There are only a small number of sneakers, in my opinion, that have been made that can be considered truly iconic. Amongst them I would have to put the Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars, the Nike Air Jordan I, the Nike Air Max ('87), and the Adidas Superstar - also known as the Shelltoes. This article is about the next iteration of the Shelltoes, being the Adidas Superstar II. There is apparently some minor differences between the original Adidas Superstar, and the Adidas Superstar II - hence why the name has changed. The rubber toe covering is still there, which is where the nickname of the shoe came from.
These sneakers were originally popularized by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The shoe was modeled off the Adidas Pro Model, which was similar in design but had a higher ankle cuff (also known as being a "high top"). It was not until the rap group Run-D.M.C. wore them in their acts that the first cross over from hip hop to fashion occurred, and it was Shelltoes that made that transition. The list I proposed in the first paragraph of this article may be short, but the Shelltoes is a sneaker that can be immediately recognize, and attributed to the 1980s hip hop culture.
The shoe requires some wearing-in. Trying the shoe on for the first time, I noticed it was digging into my arch, as the shoe does have a high arch support. While this is not too uncomfortable, it does take some time for the materials to soften, as well as my foot adjusting to the new shape. Traction is superb for indoor or outdoor sports usage due to the usage of a herringbone / ripple sole. With the emergence of this shoe being in the hip hop spotlight, I doubt that this should would be used for sport, but more geared towards fashion. In the case of the model I have, the tumbled leather used throughout the upper of the shoe creases gently, without looking too shabby after a few wears. The rubber toe covering initially rubbed on my toes, but within a few days was flexible and comfortable. Another benefit of the rubber toe cover is that most scuff marks are easily cleaned off with a damp cloth.
The only disadvantage of this shoe is that it has poor heel lock-down, and it feels like my foot slides around in the shoe. I doubt this will matter to most of the people that wear this shoe, as the lack of a heel lock down may be considered an advantage for people who just want to slip in and out of this sneaker. By lacing the shoe loosely, this is easily achievable.
From what I've seen in retail stores, these shoes originally sold for AUD$120, but with some shopping around, I was able to get these for AUD$48 from the Adidas Factory Outlet on Smith Street, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia. I will be sure to look for more if they ever come on sale.