Like many of adidas’ popular sneakers, adidas’ Forum sneaker is a streetwear staple that transcends style and location. The sleek shoe is meant to be a symbol of self-expression, offered in various subtypes to suit any taste (including High, Mid, and Low silhouettes in a host of colorways). At the same time, the look has maintained cross-cultural appeal since its inception, making it widely recognized.
Like many popular street sneakers, the adidas Forum was born as a basketball shoe. French designer Jacques Chassaing had a heavy hand in bringing the original style to life in the ’80s. Chassaing designed the Forum Hi, a high-performance basketball shoe for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The Forum Hi had maximum shock absorption for high-impact jumping and running, a wide footbed for optimal stability, and a crossover ankle system that kept ankles in place during games. Before there were Jordans, Michael Jordan wore Forums — most notably in the 1984 U.S. Olympic trials.
The Different Types of adidas Forum Shoes
- Forum Hi: The Forum Hi that came to play in the Olympics is the OG forum shape with a high ankle, plenty of support, and a shock-absorbing sole. The Forum Hi 84 (re: its launch in 1984) is the shoe’s original shape and style.
- Forum Low: The Forum Lows launched in the ’90s to complement the high-tops. These kept the same snug, secure feel around the ball of the foot but with a shorter ankle.
- Forum Mid: The Mid is, naturally, somewhere in the middle. It has more ankle support than the Low but with the vintage yet modern look of the Hi.
- Forum Bold: The Bold is a female silhouette with the feel of a Forum but is done up in an even chunkier platform outsole. These are often dropped in bright, bold colors to match the standout aesthetic. This sneaker will make you stand out while enjoying comfortable strides on the streets.
Another main component of the Forum is the velcro strap across the top of the foot, which was added for more ankle support during basketball. Some shoppers now wear the strap loosely or undone, while others remove it entirely — a method of personalization adidas has taken note of and used to inspire other strapless models in the series.
The beauty of the Forum is in its supportive but wide shape, which is great for a shoe you won’t feel suffocated in. The leather upper and rubber outsole make for something that’ll stretch rather than stiffen and maintain traction. It’s as good on the sidewalk as on the court. Prices vary slightly by style, but most pairs clock in at around an affordable $100.
The Popularity of adidas Forum Shoes in 2022
The beauty of this street-style sneaker is that you can wear it however you’d like. Most colorways are versatile, either monochromatic or with some subtle color accents. Celebrities even love the shoe and add it to their effortlessly stylish off-duty looks. For example, Bella Hadid wears black adidas Forum Lows with long skirts and windbreaker pants, while Kendall Jenner wears them with jorts and sweaters. The versatility lies in the fact that one can keep it athletic or dress it up — what’s better than that?
The Forum has never faded from sight — it has even been remixed in popular collaborations. Some of the most notable include a special Forum Mid made in partnership with Def Jam Records, which launched for Def Jam’s 25th anniversary in 2009. More recently, adidas and Disney teamed up to design two Marvel shoes in the Forum Mid and Hi heights, one inspired by “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the other by the character Star-Lord.
adidas has been working incredibly close with Bad Bunny, dropping an adidas Forum Low last year in a mashup of textures and colors. The collaboration has been ongoing: Just last week, Bad Bunny dropped a Forum Buckle Low in a fifth colorway called “The Last.” The shoe, made up of suede, leather, and rubber in shades of cream and white, was launched exclusively on adidas’ CONFIRMED app.
Try your hand at styling a colorful or neutral pair, and choose an ankle height you wouldn’t usually go for to switch up your look. If you’re on the hunt for a good gift for your favorite sneakerhead, check out the options online and the CONFIRMED app for a new colorway they don’t own. The cool dark suede Forum Lows or distressed Highs can refresh a whole wardrobe. Shop some amazing Forum pairs below.
adidas Women’s Forum Bold Sneakers
adidas Women’s Forum Bold Sneakers are thick, chunky, and everything you want in a sneaker. They have the timelessness of white sneakers and the trendiness of fashion-forward platform designs. Pair them with wide-leg jeans or low-rise jeans and a simple sweater.
adidas Men’s Forum 84 Hi
Keep it classic with the shoe that started it all: the adidas Men’s Forum 84 Hi. These have that old-school shape but are redone in a high-end leather.
adidas Forum Low
adidas Forum Lows have been getting bolder makeovers over the past few years. Take this black pair, for example, which is brought to life with an orange-to-yellow ombre.
adidas Men’s Forum Low
These adidas Men’s Forum Lows keep the silhouette simple but go hard on the colorway combinations. This red leather detailing is a statement in itself.
adidas Heitor Forum 84 Low ADV
adidas made its basketball sneaker over for skateboarding with its Heitor Forum 84 Low ADV, made in collaboration with pro skateboarder Heitor da Silva. They’re made with an EVA midsole and a subtle but cool outer.
adidas Forum Mid Parley
The adidas Forum Mid Parley hits that not-too-high, not-too-low sweet spot. This muted off-white pair is made with upcycled plastic waste as part of adidas’ promise to produce more sustainable sneakers.