Has Rishi Sunak ruined the internet’s most popular Adidas sneakers?

Rishi Sunak's epic sneaker fail

Source: Instagram/The Budgeting Mum

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has apologised for ruining the internet’s favourite sneakers after sporting a pair in a recent interview.

Adidas Sambas are a timeless sneaker, featuring the three-stripe design in plenty of colourways to complement just about any wardrobe.

First released in 1949, the shoes have recently become a cult hit with fashionistas.

Online, there are plenty of videos of people styling them or showing off all the colours they have. They’re beloved by everyday people and celebrities alike, and also Sunak, who is a self-proclaimed “long-time devotee”.

Last week, Sunak – who leads Britain’s embattled Tory government – shared a video to his Instagram account talking up childcare policies. He was sitting down with “The Budgeting Mum”, who also shared the content to her socials.

Stealing the spotlight, however, were Sunak’s shoes, a pair of white of Adidas Sambas with the three iconic stripes.

“Anyone notice the trainers,” someone asked, along with a laughing emoji on the Prime Minister’s post.

People remarked that Sunak’s footwear was the first thing they noticed in the video – and the general consensus seemed to be that the choice was “cringe”.

Sunak apologises

It was suggested that the Tory leader picked out the trendy runners to appear to be more relatable with the younger generation.

“He’s down with the kids,” someone mocked online.

“I can guarantee that he doesn’t wear those trainers in ‘real life’,” someone else said.

Because the Sambas are very popular, some said they couldn’t ever wear theirs again, fearful of having something in common with the Prime Minister.

There was also some joking that perhaps Adidas’ competitor, Nike, gifted Sunak the shoes in a bizarre viral marketing attempt.

And it wasn’t just social media that had some thoughts.

“Look down and check what you’re wearing on your feet,” The Guardian‘s Michael Hogan wrote.

“If it’s a pair of Adidas Sambas, I’m afraid you need to take them off immediately and never wear them again. Sorry. I don’t make the rules. Blame our beleaguered leader.”

Sunak eventually apologised.

“I issue a fulsome apology to the Samba community. But, in my defence, I would say I have been wearing Adidas trainers, including Sambas – and others, in fact – for many, many years,” the PM told LBC Radio.

“The first pair my brother got for me many, many years ago – my first pair of fun Adidas trainers as a Christmas present. I haven’t looked back since. So I’ve been a long-time devotee.”


Adidas Sambas had quite the moment

Online, particularly on platforms such as TikTok, fashion trends come and go quickly, thanks to the accelerated trend cycle, which has been a huge talking point.

However, Adidas Sambas have been the “it” sneaker for some time.

In 2022, the Evening Standard wrote a piece about Sambas being the “sneaker of the year” and since then there has been plenty of hype about the famed shoe.

Pictured are Addidas Sambas

Adidas Sambas are a favourite online and in real life. Photo: Getty

Back in the day, Sambas were the “best-known indoor soccer shoe of its time”, Adidas said. However, these days they pair perfectly with any outfit for those in the know.

It’s hard to tell if Sambas are “over” because a millionaire politician wore them in an attempt to appear relatable, or if people hate them because they hate Sunak.

“Sunak – you are breaking the NHS and on top of ruining Sambas for me forever you just need to be gone, like my Sambas had too,” someone said on X.

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