The Campus 00s Is the adidas Samba’s Spiritual Sequel

It must be said that adidas’ Campus 00s sneaker is not an actual successor to the Samba. Stylistically, these shoes are utterly distinct but, in terms of their mass appeal, the Campus 00s and Samba are one and the same.

Both adidas’ Campus 00s and Samba are new but old. The Samba is over 70 years old and the Campus line is itself approaching middle-age, having launched back in the ’70s as the adidas Tournament before it was renamed as the Campus in the ’80s.

Though adidas produces still produces Campus 80s sneakers, the Campus 00s is different. As anyone with reading comprehension could guess, the Campus 80s shoe captures the proportions of the original silhouette while the Campus 00s was a product of the early 200s.

Thus, the Campus 00s is beefier than its forebears ‘cuz we were all wearing fat-tongued skate shoes two decades ago, or so they tell me: I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday let alone the shoes I wore when I was in elementary school.

adidas only just gave the Campus 00s a proper retro reissue, just in time to cash in on the current demand for Y2K-flavored wearables. Indeed, the Campus 00s was swiftly welcomed to 2023 with open arms or feet or whatever sneaker pun makes the most sense here.

I’m not just guessing, by the way, I say this with facts and logic: the #Campus00s hashtag currently boasts over 4.5 million views on TikTok, while notifications on adidas’ site boast that dozens of these shoes are flying off of digital shelves.

Here’s the rub: adidas’ Campus 00s is a hit sneaker in the sense that the Samba is a hit sneaker. Organic buzz brought the Samba to unprecedented cultural heights and the Campus 00s is riding that same wave, driven entirely by TikTok hype.

This is how “word of mouth” develops in the year 2023, and it’s the reason behind inexplicable, surging interest in everything from that one Stüssy jacket to Birkenstock’s Boston clog.

Kids see other kids wear a Campus 00s sneaker and they imitate. Tale as old as time, except that it’s spurred by memetic video clips edited to pop songs instead of fashion editors or TV shows about torture, although those both have their place in popular culture (moreso the murder than the editors).

And, yes, I saw kids but although this phenomenon mostly occurs with younger shoppers, it isn’t exclusive to any particular age range or price bracket.

It does help, though, that most of these trends are inspired by relatively affordable products: the adidas Campus 00s shoe is $110, hardly a bargain but not nearly as aspirational as, say puffy Prada.

Because trendy things like the adidas Samba or Campus 00s are fairly attainable, approachable, and co-signed by influential youngs, they don’t need much of a marketing push to make a splash, though high-profile collaborations don’t hurt.

Still, it’s all about the organic hype.

TikTok’s algorithm has made influencers out of regular folks and unassuming shoes like the adidas Campus 00s into status symbols. It worked for the Samba, it’s working for other classic low-top shoes (Onitsuka Tiger’s Mexico 66, PUMA Clyde) and, trust me, it’s gonna work for the Campus 00s.

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