We like retro shoes because they’re old. Not inherently because they’re old, rather that they convey something about a prior time — simpler days, style that was alive then, a reminder that you used to be you, maybe still are or could be. Call that maudlin but it’s the truth. This is deep psyche stuff. It’s why restored 1960s muscle cars are forever highly sought by baby boomers and why thirty- and fortysomethings are still cherry picking retro releases of sneakers they had at 16. We buy old to remember, and to learn.
If you have a hankering to bring a piece of 1992-93 into your 2013 world, the adidas Mutombo is a prime cut off the menu. Classic “L” shaped high top silhouette, oversize tongue, oversize logos, raffia-inspired pattern overlays, expressive traction that has nothing to do with herringbone. These are features every bit as current today as they were 20 years ago. Add in a nubuck and leather feel (which I found on this shoe very water-repellent), and you are again smack dab in the middle of Cross Colours country with Naughty By Nature blaring. The black, purple and red combo call out to Dikembe Mutombo’s run as a Denver Nugget just stokes the feel-good flames.
As I mentioned on my Instagram, the Mutombo Shield sticker that adidas Originals included on the info hangtag was really tempting to peel off and plaster somewhere. I didn’t so as not to ruin the photos but that’s something I completely would have done sitting in seventh grade social studies class in ’92, right on that tattered manila paper text book cover replete with penciled doodles. Happy I can lace these kicks up to reminisce over those halcyon days of vintage NBA and pop culture instead of suffering book reports and cafeteria heat lamp nachos.
Find the adidas Mutombo “Denver” now at select adidas Originals retailers.