The adidas Originals Trimm Star: Reviewed by Ian Hough

Share This:

In the Erlangen-Höchstadt district of Germany there’s a town called Herzogenaurach. The town was once home to Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) owned by two brothers, Adolf and Rudolf Dassler. The two brothers quarrelled and eventually decided to form two competing shoe companies that grew to be the world’s biggest and best. Sounds like the intro to a Grimm Brothers tale involving elves doesn’t it? This story is more Trimm than Grimm, though, let me assure you, fairy tale-hungry reader. It’s actually about a pair of Adidas training shoes I received from Adolf’s workshop via the lads at Size? recently. in many ways those shoes are as magical as the blue suede buckled ones I remember seeing as a child in that Ladybird book about the shoemaker and the supernatural little people.

Long(ish) story short: My new Adidas Trimm Star arrived in the mail from the Size? geezers in Merrie Olde England. I savoured the bright blue box a second before diving in like a Saxon savage, little suspecting the magyk that lay beneath. When the lid came off, an incandescent beam of decades-old Bavarian sunlight shot forth that knocked me back to the 1970s. I found myself as a child, fascinated by the powder blue suede, the plastic eyelets and, most of all, the extra wide spacing between the three dark stripes.

The stripes were slightly narrower than those we’ve become accustomed to since the 80s, which accentuated the spacing even more. This was true vintage Adidas, as seen on the feet of men like Franz Beckenbauer and  Gerd Müller circa 1973. As the aroma of bratwurst and mustard merged with images of bellowing accordions pumping out Schrammelmusik from their numerous valves, I was forced to grasp a nearby Bauhaus chair to prevent myself from collapsing.  I took a shoe from the box and inhaled deeply, my nose working its way over the inners, uppers and sole like das trüffelschwein of the Black Forest hungrily sniffling for sweaty fungi in the deeper soil horizons. The suede breathed a casual plushness and the rubber sole spoke of deceptive comforts amid its stippled oils. A complete lack of logos on heel and tongue enhanced the 1970s effect. The name was imprinted just behind the stripes, in (real???) gold. But the stripes, oh, the widely-spaced narrow stripes… good gracious, they really did the trick.

I strapped them on and proceeded to my car, which I then drove to work. The faces of my fellow employees lit up as if in the glow of some magic moon when they beheld my Argentina blue Trimm Stars padding across the floor. I’d previously been famous for my sky-blue and yellow Stockholms, but this was another level. This was something from the formative years of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the leather thwock! of a trainer on a white football panelled with solid black pentagons against an expertly-constructed wall in Borussia Lippstadt’s unglamorous Stadion am Waldschlößchen. I felt like a Nietzschean Superman, absorbing the shocks on the faces of my workmates like a BMW 7 Series tackling a frozen dirt road somewhere north of Schleswig-Holstein. I was like a boss, to coin a meme. A freakin’ DON, son. And best of all, it felt like I’d worn my slippers to work!

Sometime at the end of the 1970s, Adidas tweaked their famous look towards a “chunkier” style. The length-to-width ratios were revised in the short and stout direction while Herzogenaurach’s other sportswear company, Puma, tweaked their own shizzle the opposite way, towards a slimline, material-saving approach, i.e., never mind the leather, let the laces do the work. Until I saw Trimm Starr I’d always believed chunky was a tweak for the better. This is no longer the case. I love the proper retro look of Trimm Star. Other reissues don’t come close, because they bear the same proportions as those 80s classics being churned out today. Maybe there have been other reissues from the same era, but there’s something about this one that conveys history and style. It’s a chance to be one of those German footballers who enjoyed the feel of a superior shoe before the rabble caught on. And let’s face it, that’s what trainers are all about, innit?

So basically, my name is Ian Hough and I endorse this message, ‘cos I wrote it. Adidas still rules, and Puma is a very close second. Very close. Touching distance.  Tata, lad.


Ian Hough is from Manchester. He’s the author of Perry Boys and Perry Boys Abroad, two books which explore the emergence of the so-called “casual” movement among Manchester United’s hooligan element, among other things. He writes for Manchester United fanzine, United We Stand, and is a regular contributor to Proper Mag and The Rig Out, two of the best men’s magazines in the UK. A third book will be out soon, closely followed by a fourth and fifth, once he gets his act together. He can be found on Twitter @IanHough and his blog, The Nameless Thing, which can be found here.

Share This: