Kamanda Korner

adidas Kamanda Korner
For anyone with more than a passing interest in sneakers, keeping up with all the new and available models, and their myriad variations, can represent a daunting task.

The capacity of the major sneaker manufacturers to crank out new stuff –seemingly on a weekly basis – is simply staggering. And trying to stay on top of things moving at that pace can make you feel like you’re trapped on a hamster wheel.

It’s one of the reasons that some enthusiasts end up narrowing their focus and only follow specific genres or collections. Some develop a penchant for retro-designs, others will only buy limited edition collaborations, and there are those who limit themselves to just one brand.

Not every new sneaker model is significant either. After all, with some stalwart models the only real changes that are ever made to them is different colourways.

Every once in a while something special comes along, a design so intriguing that you feel compelled to diligently follow its production history – and add a few of them to your collection.

Such was the case for us with the adidas Kamanda. When the first photos began to leak of the new concept they immediately triggered an insatiable appetite inside of us for the shoe, and we impatiently waited for its release.

The first two Kamandas to be released were, despite the shoe’s distinctive and polarizing details, tentative entries; their muted colourways (maroon and black) were so understated that it seemed adidas was trying to ease the Kamanda into the sneaker world.

Since that somewhat inauspicious debut a number of variations have been unveiled that truly demonstrate the potential for the evolutionary design, and we started Kamanda Korner to document the odyssey of this exciting new path adidas is taking us on. Who knows where it will all lead? Perhaps in twenty years’ time Kamanda Korner will serve as a time capsule when the shoe makes a comeback as an archive edition that will have everyone reminiscing about their first pair of Kamandas from 2018.

adidas Kamanda CQ2219
Kamanda CQ2219

RELEASED: 28-Apr-18 [$170]
Collegiate Burgundy/Collegiate Burgundy/Gum 3

adidas Kamanda CQ2220
Kamanda CQ2220

RELEASED: 28-Apr-18 [$170]
Core Black/Core Black/Gum 3

DESCRIPTION

adidas promotes the Kamanda as football-fan footwear (try saying that five times fast). The design apparently began in the 1980s as an experiment, and we can only lament that it took thirty years to turn those concepts into reality.

Supporting the football theme is the dominant gum rubber outsole that’s a psychedelic treatment of the adidas Samba’s signature saw-tooth pattern. The rubber is slightly translucent, which means it’s possible to see the EVA midsole it wraps around.

The majority of the upper is made from a soft, pigskin nubuck, with a contrasting leather heel tab and a fabric tongue. The interior of the shoe has a leather lining.

adidas CP Company Kamanda MII CG5952
C.P. Company Kamanda MII CG5952

RELEASED: 24-Aug-18 [$550]
Supplier Colour (brown)

DESCRIPTION

There was a four month lull following the introduction of the original Kamanda, but that didn’t mean adidas had been neglecting its new creation. Within the span of a single week, three collaborations (five shoes in total) and two new colourways of the original were released. 

The first wave of the Kamanda tsunami to crash ashore featured two variations from adidas’ partnership with the Italian design firm C.P. Company.

adidas also continued to fine-tune its rhetoric for the Kamanda with the introduction of the first variation, the Mark II. The shoe was no longer just footwear for football fans, it had now become a homage to British terrace culture. Marketing can be a strange and wonderful thing; as a football-inspired trainer the Kamanda had international appeal, but pigeonholing it as a terrace shoe tribute made it meaningless to sneaker buyers outside of the UK.

Arguments over the Kamanda’s identity aside, the Mark II will probably turn out to be the most luxurious iteration in the model’s history. A quantum leap in both materials – and price – this C.P. Company Kamanda was made in Italy, where the company is headquartered.

The signature Kamanda outsole remained the same, perhaps slightly darker, a translucent gum rubber that allowed the EVA midsole to peek through. An upgraded insole was added to provide additional comfort. However, if you wanted to know why this Kamanda was more than twice the price, you had to look at the upper (and of course, what Italian workers are paid in comparison to their Vietnamese counterparts).

The leather and suede materials used in the construction of the upper, described as being premium quality, were nicely layered. In particular was the inclusion of a suede heel counter and the trim section that followed the contours of the outsole. The buttons used to create the stylised adidas stripes were embroidered, and the shoe’s tongue constructed of a softer knit than was used for the original Kamanda.

adidas CP Company Kamanda CG5954
C.P. Company Kamanda CG5954

RELEASED: 24-Aug-18 [$220]
Night Cargo/Base Green/Trace Cargo

DESCRIPTION

The second C.P. Company twist on the original design introduced different materials to the Kamanda’s construction, and used a darker, more sinister colour palette.

