Forget the Adidas Samba – *these* are the sneakers all the cool girls are wearing

*Adds to basket*

Emili Sindlev Adidas SL 72
(Image credit: L-R: Getty Images, @emilisindlev, @ana.basos)

I'm not here to sound the death knell for the Adidas Samba – Rishi Sunak already did that when he wore the sneakers during a Downing Street interview at the end of March. I jest (kind of), but considering the Samba has enjoyed a nearly three-year reign as the trainer of choice for fashion lovers (and one politician), it's about time a new shoe took its crown.

The cool girls have spoken – the newest and most covetable sneaker to be seen in is the Adidas SL 72. Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Lucy Williams and Emili Sindlev have all been photographed wearing the retro shoe, which was originally launched in the 1970s.

Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski wearing Adidas SL 72 sneakers

Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski wearing Adidas SL 72 sneakers

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The SL 72's name pays reference to its 'super light' construction and the year it was introduced, during the 1972 Summer Olympics. It was revolutionary, offering runners speed and agility and setting the standard for future running shoes.

With its retro styling – complete with Adidas's iconic three stripes and trefoil logo – the SL 72 is not dissimilar to the much-beloved Samba, though it's a little more slimline and a tad sportier.

A post shared by Lucy Williams

A photo posted by lucywilliams02 on

Styling wise, do like Bella Hadid and team the brown and maroon pair with blue bootcut jeans, a white tank and a tan leather jacket, or make like content creator Anastasia Kaufmann and throw on a trench coat.

Off on hols? Wear your SL 72s on the plane (with an all-grey tracksuit and chic bag, like Emili Sindlev) and then at your destination, with flippy floral dresses and ankle socks – it's the perfect market-hopping outfit.

Emili Sindlev wearing Adidas SL 72 sneakers

(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

I'm also partial to the apple-green pair, as worn by Lucy Williams (with clashing green socks) and Emily Ratajkowski (with baggy trousers and a cardigan), for a jubilant pop of colour.

Designer Wales Bonner has been putting her spin on the SL 72 (as well as the Samba) since 2020, as part of the adidas Originals by Wales Bonner collection. And there are more SL 72 collabs in the work, including one with Sporty & Rich – the shoe in question is blue with yellow stripes, an ode to founder Emily Oberg's Swedish roots.

In the meantime, there are a whole host of versions to choose from. Like its disgraced sibling, the SL 72 comes in a variety of colourways, including '70s-inspired brown, bright green and petrol blue, which was the original colour of the shoe. Shop our favourites, below.


Natalie Hughes
Fashion Editor

Natalie Hughes is Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK. She has worked as a fashion journalist and content consultant for 15 years, crafting copy and content for magazines and brands including Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Net-a-Porter, Who What Wear, Matches, Glamour, and more.