In the 1970s, running as a hobby exploded in popularity. While running wasn't a new concept for athletes, the non-athletes flocked to the sport for leisure and health. Shoe companies met the increased demand and the '70s saw the birth of new 'marathon sneakers' that would eventually become classic shoes, including the Adidas SL72.
Now, Adidas has collaborated with NYC-based brand Noah to reimagine the iconic shoe. Noah explored the Adidas archive to drum up a vivid colorway with a vintage appeal (complete with Noah branding). But, perhaps the biggest change to the SL72 is the upper. It is made with 82 percent Prime Blue material, a performance material made using recycled material Parley ocean plastic. This upcycles plastic waste found on remote islands, beaches, coastal communities and shorelines. Noah's passion for the ocean is clear, having also collaborated with brands like Birdwell Beach Britches as well as hosting events and raising money toward preserving the ocean. The SL72 builds that passion into the design process.
In addition to the SL72, the collection also includes a suite of tees, a sweatshirt, a pair of swim trunks, a coaches jacket, running shorts and several accessories. The pieces feature Noah's signature seashell graphic and are made with recycled materials . For instance, the tees are made with 30-percent recycled cotton while the coaches jacket, running shorts are made with 100-percent recycled polyester in a colorful madras print.
Noah founder Brendan Babenzien is both an avid runner and surfer, so the collection is particularly meaningful to him. “The water and the ocean were the backdrop for everything where I grew up," Babenzien says. "We always found ourselves on the water in one way or another. We spent incredible amounts of time at the beach, fishing or just hanging out near the water. Now that I am an adult with the ability to see the damage we've been doing to the environment and bodies of water in particular, I am in a position to try to correct some of that damage.”
The collection is available today at Noah and Adidas.