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Adidas Recalls Kobe-Worn Sneakers

Adidas has reportedly recalled pairs of its yet to be re-released Crazy 1 basketball sneaker, a classic shoe initially donned by late basketball legend Kobe Bryant.

According to a report from Complex, Adidas notified retail partners ahead of the shoes’ anticipated Oct. 22 relaunch that they had to send pairs back to the athleticwear company because of a quality control issue. It didn’t specify what was wrong with the shoes, however.

One of the report’s sources with knowledge of the recall said the shoes were suffering from creasing in the upper’s foam material.

The product page for the shoe on Adidas’ website now redirects viewers to a range of other men’s basketball shoes.

Adidas didn’t immediately respond to Sourcing Journal’s request for comment.

Taking the shoes out of circulation can drive up demand, and it looks like resale may be able to capitalize. The Crazy 1 “Sunshine” is still available on StockX, suggesting that there are more pairs of sneakers in the market that have evaded the Adidas recall.

Produced in the “Sunshine” colorway, a bright yellow upper matching Bryant’s familiar Los Angeles Lakers uniform, the shoe was supposed to retail at Adidas and partners for $140.

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The shoe contains a “core black” sock liner and inner heel with an “iron metallic” EVA midsole and a Torsion system designed for lockdown support and optimal comfort.

Earlier this year, Adidas revealed it would be bringing back the classic “Kobe 1,” or the Crazy 1 as it was rebranded in 2014, from Bryant‘s run with the brand from 1997 to 2003. Bryant later signed with Nike, which he sported for the remainder of his playing career. His estate, including widow Vanessa Bryant, entered a new sneaker partnership with Nike in March after they had a brief falling out last year.

The latest retro shoe was originally planned to re-release this April, per a leaked Adidas document, but was pushed back like many other sneaker releases this year.

The Crazy 1 has also been released in various colorways, including “Metallic Silver,” “Stormtrooper,” “Snakeskin” and most recently “Regal Purple.” On Nov. 11, the latest new Crazy 1 colorway, “Lakers Home,” will be released in Europe.

The sneakers were first conceptualized by Eirik Lund Nielsen, who currently heads design at outdoor footwear seller Viking Footwear, and the silhouette used the Audi TT Roadster sports car as a reference point for its design.

Adidas brings ‘The Simpsons’ to life with sneaker collabs

Adidas is also launching a new “Simpsons” collaboration, first previewing a “Marge Simpson” iteration of its Superstar sneaker adorned in the character’s iconic blue hair in October.

Family matriarch Marge is stamped at the midfoot, surrounded by a fuzzy blue fleece upper matching the color of her famous coiffure. White shoelaces and a matching shell toe box set off the Cookie Monster blue while “The Simpsons” branding appears on the tongue and heel tab. The insole features the text “End Plastic Waste,” which is part of the brand’s ongoing initiative to create sneakers using sustainable materials.

“The Simpsons” x Adidas Superstar “Marge Simpson”
“The Simpsons” x Adidas Superstar “Marge Simpson”  Adidas

Instagram user @BRKicks teased an early look at “The Simpsons” x Adidas Stan Smith “Homer Simpson” collaboration last month.

Similar to the Marge silhouette, the shoe’s standout detail is a photo of Homer on the shoe’s heel surrounded in bright green fleece, depicting a popular meme where the character slowly backs into bushes. Homer’s face is also stamped on the tongue. The sneaker will feature a white leather upper and is offset by gold “Homer Simpson” branding.

“The Simpsons” x Adidas Stan Smith “Homer Simpson”
“The Simpsons” x Adidas Stan Smith “Homer Simpson” BRKicks

Release dates for both the Marge- and Homer-themed shoes have not been announced.

The Simpsons and Adidas have teamed up on a variety of collabs. The sneaker brand reimagined several silhouettes in colorways that paid homage to popular characters and references throughout the Simpsons universe, including annoyingly friendly neighbor Ned Flanders, the show’s Krusty Burger fast-food restaurant chain and alcoholic beverages including Duff Beer and the Flaming Moe.

Adidas expands benefits to part-time store employees

The sneaker news comes as the former Ye partner updated the perks that some of its store staff will receive next year despite labor concerns elsewhere in its supply chain. Adidas said it is expanding benefits for part-time retail employees in the U.S.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, store employees working 20-29 hours per week will be eligible to choose medical coverage in the company-sponsored medical plan. Current part-time retail employees may opt into coverage during an open enrollment period held between Oct. 31-Nov. 11. New part-time retail employees in the U.S. will be eligible to select coverage within their first 31 days.

“This is an exciting announcement for our entire retail community. Our retail teammates work tirelessly to take care of our consumers and consistently make shopping in our stores a great experience,” said Rupert Campbell, president of Adidas North America. “We are happy our part-time teammates will have access to affordable, quality medical coverage through the company. We thank all our retail associates for the passion and energy they bring to our Adidas stores.”

The company also said in a statement that it is always evaluating its benefits “to ensure our programs for employees are competitive, inclusive and equitable.”