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In Review: The Adidas Samba Vegan Leather Sneaker - An Animal-Free Gem

CEO Tinh Phung
Introduction As a strong advocate for animal-free products, I am always on the lookout for brands that offer alternatives to leather. When Adidas released the Samba OG sneaker using completely animal-free materials, I was intrigued....

Introduction

As a strong advocate for animal-free products, I am always on the lookout for brands that offer alternatives to leather. When Adidas released the Samba OG sneaker using completely animal-free materials, I was intrigued. They didn't just create any vegan shoe - they successfully recreated iconic classics like the Samba, Superstar, and Continental 80 without compromising on style or quality. Let's take a closer look.

Adidas Samba Vegan Leather Sneaker Adidas Samba in Vegan Leather. Only available in Cloud White for now.

The Perfect Replica

Straight out of the box, the Adidas Samba Vegan Leather sneakers look and feel exactly like their leather counterparts. The materials have a satisfying weight to them, avoiding that "artificial" feel often associated with faux leather shoes. The attention to detail, material selection, and construction are evident, making these sneakers a standout choice.

Classic blue Adidas box Obligatory classic blue Adidas box.

Unexpected Authenticity

What surprised me the most was the quality of the "leather" itself. I was half-expecting a repeating pattern of faux leather wrinkles, but there wasn't a single repeat to be found. The material genuinely looks like a unique piece of leather. The edges also lack the usual laser-cut precision, giving the shoes an artisanal touch. It's clear that great care was taken to ensure they didn't look mass-produced.

Leather grain detail A bit difficult to photograph, but that leather grain is top-notch.

Comfort Without Compromise

From a comfort perspective, the vegan leather has been treated to ensure it's not stiff right out of the box. The sneakers feature ample padding in the reinforced heel pull, ankle bracing, and subtle arch support. The insole strikes the perfect balance between firmness and forgiveness, as expected from a classic soccer-inspired sneaker. The gum rubber outsole not only looks durable but also provides excellent traction.

Adidas Vegan Originals stamp The "Adidas Vegan Originals" stamp is subtle and minimal.

Understated Vegan Credentials

The only indication that these sneakers are vegan is a discreet shadow-stamped "Adidas Originals Vegan" insignia on the back. The golden letters spelling "SAMBA" match their leather counterparts, and the black-and-white colorway maintains the shoe's signature look.

Suede accents The one disappointment: The "suede" accents are uninspiring. Almost... felt-like? What is this, arts and crafts?

Room for Improvement

Despite the overall quality, the vegan suede accents on the trademark T-toe fell short of expectations. Unlike the rich and nappy suede on the original Samba OG, the vegan version appears flat and uniform, almost felt-like. The lack of texture is disappointing, and it feels like an afterthought in an otherwise well-crafted shoe.

Gold SAMBA letters Getting all the little details right. Those gold SAMBA letters look great.

A Great Vegan Alternative

In summary, the Adidas Samba Vegan Leather Sneakers are an impressive replica of the "real deal." While the suede accents may not meet the same standard, the overall quality and attention to detail are commendable. Just be aware of this minor flaw and keep an eye out for a sale to make these exceptional vegan shoes an even better value.

Adidas Samba Vegan Leather Sneaker

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