If you thought for a second that JJJJound’s collaborative adidas Samba sneakers would be anything other than utterly ordinary, you’ve got another think coming. Despite the deliciously different Samba shoes that JJJJound and adidas were rumored to have designed a year ago, the collaborators have instead seemingly settled on the most normal shoe imaginable.

That sounds a little harsh, perhaps, but can you really blame me for feeling fatigued by JJJJound’s whole ultra-ordinary shoe collabs? Remember that these adidas Sambas follow a deluge of black Reebok sneakers, white Crocs clogs, grey New Balance dad shoes — it’s no wonder that the second JJJJound actually adds some zazz to its sneaker partnerships, people sit up and pay attention.

Well, you be the judge. First-look imagery of JJJJound and adidas’ collaborative Samba reveals a shoe that looks remarkably like sneakers already available on adidas’ website for the princely sum of $100.

This is, in essence, an OG Samba sneaker in its typical black and white colorway except with a black tongue and orange sockliner. Oh, and gold foil “JJJJound” branding next to the Three Stripes to let you know that this is actually a collaborative shoe.

I can’t help but feel a bit betrayed by how different this shoe is to the far more interesting Samba shoes that JJJJound was first alleged to be cooking up with adidas back in November 2022.

Dare to compare the quietly premium white-on-black leather sneaker and the objectively gorgeous beige suede Samba against the incredibly familiar-looking shoe we’re actually getting (again, according to leakers).

To be fair, perhaps JJJJound is due some credit. There’s no official word that any of these are actually JJJJound x adidas drops so no use getting your hopes up or down either way, really.

Further, perhaps the plain pair is a F&F sneaker and the two other colorways are slated for general release. Wouldn’t that be nice (if a bit of a reach)?

It does feel very JJJJound, though, to shift from an almost exciting shoe design to something that’s extremely anonymous by comparison.

Such is the JJJJound oeuvre, you know.

We have a ways to wait before we find out, as JJJJound is purportedly dropping its next adidas collab in 2024. That info is coming from the same folks promising that the aforementioned shoes actually are the collaborative sneakers in question though, so perhaps it’s worth taking it all with a grain of neutral-toned salt.

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