Adidas Combat Speed Wrestling Shoes

adidas combat speed wrestling shoes 8 models pictured

Adidas Combat Speeds are one of the most iconic shoe lines of all time.  Pictured above are 8 of many model/colorways of Combat Speeds.  The leftmost red and black pair are originals.  The black and white pair and all blue pair are colorways of the most recent release, Combat Speed 5s.

Combat Speeds have been worn by wrestlers since the late 1980s and they're still made to this day. Now on the Combat Speed 5, these shoes actually had more than 5 models.  This is because they weren't offiicially called "Combat Speeds" until the 1990s.  Shoes that are almost identical with the same sole were made in the 1980s by Adidas, but not officially stamped as "Combat Speeds".

Below Are A Few Pair Of Combats Made Over the Years:

Colorways of Combat Speeds

Combat Speeds have come in a lot of different colorways.  For a full list, reference my blog on the best shoes of all time.  Combat Speeds came in tied for 4th on that list.

The most popular colorways across all models are:

  • Teals - these are teal, pink and yellow, but referred to as teals.  These are a classic colorway first released with the 1988 West German model of these shoes
  • Black and Red - This colorway has been released since 1990 and is still a colorway sold today.
  • Red, White and Blue - There were a few different red white and blue colorways released over the years that are now collectors items.
  • Blue, Red, and Yellow - This colorway came with slight variations based on whether they were made in West Germany, Germany, or China.  All versions are highly collectible.

How To Tell What Model You have

Telling the different versions of combat speeds apart is pretty simple for most collectors.  A few giveaways on the model you have can be:

  • If the shoes have the adidas 3 stripe logo on the heal of the sole, they were released after 2000 and combat 2s at oldest.
  • If they have straps, they're combat 4 or 5s.  If they're all mesh, they are 4s. If they're not, they're 5s.
  • If they are all black or all white, and don't have straps, but have a lace pocket in the tongue, they're combat 3s.
  • If they have "Adidas" spelled out on the sole, they're from the late 90s. These are referred to as Originals, despite there being older versions.  Don't ask me why!
  • If they have the old leaf logo on the heal of the sole, you're looking at an extremely rare pair of combat speeds. These were released in the late 1980s or early 1990s.
  • If they have a tongue that has a patch on it that says "Made in West Germany", you're in luck.  Your combat speeds are 1988 West Germans, one of the most desirable shoes on the rare wrestling shoe market.

Fun Fact About Adidas Combat Speeds

Adidas combat speeds were first made in 1988.  However they were not named "Combat Speeds" until later releases came in the 1990s. This version from 1988 is known as 88 West Germans, because they were made in West Germany prior to the Berlin Wall falling in 1989.  West Germans came in 3 colorways, including:

  • a teal, yellow, and pink colorway
  • blue, red, and yellow colorway
  • pink, purple, and green

The rarest of these colorways are the pink 1988 West Germans, which have appeared on the collectors market in recent years and have sold for over $2000.

Meet The Author

nolan barger wrestling ncaa championship

Nolan Barger

A wrestling shoe expert with over 10 years of shoe collecting under his belt, Nolan is the owner of Rare Wrestling Shoes Co.  He's owned over 1000 pair of wrestling shoes.  Day to day, Nolan works for a Digital Marketing Agency.  In his wrestling career, he was a PA state medalist and a 3x D3 NCAA All-American.

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As a wrestling shoe collector for over 10 years, I'm constantly trying to buy new shoes and learn the history behind them.  If you have questions about old-school wrestling shoes, shoot me a message.

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