We’re approaching the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier and to mark the anniversary Adidas has done something special that goes beyond just creating a fresh-looking set of tribute cleats.
But before we go any further, let’s take a look at the shoes, because they are quite fresh. Adidas unveiled on Monday a special edition of its adizero Afterburner that pays tribute to Robinson. There’s a pair of on-field cleats and a turf trainer and both are meticulously detailed.
For instance: You’ll notice the Ebbets Field on the heel of the shoes, Robinson’s signature featured prominently and his stats etched into the heel stub.
The design inspiration comes from a few places, Adidas said in its announcement, like the tweed suit jacket Robinson wore the day he retired and his Hall of Fame bust. Both shoes are out Friday, the day before all of baseball will wear No. 42 in honor of Robinson. The cleats cost $120. The turf trainers cost $100.
Here’s the best part, though: As part of this initiative, Adidas built a new baseball and softball field at John Muir High School in Pasadena, Calif., the school from which Robinson graduated. The new fields will serve 900 students plus help local Little League programs. Twenty Adidas employees got their hands dirty and helped build the field.