Originally released in the early ’70s with training intent to coincide with 1972’s Olympic Games, the SL 72 (appropriately standing for Super Light) performed well but was elevated to trend level by an ultra-discerning European terrace audience hunting the mix of cleanliness and subtle eccentricities adidas effortlessly unleashed in the ’70s and early ’80s.
The words ‘cult’ and ‘classic’ are starting to feel a little weathered, but the SL 72, with its low-cut, grooved midsole, forked forefoot, dimpled, heavily perforated tongue and offbeat, functional makeups deserves the plaudits. Simplicity always ages with dignity, but via a helping hand from a vintage treatment, the softer textures and faded colors carry an extra resonance, while the slightly flattened silhouette has authentic appeal.
Elegantly followed by equally beloved sequels like the SL 76, 80 and 82, this evolution of the pioneering achill design – one of the first all-leather training and running shoes, was a starting point for a golden age of slimline icons.
Available in a navy and white and hard-to-miss orange and yellow, for the connoisseurs hunting that hard-to-find out-the-box buzz again, or for those just looking for great design with a rock solid heritage at performance and street level.