Why Adidas Sambas Are Now the Ultimate Fashion Faux Pas

Last Updated: June 13, 2024By

Why Adidas Sambas Are Now the Ultimate Fashion Faux Pas

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Take a look at your feet. If you’re rocking a pair of Adidas Sambas, it’s time to ditch them—right now. I know, it’s a bummer, but you can thank Rishi Sunak for that. Last Thursday, the UK Prime Minister appeared in an Instagram video flaunting a pair of these once-cool sneakers while chatting about his tax policies. Sunak sported a white pair with navy stripes, skinny pants, and a crisp white shirt. The moment he did, the death knell tolled for these trendy kicks.

Sambas have been everywhere lately. From rappers to supermodels, everyone seemed to love these retro sneakers. They’ve been called “this year’s It-footwear,” “the official shoe of the season,” and even “the defining sneaker of our age.” Think of them like the Converse All Stars of the 2000s or the Stan Smiths of the 2010s—a classic, versatile shoe you could wear almost anywhere.

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But then, Rishi happened. According to the Evening Standard, Sambas are as common in London as rats. You’re never more than six feet away from a pair. But now, they’re suddenly the least cool shoes you could wear. Why? Because nothing kills a fashion trend faster than seeing a politician, especially one as controversial as Sunak, trying to pull it off.

Even GQ magazine jumped in with an op-ed titled, “Can Rishi Sunak Leave the Adidas Samba Alone, Please?” And the Daily Mail didn’t hold back either with their headline: “Rishi Sunak Roasted After Wearing Adidas Sambas to ‘Try and Appear Normal.’”

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It wasn’t long before Twitter exploded with comments. Journalist Ed Cumming tweeted, “Thinking of the Adidas Samba community at this difficult time.” Another sneaker enthusiast joked, “In 2025, sales of Adidas Sambas were so low that the ailing sportswear giant was forced to discontinue them. To this day, no one knows why.” Some even speculated that the shoes were a sneaky gift from Nike to sabotage Adidas. Former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson put it bluntly: “Holy shitbiscuits.”

Sambas went from super cool to super Tory in a heartbeat. They’re now in the same category as cashmere hoodies, Canada Goose parkas, Timberland boots, and overly tight suits. Sunak’s pristine, box-fresh Sambas just screamed out-of-touch and awkward—much like the man himself, who often seems like he’s rubbing the nation the wrong way.

Remember that time Danniella Westbrook and her baby wore matching Burberry? This is kind of like that—a major blow to the shoe’s street cred. The only place Sambas might still have any style points left is Downing Street, and even that’s fading fast.

Sunak has already proven to be hopeless at photo ops—he’s the world’s worst waiter and pint-puller. He admits he has no working-class friends, struggles with using a contactless card, and sounds completely out of touch when talking about everyday tasks like stacking the dishwasher. His latest attempt to seem relatable has only backfired. Overnight, these beloved sneakers have become Tory trotters. Talk about a fashion misstep.

Michael Hogan writes about lifestyle and entertainment, specializing in pop culture and TV.

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