Test Adidas The Velosamba Vegan: The classic sports shoe with an almost invisibly integrated Shimano SPD sole is entering its third season with new colors. Its functionality remains high, but the price is pleasingly low. Visit to a shoe that is unique on the market.
Cycling shoes from Adidas have been around almost as long as the brand itself. Rudy Altig and Eddy Merckx triumphed in the leather shoes with the three stripes; Decades later, Jan Ullrich rode his “Adidas Vuelta” to Andorra and got the yellow jersey. But already in the Team Telekom era, the sports brand was changing from a supplier of shoes to a supplier of clothing, and Team Sky also wore jerseys and trousers in its early years, but no racing shoes from Adidas. But the supplier has been back in business for a few years and currently offers shoes for racing bikes, gravel and indoor cycling - and the Velosamba Vegan, probably the most unique Adidas cycling shoe. This closes a real gap on the market and cannot be compared with anything else in its combination of bicycle functionality and classic sports shoe look.
Adidas Velosamba: cycling heritage and soccer features
The Adidas Samba is one of the oldest models of the brand. Once a football shoe with a non-slip rubber sole developed for hard ground, it has long since achieved cult status as an everyday sneaker with a classic look and is very popular, among other things, in the skater scene. A classic samba would go to the moto pedals by the former BMX European Champion Ali Barjesteh, but nothing beats clipless pedals - and this is where the Velosamba, presented in 2021, comes into play. It combines the classic look almost invisibly with the functionality of SPD cleats, with which a 100% secure connection between foot and pedal can be established. The only question that remains is whether the integration of the cleats into the sole has really been a success - and whether the flat sports shoe is actually suitable for longer bike tours.
Hardly different from the original
Visually, the Velosamba hardly differs from the original model: only the rubber sole is a little higher and the padding on the ankle seems more formed. For this, the Velosamba is laced a little differently; an elastic band across the tongue ensures that the laces do not get caught in the drive. In order to recognize the cycling feature of the sports shoe, you have to turn it around and then you will see the indentation in the sole with the adjustable slide of the Shimano SPD system. Unlike some other all-round cycling shoes, the opening cannot be closed, but that's actually not necessary - if you're concerned about the internal thread, you could use grub screws or those with a flat head. The hollow is just deep enough so that the cleat does not hit the ground audibly when walking; only when walking over split etc it can crunch a bit. And yes - with the Velosamba you can also cover longer distances on foot. The sole is elastic enough so that you can roll off easily; the working day in the office, including the walk to the lunch break, is so easy to complete. On longer walks, the individual need for comfort decides whether the Velosamba is comfortable enough.
It's primarily for cycling, and the Adidas shoe doesn't make any major compromises here either. Of course, the Velosamba is not a race model with a super-stiff sole, but given the small contact surface of Shimano mountain bike pedals, no unpleasant pressure peaks are noticeable. Riding the Velosamba feels a bit like riding regular sneakers and platform pedals (like the Moto mentioned). The footbed is not too pronounced, but is quite comfortably shaped; If the Velosamba is tightly laced (for which you have to tighten the laces hole by hole), the foot sits securely in the shoe even when you pull on the pedal, especially since the heel is pulled up quite far. Clicking in and out is particularly easy as the sole around the cleat is completely flat.
Stiff and comfortable on medium distances
In the Velomotion practical test, we were on the road several times with the bike sneaker for a good hour and a half, and it has always proven itself over this period of time; We've even bumped into him on longer gravel tours. Whereby the purpose of the Adidas is to be seen more in the urban and commuter area - it is not necessarily a sporty cycling shoe for intensive loads. Wherever everyday life and longer bike rides merge, the Velosamba can of course score; If you want to enjoy the safety of clipless pedals and dress "casual" at the same time, you really can't get around this really unrivaled shoe.
After two years on the market, what's new about the Adidas Velosamba? First of all, the colors from the daring test model to the classic in black and white or white-black - among the seven variants, everyone will probably find a version that they like. All of them have the three stripes and the trimmings on the heel made of reflective material. In addition, Adidas has discontinued the leather model; From now on, all Velosambas are called "Vegan" with a second name and are made of synthetic materials. The manufacturer speaks of at least 25% recycled content, which means that the cycling shoes follow the trend of the main Adidas range. Compared to the leather model, the Velosamba is slightly lighter; in size 45, a vegan shoe weighs 470 grams compared to 500 grams in size 44 for a leather shoe. Not much has changed in terms of price - the Velosamba currently costs 130 euros, which makes it hardly more expensive than the classic Samba.
Is the investment worth it? Anyone who feels addressed by the purpose described above, who wants to get through everyday life in casual clothing and pedal without slipping, should spend the money. Of course, the Velosamba cannot and does not want to replace a thoroughbred, sporty cycling shoe for MTB, Gravel bike or racing bike - but as I said, Adidas also has something like that in its range.