We'd like a pair of these: some retro Eddy Merckx Adidas cycling shoes from the 1960s or 1970s.
Are you an Adidas woman/man? Or more of a Nike person? Perhaps you even go for Reebok, or, these days, Under Armour. Whichever athleisure brand you prefer, there's little denying that, within cycling, Adidas was given the ideal shop window thanks to arguably the greatest ever cyclist, Eddy Merckx.
The Belgian – nicknamed 'The Cannibal' – mainly wore Adidas cycling shoes during his racing career, and en route to his five Tour de France wins, among a plethora of other big races, in the 1960s and '70s, and they were classic black leather ones, with the famous three white stripes, like the ones for sale here.
The 'endorsed by' Eddy Merckx face and signature on the tongue of these French-made shoes is very similar to that still found on today's Adidas Stan Smith tennis/lifestyle model, which originates from a similar period, and started using tennis player Smith's face and signature on the tongue in the mid-1970s.
The seller has given these Adidas shoes the NOS – 'new old stock' – tag, although they also admit that one of the shoes has two nails lodged into the sole as a result of a cleat once having been attached to it. It's hard to imagine, in today's age of clipless pedals with pre-threaded carbon soles to screw cleats into, that riders used to have to nail cleats into their leather – or, here, polyamid nylon – soles, which were then held into the cage of the pedal with metal toe clips and leather straps.
Like Nike – who came onto the scene much later – Adidas continued to make high-end cycling shoes into the mid-2000s, although by then some very different sole and upper materials had arrived, not to mention bright and bold colours.
Adidas may never manufacture cycling shoes again (although we hope that they will), which makes these all the more valuable and sought-after. Nike, of course, have ventured back into the sport, in a way, by developing these new indoor cycling shoes, aimed at the spinning market, although they are in fact both two- and three-bolt-cleat compatible and therefore perfectly usable on the road.
The Portland, USA-based seller is looking for $156.52 (£120) for them, and will post anywhere, but you'll need to be quick, as time is ticking – although eBay items are sometimes relisted if they don't sell.
We're constantly on the lookout for unique and rare cycling relics on eBay. If you have any suggestions or leads, please send them to email@example.com with 'eBay Finds' in the subject line.
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