What Will Replace The adidas Samba As The Next Cult Sneaker?

As the Samba hype begins to fade, EDITED dissects the on-trend kicks making noise in 2024.

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Cyclical trend periods continue to overwhelm the fashion and sneaker markets with month-long movements that cause sold-out disruptions of singular product lines. As sneaker culture continues to shift and replace limited drops with sought-after general releases, staple pairs dominate the feet of wearers worldwide.

From the Nike Dunk Low “Panda” to the Air Force 1 Low, cult kicks in simple colorways have continued to dictate the market — with the adidas Samba becoming the shoe of 2023. As sales begin to slow, Retail Intelligence Platform EDITED predicts the next big sneaker trend by investigating high-performing models from Nike, adidas, ASICS, PUMA, and more.

First launched in 1972, the adidas Samba has gone down in history as one of the most versatile shoes available. While emerging in 1950s German football games, the sneaker became synonymous with goal-scoring defense under intense snowfall. The Samba has gone through multiple redesigns, capturing the hearts of Gen-Z consumers driven by laidback collaboration from the likes of Wales Bonner, JJJJound, and Sporty & Rich. The adidas Samba experienced an uproar last year, seeing young consumers embrace the trend with casual styling at the forefront. While the sneaker entered 2024 with a 420% sell-out rate in Q1, it is guided by a 347% increase in new styles that have established ongoing availability worldwide.

The trend cycle dictates that another model must replace the adidas Samba, with sales beginning to slow as consumers search for the next big thing. Dozens of low-cut styles are possible contenders for cult sneaker of 2024, and adidas continues to lead the way with heritage models dug out of the archive. The Gazelle, Superstar, and Spezial are its current best-performing models, but the latter takes the crown with 30% sell-out standards.

adidas has recently revived a 1970s powerhouse: the SL 72. The retro style has been worn by runway-gracing supermodel Bella Hadid, spreading an appetite for vintage returns in toned-down colorways. The Country OG is also making waves, seizing the metallic footwear trend spearheaded by Wales Bonner with four mineralized shades.

ASICS is a strong candidate, having re-established its popularity through Kiko Kostadinov‘s bold collaborations and AIREI‘s burnt-out GEL-QUANTUM KINETIC. ASICS is the most exclusive of the bunch, maintaining low stock options that drive excitement among sneaker-loving crowds. The GEL-1130 has been its best-seller, with a 41% sell-out rate and lowering new launches by 11% year-on-year — propelling it into the hyped footwear landscape.

It’s easy to recall the love behind the New Balance 550, which challenged the Nike Dunk Low “Panda” once the COVID-19 pandemic began to simmer. As lockdowns and restrictions lifted, consumers hit the streets once again and rocked the New Balance 550 for months on end. While the style has phased out, New Balance continues to make noise with its recently launched 1000 silhouette — debuted by chart-topping British rapper Dave. The 1999 revival ran off shelves in 24 hours, cementing it as an impactful model to watch.

Nike and PUMA will battle for their place at the top, seeing the former drive innovation with the Air Max DN and high sell-out numbers. The P-6000 and Cortez have resurfaced in Nike’s repertoire, merging into the old-school sneaker trend with celebrity endorsements. The Bear star Jeremey Allen White has made the all-white Nike Cortez his uniform, submitting a personal inquiry on the lack of pairs available.

PUMA has had its own batch of celebrity sightings, capturing Emily Ratajkowski, Dua Lipa, and Jack Grealish wearing its beloved heritage models. PUMA is pressing the accelerator on motorsports, enlisting A$AP Rocky to navigate the track with two racing-inspired collections that debuted during the Formula 1 season. PUMA’s Speedcat OG has stepped into the trend with an 18% sell-out tariff, while the reintroduced ’80s Palermo style continues to make a splash — grasped by NYC designer KidSuper in his pitch-ready football partnership released last month.

With dozens of options to choose from, the next cult sneaker can only be determined by the public. Brands continue to produce exciting releases that capture the attention of casual wearers far and wide, directing footwear trends with sleek and simple designs cemented in history books from decades past. The adidas Spezial, New Balance 1000, and PUMA Palermo will likely take the crown, controlling the competition with historical references and transitional designs that can be worn anytime, anywhere.

You can read EDITED’s full report here.

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