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The Adidas Centennial is an iconic line of sneakers that encapsulates an important piece of sports and fashion history.

Release Date: 1985
Sneaker Type: Basketball

The first adidas Centennial sneaker was made in France, with both suede and leather options available.

Suede colorways included:

  • black
  • burgundy
  • brown
  • navy
  • grey

Leather options included:

  • white
  • red and white
  • burgundy and white
  • natural
  • green and white

The Centennial collection by Adidas echoes the brand’s storied heritage in basketball footwear. These shoes are recognized for their classic style, marrying functional athletic design with a retro aesthetic that appeals to both sports enthusiasts and fashion trendsetters.

adidas Centennial Toe Box

The adidas Centennial Toe Box had a unique shape for its time. (photo credit:

Crafted to honor the brand’s enduring impact on the sport and culture of basketball, the adidas Centennials boast a high-cut silhouette typical of their era, often featuring a leather-and-suede upper and signature design elements such as the spoiler flex heel. While contemporary sneaker culture is saturated with innovation and fast-changing trends, the Centennial line remains popular among those who appreciate the nostalgia and timeless quality of adidas footwear.

Key Takeaways

  • The adidas Centennial High was a futuristic shoe back in 1985.
  • Key features include high-cut silhouettes and quality materials like leather and suede.
  • Centennial sneakers remain relevant in modern fashion with high and low options, plus a variety of colorways.

History and Legacy of adidas Centennial

The adidas Centennial has made a significant impact on the world of sports and fashion. With its debut in the early 1980s, it has become a highly regarded collectible.

Evolution of the Centennial 85 Model

The Centennial 85, a model recognized for its history and design, first emerged in the sneaker world in the 1980s. Known for its durability and comfort, the shoe features a high-cut design that resonates with the era’s aesthetic. The Centennial 85 model has a leather-and-suede upper that underscores its premium build quality, while the iconic spoiler flex heel design is a nod to its basketball-inspired heritage, as highlighted on the adidas official site. Over the years, the Centennial 85 has not only retained its original allure but has also adapted to the evolving tastes of sneaker enthusiasts.

Significance in Sneaker Culture

In sneaker culture, the Adidas Centennial is not just a shoe; it’s a symbol of the evolution of sneakers from purely functional sports gear to iconic fashion statements. The Centennial collections, with their distinctive designs and connection to the history of sports, have cemented their status as collector’s items. Enthusiasts are often willing to pay premium prices for these pieces of sneaker history, acknowledging their worth beyond mere footwear, as described through sneaker-focused outlets like Sneaker Files. The Adidas Centennial’s legacy in sneaker culture is marked by its consistency in quality and its ability to resonate with both athletes and fashion-forward individuals.

Design and Features

Adidas Centennial 85 shoes showcase a remarkable fusion of vintage flair and modern craftsmanship. Highlighting 1980s basketball style, these sneakers evoke nostalgia while delivering longevity through quality materials.

adidas Centennial Spoiler Flex

The adidas Centennial Toe Box feature a unique spoiler flex that looks a bit like tense muscles. (photo credit:

Distinctive Design Elements

The Adidas Centennial 85 is distinguished by a high-cut silhouette, emulating the quintessential basketball footwear of the ’80s. Notable features include the iconic spoiler flex heel design, which not only gives it a unique look but also pays homage to its sports heritage. Additionally, the three stripes—a signature Adidas mark—are prominently displayed on the side, reinforcing the brand’s identity with every pair.

Material and Craftsmanship

Precision in material selection is evident, as they are crafted with a mix of leather and suede. The upper part of the shoe utilizes high-quality leather, providing a durable and comfortable fit, while the suede elements offer a stylish contrast. The textile lining ensures breathability, rounding out the shoe’s high standards for both aesthetics and wearability.

Colorway: Celebrating the Classic White

The adidas Centennial 85 also triumphs in its colorway variety, with the classic white version standing as a timeless option. The white model is not only versatile and easy to style but also resonates with the clean, crisp lines that are characteristic of adidas footwear. Its rubber sole offers reliable traction and the logo is tastefully integrated, maintaining the shoe’s sleek and classic appearance.

adidas Centennial in Modern Fashion

The Centennial sneakers have made a significant comeback, fusing vintage aesthetics with contemporary trends. They’re not just a throwback; they’re a staple in modern wardrobes, blending seamlessly with both casual and upscale looks.

