adidas motorsport has enjoyed a long and
successful involvement in motor sport through the manufacture and supply of
race shoes for drivers competing at all levels.
Performance race shoes, like other technical
footwear innovations developed by Adi Dassler, came about as a result of a
direct collaboration with athletes. Adi Dassler was a close friend of Fritz
Huschke von Hanstein, a successful racing career and the head of the Porsche
racing department. In the early 1960’s Adi and Fritz, in cooperation with
racing drivers such as Wolfgang von Trips, began to design race shoes that
met the exacting demands of the professional racing driver.
Adi developed the very first “fireproof” race
boot in 1974. Legend has it that Adi acquired a Brabham Formula 1 racing car
to understand the environment in which a racing driver operates. He placed
the experimental shoes in the foot well of the racing car and then set fire
to it. The exercise was repeated more then 30 times to identify weaknesses
and make improvements to his race shoes.
During the late 1970s through to the early
90s, the Monza become the most successful race shoe produced by adidas
motorsport to date. Indeed it was the choice of champions including Mario
Andretti, Walter Röhrl, Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna.
adidas motorsport continues to work in
cooperation with some of the world’s leading drivers to provide them with
technical race-wear. These drivers have recently included David Brabham,
Dale Earnhardt Jr, Brad Keselowski and Jacques Villeneuve.