Today, athletes have more different types of activities – they run, bike, climb …… and even fly. Our goal is to create lightweight, high-performance clothing and footwear that gives athletes more freedom of expression
To improve its products, Adidas has partnered with world-renowned brands such as Gore-Tex and Polartec to take advantage of their new developments. For example, the new Spring/Summer 2016 collection features well-known materials such as Primaloft Sport, Polartec Alpha, and Pertex.
To keep the soles as grippy as possible, the company uses Continental rubber from the world-famous car and bike tire manufacturer. in 2011, Adidas acquired Fifty, known for its exceptionally high-friction STEALTH rubber, and began using it in their shoes. In developing and testing the new device, the company worked with a wide variety of athletes as well as the Colorado Mountain Guides Association.
Thus, at the same age as modern sports, Adidas has confidence in the outdoor world. That is why since 2016, a line of hiking and trail running shoes has been presented in the Sport-Marathon.