So, there you have it, with one press photo a British Prime Minister has killed the Adidas Samba. RIP. Not to worry, the Samba had a good run and anyone could see that coming from a mile off. The Adidas Samba had become sneaker meme. A fashion cop-out. A seemingly easy win that alluded not to being stylish, but being a bit basic. No doubt the Samba will be back, but for now it’s time to find a new sneaker.

We enjoy a good sneaker so we’ve got a few thoughts on this topic. If you’re looking for an alternative to an Adidas Samba, chances are you’re looking for something akin to an indoor football sneaker or tennis shoe, available in black or white with some detailing. A sneaker that isn’t super minimalist, but also not a flashy streetwear sneaker. We’ve thought about this a lot and pulled together a choice selection of Adidas Samba alternatives for the upcoming Spring to Summer transition. Leather uppers, suede detailing and gum soles, they’re all featured in our selection so scroll through for a new life after the Adidas Samba. 

The best alternatives to the Adidas Samba

Oliver Cabell

You know the Oliver Cabell deal by now. It’s a sneaker that you treat with the same respect and care as a formal shoe, and because the quality of construction and the materials is so high, the sneakers should last you quite a while and look the part for longer. Whilst the brand’s Low range is a nod to classic, minimalist sneakers, the GAT style is closer to Adidas Samba territory. The GAT combines 3oz calfskin leather and suede from Veneto, Italy with an EVA outsole for lightweight all-day comfort. The contrast soles are a welcome aesthetic touch, as is the suede detailing. Plenty of colour options to suit your rotation too.


Italian footwear brand P448 believes that eclecticism, design innovation and experimentation lie at the heart of self-expression. So you can expect playful designs, classic silhouettes, and an effort to create sneakers that make the most of sustainable production and materials. The Monza sneaker nods to many of the classic styles you know and love, including the Adidas Samba, albeit with distinctive design touches that steer the sneaker’s profile towards a point of difference. The Monza Prato/Cream features an all-over grey suede with a cream heel tab and contrast amber sole and tread. Inside there’s a memory foam footbed for cushion in each step.


The CLAE Bradley is a rethinking of a classic court shoe combining a classic white sneaker silhouette with contrasting heel tab and sole. It’s a classic white minimalist sneaker but with enough added detail to bring it closer to a casual streetwear option like the Adidas Samba. Elevated but fun. Up top there’s an Italian leather and suede upper, whilst inside the Bradley features a leather and recycled polyester lining. The sneaker’s construction and use of materials encourage longevity and comfort. A GRS-certified recycled PU foam insole optimises comfort and a standard premium (SP) outsole made out of 30% natural rubber is a nod to the brand’s sustainability efforts. A solid sneaker for an elevated, minimalist capsule wardrobe.


For a sneaker that’s a mix of tennis and indoor football, reminiscent of an Adidas Samba but with a more substantial silhouette, Velasca’s Ciciarun sneaker is a smart, stylish option. Crafted from smooth and suede calf leather, with white uppers punctuated by brown suede accents, notably on the toe, the Ciciarun features a tennis rubber box sole designed to be lightweight, smooth and flat. Channeling Velasca’s traditional shoemaking expertise, the Ciciarun is an elevated day-to-day sneaker made for wearing casually or with a smarter trouser. Made from premium materials, it’ll last a lot longer too.


Inspired by 70s sneaker culture, the JAK Vantage in grey blue is another Adidas Samba alternative with vintage looks inspired by a classic tennis shoe. Developed for over ten months, the Vantage makes the most of JAK’s premium quality leather uppers, combining them with an embroidered logo on a raw-edged tongue, side eyelets and precision-finished waxed edges. The sneakers are designed and carefully crafted in trusted Portuguese factories. Vantage sneakers also feature removable shock-proof insoles, ultra-soft calf leather lining and a cotton transport bag for keeping them box fresh.


The glorious Båstad from Scandi shoemakers Mryqvist is a serious sneaker and a chunkier option for swapping out an Adidas Samba. It’s also a collaboration with tennis legend Björn Borg, celebrating Swedish design and tennis history. Sidewall stitch construction utilises a precise stitching method to attach the sneaker’s upper directly to the sole to ensure a robust bond. The base layer meanwhile is crafted with Italian full-grain tumbled bovine leather with a fine, luxurious pebble grain, which is then contrasted by either white calf leather or a beige suede. Myrqvist’s classic sneaker sole encompasses a cup sole design, with the rubber extending up around the upper for added comfort and durability whilst aiding the sneaker’s sleek profile. If it’s good enough for Björn, it’s good enough for us.


Last but not least, the Cartes is WAHTS doing a classic retro tennis sneaker with big Adidas Samba energy. Available in varying monochrome colourways, the Cartes is handcrafted from premium Italian leather. The white version is crafted from a smooth leather, whilst the grey versions use a soft, premium suede. Opting for a sophisticated minimal design with rubber contrast sole and heel tab, they’ve been designed to be a versatile option for both casual and more formal fits. WAHTS has ensured GOTS-certified suppliers, recycled materials and trusted Portuguese factories combine to ensure the Cartes sneaker is made sustainably.

Essential leather sneakers for men.