The aggressive Samba-like rubber outsole was now opaque, and black-green in colour. As dramatic as this change was, it was the upper that really shook things up. Now predominantly made of nylon and featuring a suede eyestay, it was the first Kamanda to include the traditional adidas stripes – the perforations used for the originals don’t count – in this case made of webbing and held in place with stylized stitching.

The overall effect was to create a militarized Kamanda, with the only holdover feature of the original models being the white leather heel tab, which C.P. Company added a pull tab to.

The adidas advertorial accompanying this Kamanda is more specific and narrows down the Kamanda’s origin to 1989, now claiming it had been an unreleased prototype.

adidas Kamanda Bodega BB9243
Kamanda Bodega BB9243

RELEASED: 25-Aug-18 [$240]
Core Black/Olive/Khaki/Orange

DESCRIPTION

The second collaboration to be released was the Bodega Kamanda, which we consider to be the best iteration of the shoe to date – arguably the best new sneaker of 2018.

Boston, U.S.A. based Bodega really got it right, and has come the closest to capturing that modernized football trainer vibe. It has the only upper that appears to be an evolutionary restatement of the Samba, and its traditional football boot colours are dramatically highlighted by pops of orange and khaki to give this Kamanda a subtle yet powerful presence.

The carbon-coloured outsole sets the tone, and despite its dark hue it’s still translucent enough to allow the massive orange lettered Bodega name to be visible on the underside of the midsole.

The upper is sublime in its choice of materials. Suede was used for highlight details such as the adidas stripes, and heel tab, while the soft, knit material used for the tongue serves to invite a foot into the shoe. The rest of the upper is constructed from a wonderfully tactile ballistic nylon, which counterpoints the shoe’s luxurious details with its utilitarian appearance.

adidas Kamanda B41936
Kamanda 01 B41936

RELEASED: 28-Aug-18 [$170]
Core Brown/Core Brown/Crystal White

adidas Kamanda B96522
Kamanda 01 B96522

RELEASED: 28-Aug-18 [$170]
Raw Desert/Raw Desert/Crystal White

DESCRIPTION

Supporting the introduction of the five collaboration models, adidas unveiled two new colourways of the base Kamanda. The shoe’s specifications remained unchanged, and similar to the original burgundy and black versions, the new brown and desert colours provided a sedate and potentially more versatile option for those who wanted an avant-garde design that didn’t scream for attention.

adidas Neighborhood Kamanda 01 B37340
Neighborhood Kamanda 01 B37340

RELEASED: 1-Sep-18 [$250]
Supplier Colour (olive green)

adidas Neighborhood Kamanda 01 B37341
Neighborhood Kamanda 01 B373401

RELEASED: 1-Sep-18 [$250]
Core Black/Core Black/Core Black

DESCRIPTION​

The collaboration with Japanese streetwear manufacturer Neighborhood [sic] resulted in a fascinating design change: the tongue and eyestay positioning on the upper was asymmetrically placed to the lateral side of the Kamanda.

The change not only dramatically altered the Kamanda’s appearance, it also made room for the overt Neighborhood branding that stretches from the toe box all the way to the heel section of the shoe.

The only other notable change was to the tongue, which had to be shortened to accommodate its relocation. A different knit was also used compared to the one found on the base Kamanda.

adidas Country X Kamanda G26797
Country X Kamanda G26797

RELEASED: 17-Oct-18 [$150]
Running White/Collegiate Green/Gum

DESCRIPTION

The Country X Kamanda is considered by adidas to be a hybrid shoe – and we couldn’t agree more. To be honest, it’s more a Frankenstein’s monster version of a shoe, which is why we love it.

Released as part of the Never Made collection, a design concept that combined contemporary sole units with decades-old uppers, this tenth Kamanda model throws away all aspirations of being a modern Samba. Technically it’s really only half of a Kamanda because everything above the midsole is a remake of a 1979 running shoe.

The upper is typical late ‘70s fare, flimsy nylon with suede and leather overlays cinched together by anaemic laces. The construction represented the weight-saving measures of the day, but now it’s a campy and trendy styling exercise. We appreciate the whimsical side of the adidas Never Made collection, which in the Kamanda’s case ironically resulted in a shoe that probably looks most like the Kamanda prototype from 1989.

adidas Kamanda 01 AQ1226
Kamanda 01 AQ1226

RELEASED: 31-Oct-18 [$170]
Energy Ink/Energy Ink/Crystal White

adidas Kamanda 01 B96521
Kamanda 01 B96521

RELEASED: 31-Oct-18 [$170]
Base Green/Base Green/Crystal White

DESCRIPTION

NOTE: Global release on 31-Oct; Canadian release 6-Nov.

The next Kamanda release firmly established adidas’ rhythm of launching new colourways of the sneaker in pairs. The sales pitch and specs for model numbers five and six of the base Kamanda (eleven and twelve when including Consortium models) was mostly unchanged; however, adidas did add a somewhat degrading description of the upper as being “simple” and “low-tech”. Ouch. We don’t agree. Sophisticated and clean would have been our choice of adjectives for the sublime upper.

