Review: Adidas ZX 8000 LEGO Shoes
LEGO and Adidas have announced an extended partnership for LEGO-branded shoes and clothing. Let’s see how well their first co-branded product functions as a shoe while expressing the LEGO brand.
It’s important that I level with you… I’m not a fashonista or a sneakerhead; I’m just a LEGO nerd with a boring wardrobe of geeky t-shirts, jeans, and outdoor gear. This review is outside of my comfort level, but I hope it helps you decide whether or not it’s worth tracking down these unique shoes on ebay, or wait and see what’s coming from the LEGO×Adidas partnership in 2021 and beyond.
Limited edition sneakers (or ‘trainers’ in the UK) are typically released on a specific day, and can sell out in minutes. As I’ve learned, this highly publicized event is called a “Sneaker Drop”. In the case of the limited edition Adidas ZX 8000 LEGO Shoes, they were released globally on September 25, 2020.
The boxes come in a disappointingly boring white box. The box has a matte finish, with A-ZX Series and the Adidas logo printed on the box in a glossy white that you can only see from certain angles. A co-branded Adidas|LEGO sticker is on the bottom of the box, although they apparently couldn’t be bothered to put it on straight.
Inside the box, you will find a pair of brightly colored sneakers with yellow shoelaces, and a miniaturized green 2×3 brick attached to the bottom of the laces. Upon further reserch, this is an ornamental shoelace tag which is called a deubré (also spelled dubrae).
First impressions are important when it comes to fashion, and I have to admit that my initial impression when these shoes were announced was not entirely positive. It’s perfectly reasonable to describe them as bold, garish, or even ugly.
I can’t say that my initial impressions were entirely wrong, but I will say that a more charitable interpretation of these shoes surfaced when I received a pair and gave them a (much) closer look. The color blocking and selection of strong primary colors conveys a 1980’s vibe, which makes sense since that’s the decade where LEGO really hit their stride with the explosive growth in popularity of the LEGO Minifigure. That’s convenient, since the Adidas ZX 8000 shoe that these are based on debuted in 1984.
On the plus side, this shoe is packed with details to please serious LEGO fans. The iconic LEGO Studs (with LEGO printed on them) are present in three places on the shoe: On the heel counter (around the back of the heel), three studs on the plastic lace holder, and on the shoelace tag (or deubré). Not only do we see the LEGO stud throughout the design, but we also see seven classic LEGO colors throughout the shoe (if you include 1White, 26Black, and 199Dark Stone GreyDark Bluish Gray).
The most fun aspect of these shoes is that you aren’t limited to just yellow laces and a green deubré—a complete set of laces and deubré is included in the same six classic LEGO colors featured throughout the shoes themselves.
Laces and deubré come in 6 colors:
- 21Bright RedRed
- 24Bright YellowYellow
- 28Dark GreenGreen
- 23Bright BlueBlue
- 199Dark Stone GreyDark Bluish Gray
While the color-matching on the laces and deubré is not perfect, it is close enough to clearly represent these classic LEGO colors. (Unless you have remarkable eyes, you are unlikely to be able to tell the difference unless you have actual LEGO bricks right next to them.)
That said, I do want to call out that the plastic seems to be lower-quality, and the injection moulding is significiantly less precise than real LEGO bricks (although you can faintly see the “LEGO” text on each stud). I really wonder why LEGO didn’t insist on producting these parts for Adidas using their higher-quality injection moulding process.
In addition to these lovely studded details, the LEGO logo is promimently displayed on the Tongue of the shoe. While it’s sure to wear out over time, you will also find the LEGO logo on the removeable yellow insole.
In some ways, this is an extremely easy review to write. That’s why I focused on the aesthetic attributes of the shoe, and how well it respects and amplifies the LEGO Brand. While I have to give pretty strong negative marks for the decision to use ¾-sized studs, every other detail of the shoe is faithful to the LEGO DNA.
When it comes to comfort, I can not say that I’m impressed. While it might be partically due to the lack of wide sizes that I prefer, I think the biggest issue is the dated shoe design. The arch feels too firm and isn’t in quite the right place for my foot, and the heel cup isn’t very snug.
When it comes to price, the original 130$ asking price feels fair for a truly limited edition product, especially since it comes with a selection of six lace and Deubré colors. If offered as a mainstream product, I would want to see a price of under $100, but wouldn’t expect to have multiple shoelace colors included. With a resale price of around $200, this isn’t a great value for somewhat garish, relatively uncomfortable shoes.
I do want to close on a hopeful note, though… I’m thrilled to see that Adidas has really embraced the LEGO brand aesthetic with this product. It’s a great sign for future products coming out of the ongoing LEGO × Adidas partnership!