The Los Angeles Football Club and Adidas Originals have teamed up to create a cobranded Samba silhouette, earning LAFC the distinction of being the first Major League Soccer team to have its own version of the popular sneaker style.
Two versions of the Adidas Originals X LAFC Samba were announced Tuesday. One is scheduled to drop at retail stores and online on Aug. 22 while the other won't be hitting retail at all. Both make heavy use of the LAFC's black and gold team colors.
The version you will be able to cop, the Street by Street Samba ($90), features a black upper with Adidas' signature three-stripe detail rendered in metallic gold and the City of Angels' name appearing in gold parallel to the top stripe. One insole is printed with the team's philosophy-rallying cry, "Street X Street, Block X Block, One X One" and the Adidas trefoil logo; the other features the LAFC's Art Deco-style winged crest, which is also emblazoned on the removable tongue of each sneaker.
The other version — the Heart of Gold Samba — is essentially the same sneaker with the same club details but with a gold metallic finish over it. According to Tuesday's announcement, that gold overlay is designed to fade with wear, eventually revealing the Street by Street Samba underneath but flecked with gold.
Although you won't be able to buy the latter version, you could end up with a pair — if you have a heart of gold, that is.
That's because the limited-edition Heart of Gold Sambas are being donated to Los Angeles community heroes and front-line workers selected by the team for "being selfless citizen[s] and doing good in the local community." (In other words, if you end up seeing a pair of these golden kicks out in the wild, a "thank you" is most likely in order.)
Although three other top professional clubs (Real Madrid, Manchester United and Bayern Munich) have forged sneaker partnerships with Adidas, the LAFC's distinction of being the first soccer team to have a cobranded Samba is particularly noteworthy.
That's because the popular silhouette, first introduced in 1950, takes its inspiration from the sport. (The distinctive tan gum outsole, for example, was meant to help players get traction on icy terrain.) It probably also wasn't much of a stretch collaboration-wise because the Germany-based athletic shoe and apparel maker has worked with the team to design each season's kit since the team's inaugural 2018 season.
For the record:
6:58 PM, Aug. 06, 2020: An earlier version of this post incorrectly referred to Real Madrid, Manchester United and Bayern Munich as MLS clubs. They are not part of that league.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.