“When Run–DMC came out, they really put Shell Toes on the map. Run–DMC were the coolest—if they wear Shell Toes, I wanna wear Shell Toes.”—Adam Horovitz, Beastie Boys
In 1969, the Adidas Superstar debuted as the first low-top leather basketball sneaker. The style was popular with athletes, earning the nickname Shell Toe because of its distinguishing ribbed toe cap. The explosive entrance of Adidas into the North American sneaker industry signaled an end to the dominance of American design and manufacture. European sneakers would be setting the trends in the 1980s both on and off the court.