The Energy Ink edition added some much-needed vibrancy to the collection, but the Base Green model was rather redundant. Given the C.P. Company Kamanda (CG5954) and Neighborhood Kamanda 01 (B37340) both featured similar colourways, it seemed that adidas missed an opportunity to offer greater variety in the collection.

adidas Country X Kamanda G27825
Country X Kamanda G27825

RELEASED: 19-Nov-18 [$150]
Running White/Cloud White/Grey

DESCRIPTION

Pushing the Never Made concept one step further into left field, adidas gives the Country X Kamanda a bleach job as part of the collection’s second wave release. The spin-off model is actually a double Never Made: the Country was never made with a Kamanda sole, and it was never offered in this colourway. Some simply refer to this model as the Triple White edition even though it really isn’t an all-white runner. Officially, the colourway is Running White, Cloud White, and Grey.  

Aside from its albino appearance, the shoe is identical to the previously released Country X Kamanda.

adidas Kamanda X Dragonball Majin Buu
Kamanda X Dragon Ball Z (Majin Buu)

RELEASED: 24 November 2018 [$170]
Haze Coral/Energy Ink/Shock Yellow

DESCRIPTION

Completely sold out within mere seconds of it becoming available, this was the first Kamanda model to draw the attention of hypebeasts. The coral-coloured collector’s variant was a part of the seven model Dragonball Z series, which partially explained its popularity: This Majin Buu tribute appealed to Dragonball and anime fans, to collectors of limited edition releases, and those who simply liked the Kamanda model to begin with.

The Dragonball Z Kamanda was essentially identical to a standard Kamanda, its colourway and special heel tab being the only changes that distinguished it from others. Special markings on the midsole (seen through the translucent outsole) and on the outsole’s medial block were added to bolster the Dragonball theme. A special Dragonball series shoebox rounded off the release.

adidas did stretch things with its description of the shoe when it claimed that the “perforated 3-Stripes represents Majin’s ability to shoot steam out of holes in his body.” Those perforated 3-Stripes are the same as found on the regular models – which are now used to shoot steam from those who have had their fill of hype marketing tactics.

adidas Marathon 5923 EE3656
Country X Kamanda EE3642

RELEASED: 12 December 2018 [$150]
Core Black/Utility Black/Solar Red

DESCRIPTION

This was the most predictable addition to the Never Made Kamanda models, especially since it arrived less than a month after the white-out model. The third Country x Kamanda will inevitably be described by someone as a triple-black model, but they’d be wrong: the seemingly black-only shoe is disrupted by a red insole, which of course is completely hidden from sight once the shoe is fitted to your foot.

Looking over the colour palette that has been used for the Kamanda so far, we can’t help but think that adidas missed an opportunity here. Instead of falling back on the default white and black colourways it would have been far more intriguing to represent colours that were contemporary – and therefore complimentary – to the original ‘70s Country.

adidas x size x Colnago Kamanda G26673
adidas X size? X Colnago Kamanda G26673

RELEASED: 29 December 2018 [$210]
Black

DESCRIPTION

The final Kamanda model for 2018 was the result of a three-way collaboration between adidas, Colnago (an Italian manufacturer of racing bicycles), and the English retailer size?.

To distinguish this collaboration from the other Kamanda models to date, the traditional leather heel tab was replaced with a carbon fibre overlay that features the Colnago name. On the lateral side of the shoe the Italian flag was elegantly added to the Kamanda logo stamped on a colourway that size? simply refers to as a “tonal black colour palette”. It’s an odd summary given that the upper and outsole seem to be more graphite in colour, and it completely ignores the vibrant blue used for the lining.

Perhaps the most tangible highlight was the leather used for the upper, which is described as being a premium suede by Pellegrini.

Without question it’s a good-looking edition, one that normally would be a must-have for our Kamanda collection, but given it was only available from size?, a retailer that we’ve had numerous ordering issues with in the past, this is one model that we’ll have to continue admiring from afar.

The year-end collaboration also included an adaptation of the mid-eighties adidas Trimm Star, but given the unquenchable thirst the British have for thirty-year-old sneaker designs, the Trimm Star unsurprisingly sold out very quickly.

adidas Kamanda 01 DB2776
Kamanda 01 DB2776

RELEASED: 27 January 2019 [$170]
Raw Amber/Gold Metallic/Crystal White

adidas Kamanda 01 DB2777
Kamanda 01 DB2777

RELEASED: 27 January 2019 [$170]
Legend Marine/Gold Metallic/Crystal White

DESCRIPTION

NOTE: Global retailer release on 27-Jan; global adidas release on 31-Jan-19; not available from adidas Canada.

