adidas Ozweego

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    adidas Ozweego


    The Ozweego range, or the “Weegz” as it’s colloquially known, began its life back in July 1996 with the Ozweego 1 offering the technological double-whammy of adiPRENE elastic padding under the forefoot and a Torsion arch that brought springiness and structure to the shoe. This combination led it to being readily adopted by runners of all styles and levels.

    Next, in 1997, came the Ozweego 2 with a redesigned upper and the same reactive adiPRENE technology as seen on the first design.

    Then, in ‘98, the Ozweego 3 was released. It had a host of new design features, including midsole Torsion and a different eyestay design that improved the shoe’s fit. Alongside this was a larger area of mesh to replace some of the overlays from the previous build, as well as adiPRENE in the heel and adiPRENE+ in the forefoot cushioning. This upgrade really enhanced the wearer’s experience, with a supposed 67% of energy return. The novel, curvy designs that flowed through the breathable mesh and ankle-to-toe leather mudguards appealed to the artists and musicians of the late 90s, whose endorsement helped it find a firm place in the pop culture of the time.

    Between ‘99 and ‘00, the Ozweego 4 attempted to draw together all of the most well liked aspects of the first three models, bringing with it a mesh-heavy, chunky soled, Y2K aesthetic. The Ozweego 5, a rare shoe, was introduced with a Climacool-like shank and debossed plastic wraps with flowing contours fashioned over a lightweight mesh. The Ozweego Millennium was chunkier than ever, and the silver accents added an extra-terrestrial feel while also acting as a reference for future collaborations.

    After the Millennium, adidas stopped releasing new models in the Ozweego range, and, except for one under-the-radar female runner release, it slowly drifted away through the 2000s.

    But then, some years later, Raf Simons reignited interest in the collection when he released the seminal Ozweego 3 x Raf Simons shoe. This was in 2013, twenty years since the release of the first Ozweego and fifteen since the 3. It took the curvaceous late 90s design and translated it into a two-tone colourway, refining the design, but keeping the all important chunky look.

    The Raf Simons collaboration was an indication of a changing fashion culture. It was touted by major fashion magazines as the sneaker of the maximalist 90s fashion movement that developed thereafter and dominated the late 2010s.

    In 2019, following Raf’s revival and shifting attitudes, adidas released a rerun of the Ozweego 3 that stayed true to the suede, mesh and TPU features of the original and is still being produced today. With the same adiPRENE and adiPRENE+ technology used to provide cushioning and an idiosyncratic lacing cage, the update references Raf Simons’ version by adding a protruding synthetic heel tube.

    Through the late nineties, the Ozweego range was one of the most experimental, futuristic and daring designs on the market. Each release sparked enthusiasm and excitement in old and new fans alike. Since then, this iconic silhouette has been reborn and reinvented, and though time may roll on and designers come and go, it will always remain unapologetically Ozweego.

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