The iconic Adilette Slides were first introduced in 1972. They were originally created as “shower shoes” for the German Football team. These shoes were created as a comfortable alternative that the team could wear in their changing rooms and showers after a hectic session.
I was first introduced to these slides at a fairly young age. That’s when a young Asande started paying a lot more attention to her surroundings. I think the main thing that made me really pay attention to these slides was how popular they were in my neighbourhood. All the older kids used to wear them. All the cool kids were rocking these. Before they updated up the design, the pair I was first introduced to was the one with the pointy rubber soles with the velcro straps. Those slides were everywhere. If you had a brother or cousin, I’m convinced they had a pair. Upon first glance, they looked different. I thought the pointy rubber sole would make them uncomfortable. When I tried on an over sized pair, I realised that maybe I was wrong. It would be years later until I got my first pair.
Fast forward to a few years later, the slides made a come back into my life. They were the go to slides for comfort and style. They quickly became a fan favourite at school. After spending weeks trying to convince myself otherwise, I finally decided to ask my mother for a pair. It took a bit of convincing because they were popularly know as “boys shoes”. Nonetheless my mother agreed and I got my first pair. The difference now was, the brand had updated the design. The new design had “secure jelly bandage and a contour footbed.” After it took me a while to get used to them, they quickly became my favourite pair of slides. I think another thing that won me over was how I can rock them with any outfit. Can never go wrong with these babies.
As s much as how one styles them has changed, their influence is ever lasting. I mean, olova (the gents) still rock them when they’re chilling around elokhishini. It’s also funny how, the first thing most people think about when they see these shoes always has to do with a guy who’s probably rocking a white BVD vest, boxer shorts and is on his way to pick up his girl or walk her to the taxi stop.
Looking back, I now realise that the type of fashion I saw around my neighbourhood had an influence in my own personal style. One way or another, the type of people I grew up around and how they dressed, has played a role in how I view clothes and what style means to me.