Three months following the release of the previous pair of Kamanda 01 variants, adidas rolled out these striking colourways. The base Kamanda remained unchanged aside from the two new sophisticated palette choices; this release truly represented the forte of the Kamanda design, the ability to be dramatic without resorting to garish or juvenile design touches.

Although officially launched by adidas on January 31, the Raw Amber and Legend Marine variants were already being sold several days earlier by a number of international retailers. adidas Canada typically lags behind the entire field, but in this case it never even brought these vibrant colourways into the country.

adidas Micropacer x Kamanda EF5546
Country X Kamanda EF5546

RELEASED: 23 February 2019 [$170]
Silver Metallic/Powder Blue/Shock Red

DESCRIPTION

NOTE: General adidas release on 23-Feb-19; uncertain if it will be made available in Canada.

The fourth iteration of the Country X Kamanda released as part of the Never Made collection represented a design we’d been waiting for. Finally, adidas had paired the Kamanda’s bold outsole with an equally audacious upper, and in the process created a shoe that made more of an on-foot statement.

The first Country X Kamanda model faithfully paid homage to the colourway used by the late ‘70s runner, the following two models riffed monochromatic treatments, but this Country X Kamanda pushed the Never Made concept further into left field by combining elements of a third shoe, the Mircopacer.

At first glance it appears that this is really a Micropacer X Kamanda model, but when its design and construction is more closely examined it quickly becomes obvious that the upper is still a Country, and that it was only the badging and wild colour scheme of the Micropacer that had been used. 

We like this edition for the simple reason that if you put every Kamanda to date on a shelf, this metallic silver model would immediately stand out from the crowd.

Kamanda 01 BD7903

RELEASED: 01 March 2019 [$170]
Core Black/Core Black/Carbon

Kamanda 01 DB2778

RELEASED: 01 March 2019 [$170]
Crystal White/Cloud White/Gold Metallic

DESCRIPTION

With this double release the Kamanda receives the monochromatic treatment, arguably a rather predictable approach for such a daring design.

It’s two months shy of the Kamanda’s first anniversary, and after surveying the twenty-one models released to date, we’ve become disenchanted by adidas’ conservative colourway choices. There have been a few hightlights, but when viewing the majority of them from a distance you’re presented with a rather drab collection of sneakers.

We’re going to keep our fingers crossed that before the Kamanda is relegated to the archive that adidas finds the stones to present us with a few wild and eclectic colourways to remember this shoe by.

adidas Kamanda G27712 - Three in the 6
Kamanda G27712

RELEASED: 18 May 2019 [$170]
Raw Ochre/Raw Ochre/Carbon

adidas Kamanda G27713 - Three in the 6
Kamanda G27713

RELEASED: 18 May 2019 [$170]
Collegiate Green/Crystal White/Footwear White

DESCRIPTION

Description coming soon.

adidas Country x Kamada - EE5665 - T-6
Country X Kamanda EE5665

RELEASED: 25 May 2019 [$170]
Footwear White/Collegiate Navy/Gum 3​

adidas Country x Kamanda - EE5666 - T-6
Country X Kamanda EE5666

RELEASED: 25 May 2019 [$170]
Blue/Cloud White/Gum 3

DESCRIPTION

Description coming soon.

adidas Kamanda EE5647 - Three in the 6
Kamanda EE5647

RELEASED: 1 August 2019 [$170]
Cloud White/Cloud White/Raw White

adidas Kamanda EE5648 - Three in the 6
Kamanda EE5648

RELEASED: 1 August 2019 [$170]
Grey Two/Grey Two/Raw Khaki

DESCRIPTION

Description coming soon.

Country X Kamanda EE5667

RELEASED: 15 August 2019 [$170]
Core Black/Cloud White/Core Black

adidas Kamanda EE5668 - Three in the 6
Country X Kamanda EE5668

RELEASED: 15 August 2019 [$170]
Cloud White/Core Black/Cloud White

DESCRIPTION

Description coming soon.

adidas Kamanda EE5668 - Three in the 6
Country X Kamanda EE5669

RELEASED: 15 August 2019 [$170]
Legend Ivy/Cloud White/Gum

DESCRIPTION

Description coming soon.

Kamanda EE7077

RELEASED: 15 August 2019 [$170]
Crystal White/Crystal White/Core Black

DESCRIPTION

Description coming soon.

Kamanda BF EF3830

RELEASED: 20 September 2019 [$250]
Core Black/Core Black/Silver Metallic

DESCRIPTION

Description coming soon.

adidas Kamanda X Craig Green - Three in the 6
Kamanda X Scott Green

RELEASED: Spring-Summer 2020 [$tba]
multiple/multiple/multiple

DESCRIPTION

Potentially six different colourways. Five have been spotted with the traditional adidas stripes, and this one covered in the Samba outsole. Rumours and conjecture at this point.

Updated: