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Adidas Ultrastar: shell toe sneaker with optional Run-DMC tongue patch (1987)

The Adidas Ultrastar is a shell toe sneaker that was released in 1987; the shoe was popularised by it's endorsement by the hip-hop band RUN-DMC. RUN-DMC - sometimes wrote as Run–D.M.C. - are a hip-hop group from Queens, New York City: the group members are Joseph Simmons, Jam Master Jay and Darryl McDaniels, and the group was active from 1981-2000. The group is famous for wearing lace-less Adidas sneakers, usually the Adidas Superstar sneaker, and for writing the song 'My Adidas'.

The Adidas Superstar was released in 1969, and is a low-cut 'shell toe' basketball sneaker. Due to the popularity of RUN-DMC in the mid-1980's, Adidas capitalised on the promotion of their brand by releasing the Adidas Ultrastar. The Adidas Ultrastar is a modified version of the Adidas Superstar; to a casual glance it is difficult to distinguish the difference between the two shoes. A RUN-DMC version of the Adidas Ultrastar was released: the shoe features the same design as the Adidas Ultrastar but includes a Run-DMC tongue patch.

Ultrastar in a plain white leather upper and grey stripes. Displaying a run-dmc tongue patch on a pair of yellow snakeskin ultrastar sneakers. The RUN-DMC logo, in black, white, and red colouring.

The Adidas Ultrastar, as stated, is inspired in it's design by the Adidas Superstar; which is a classic Adidas sneaker that is used for basketball. The Adidas Ultrastar features: a rubber shell toe that protects the toes from impacts; a leather upper and three leather stripes; padded tongue for comfort and cushioning; soft textile lining; EVA midsole for arch support and cushioning; two rows of perforations between the three stripes; and front lace up fastening. The Adidas Ultrastar is traditionally released in an all leather upper, but, the shoe has been released with an all suede upper. There is no standard colourway for the shoe, however, the colourway is typically two-tonal: with the midsole and upper dyed white and the stripes / heel patch dyed another colour.