Street Style and High Fashion Integration

The Adidas Centennial has transcended its origins as a classic basketball shoe to become a fixture in streetwear. Its high-top and low-top variants, notably the Centennial 85 Low, are frequently spotted on fashion-forward individuals. The shoes’ minimalist yet classic design complements a variety of outfits, making them versatile for an array of street styles. Their presence in modern fashion is reinforced by the enduring appeal of retro styles that balance comfort with a nod to ’80s authenticity.

Collaborations and Limited Editions

Adidas has a history of enhancing their core collections with limited edition releases and collaborations. The Centennial line is no exception, maintaining relevance and excitement around the models. These collaborations often result in highly-coveted pieces that fuse adidas’s timeless designs with the unique aesthetics of contemporary artists and designers. The exclusivity and often innovative designs of these collaborative releases not only make them must-haves for collectors but also keep the adidas Centennial at the forefront of modern fashion discourse.

Looking to Buy the adidas Centennial?

At the time of posting, the following colorways are available on the adidas website.

adidas Centennial Colorways

Current adidas Centennial Colorways (as of 12/2023)


Sizing and Fit for US Men

When selecting Adidas Centennial sneakers, understanding the sizing chart is essential for an ideal fit. They often run true to size, so stick to your usual measurements. Sizes are typically listed in US metrics. Use a foot measuring device or a ruler to measure your foot from heel to toe and compare it with Adidas’ official size chart for accuracy.

Care and Maintenance Tips

Keeping your Centennial sneakers in prime condition requires some basic practices:

  • Clean dirt and debris promptly with a soft-bristled brush or cloth.
  • Avoid excessive water exposure to protect the leather or suede materials.
  • Condition the material periodically to maintain suppleness.
  • For the rubber outsole, which provides longevity and grip, mild soap and a damp cloth should suffice to keep it dirt-free and functional.

Where to Purchase

To purchase the Adidas Centennial, consider these options:

  • Official Adidas Website: You’ll find the latest releases and exclusive colorways.
  • Authorized Retailers: This ensures authenticity and increases the odds for decent customer support.
  • SneakaDeal: Check out our adidas Sneaker Deals to see if there are any Centennial on sale
  • Resale Marketplaces: Look at platforms like StockX for rare or sold-out models, but be mindful of price variations.

By following these guidelines, you can make an informed buying decision for a pair of adidas Centennial sneakers that suits your style and comfort needs.

Questions about This Shoe

The Adidas Centennial 85 Low is a shoe that captures the essence of the brand’s rich history while providing contemporary style. Below are some of the commonly asked questions concerning this sneaker classic.

What are the distinguishing features of the adidas Centennial 85 Low model?

The Adidas Centennial 85 Low features the iconic three stripes on the side, a trefoil logo, and a high-quality leather upper. Its design includes a spoiler flex at the ankle which adds to its distinctive look.

How can one verify the authenticity of an adidas Centennial pair?

Authenticity can be verified through unique serial numbers placed on labels inside the shoes, quality of materials, and craftsmanship. Purchases should be made from authorized Adidas retailers to ensure authenticity.

Are there any special collaborations or famous endorsements associated with the adidas Centennial series?

Throughout its history, the adidas Centennial series has seen special editions and collaborations. However, for specific partnership or endorsement information, it is best to refer directly to adidas’ announcements and news releases.

What care and maintenance tips are recommended for preserving the quality of adidas Centennial shoes?

It’s recommended to clean the shoes regularly with mild soap and water, avoid machine washing, and use a protectant spray for leather. Storing the shoes away from direct sunlight also helps in preserving the color and material integrity.

How does the sizing of adidas Centennial 85 shoes compare to other adidas models?

Generally, the  Centennial 85 fit true to size, comparable to most other Adidas sneakers. However, customers are advised to reference adidas’ sizing guide or try on in-store for an ideal fit.


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