I Walked 100 Miles in These Bella Hadid-Approved Shoes & Didn't Get a Single Blister

The reasonable price tag doesn’t hurt either

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adidas samba review photo of bella hadid wearing adidas samba sneakers
getty images; design by dasha burobina for purewow
  • Comfort: 20/20
  • Functionality: 18/20
  • Aesthetic: 18/20
  • Value: 20/20
  • Durability: 20/20

Total: 96/100

I take pride in my packing skills. Over the past few years I’ve taken dozens of flights, domestic and international, and have only brought checked luggage once (which, in hindsight, I kind of regret). Still, as I was planning what to bring to a recent trip to Amsterdam, Berlin and Copenhagen, the question of what everyday shoe would make the cut made even me a little nervous. I had pretty specific guidelines for what I wanted (more on that in a minute), and ultimately, the pair that earned a spot in my trusty Away carry-on was the Adidas Samba OG suede-trimmed leather sneakers ($100), a cult-favorite style that—after walking about 100 miles over the course of 11 days—ended up being one of the best packing decisions I’ve ever made.

adidas samba review
sarah stiefvater

As I thought about what shoes to bring, I knew that I wanted *one* pair that could take me from country to country without a hitch. My criteria:

  • Comfortable enough to walk tons of steps in without blisters or any other foot issues
  • Work with pretty much all of the clothes I packed
  • Relatively affordable (but also of high enough quality that I could continue to wear them for many seasons)

After quite a bit of research (other top contenders included the Veja Campo and my old faithful Converse Chuck Taylor All Star platforms), I landed on the Adidas Sambas in black—a decision that honestly took me by surprise. As a bit of background, I played a lot of soccer for about a decade and a half and Sambas were always my indoor soccer shoe of choice. Prior to this pair I’ve probably owned five or six versions of the same exact shoe. When Sambas started trending a couple years ago (they’re faves of street style stars and celebs like Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber alike), I’ll admit I rolled my eyes at their popularity and swore to never wear them again. Once I got over my PTSD (Post-Traumatic Samba Disorder), I realized what the hype was all about.

adidas samba

Adidas Samba Pros

Where to begin? If we’re talking about how great these were for travel, I have to start by talking about how freaking comfortable they are. As mentioned, I’ve owned my fair share of Sambas, so I felt confident that there wouldn’t be much of a break-in period. I wore this pair exactly once before embarking on my trip, and had nary a blister in 11 days (11 days of a lot of walking). I also liked the way they looked with nearly everything else I packed, a major win. I had three different pairs of black pants (leather, denim and trousers) and found my Sambas went perfectly with each. I didn’t love the way they looked with a black mini skort and tights, but I’m eager to try styling them with a wider variety of pieces going into the spring. They’re simple enough to not steal focus but I find they add just the right amount of understated cool.

They’re also, in my opinion, a great price for what you’re getting. Featuring a soft leather upper, suede overlays and gum soles, they’re a high-quality, durable shoe that I know, from years of wearing them, will last—all for $100. Even after wearing them in snow, sleet and rain, they look exactly the same as they did fresh out of the box. In terms of fit, I find that they run true to size. If you’re not into the black color, they’re available in tons of other colors and slight style tweaks on the Adidas website. I’m loving this all-green pair and am absolutely kicking myself for not snagging a pair from Adidas’s incredible Wales Bonner Samba collab.

Adidas Samba Cons

There’s really only one negative I can think of when it comes to my Sambas (and it’s honestly my bad). The Sambas don’t offer a ton by way of traction. This isn’t normally a problem, but considering the sometimes snowy and icy conditions—particularly on the cobblestone streets of Amsterdam—I had my fair share of slips (though no falls—phew).

 I’m typically someone who refuses to jump on a trend once it’s too popular, but in this instance I’m thrilled I put aside my distaste for wearing what everyone else is wearing, swallowed my former-soccer-player pride and got aboard the Samba train. They have 100 percent earned a spot in my carry-on for any future trips.

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...