The Data Doesn’t Lie: the Birkenstock Boston and Adidas Samba Won 2022

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If it seemed like these two shoes were everywhere this year, well: they definitely were.

The Data Doesn't Lie the Birkenstock Boston and Adidas Samba Won 2022

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For a few years now, it’s felt as if the Birkenstock Boston and the Adidas Samba were both skyrocketing, becoming seemingly more popular by the season. At first, it was one of those things that just felt true, even if you couldn’t quite put your finger on why or how. Both styles were inescapable when scrolling through social media, and they kept showing up on stylish folks from all corners of the celebosphere. Now, though, the latest report from the fashion retailer and data repository Lyst backs it up with data: it’s been a massive year for Bostons and Sambas alike.

The past two Lyst Index reports, which filter through social media mentions alongside searches, page views, and more, have listed Birkenstock’s beloved cork-soled clog and the sporty Three Stripes trainer as the “Hottest Products” going. While it isn’t a total shock to see either footwear style on the list—GQ wrote about the Summer of the Samba, while The New York Times reported on the nationwide shortage of the Boston—we finally have hard data that these two trends are legit. So, how did the year wind up belonging to these two unflashy footwear styles?

In the world of hyped-up sneakers, popularity is driven by newness, celeb co-signs, and scarcity. That’s only sort of the case for the Boston and the Samba. First, both Birkenstock and Adidas have used the styles in multiple fashion collaborations, including with labels like Rick Owens, Jil Sander, and Stüssy (for the former) and Wales Bonner and Pharrell Williams’ Humanrace (for the latter). The buzz and demand for those limited-edition collabs have only driven up the desirability of their general release counterparts. We’ve also seen both shoes on stylish dudes like Jonah Hill, Paul Mescal, Frank Ocean, Seth Rogen, A$AP Rocky, and, they were hits in womenswear, too: just look to the likes of Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Dakota Johnson, and more. And don’t discount TikTok’s red-hot algorithm and Instagram’s Explore Page for supercharging a general-release silhouette. 

Most important, though, is probably the fact that the Boston and the Samba are both timeless, comfortable, and easy-to-wear shoes. Birkenstock and Adidas have been making these styles for decades, and both have remained omnipresent in contemporary footwear. Sure, 2022 may be the year that Bostons and Sambas hit an apex in popularity—but neither will be disappearing anytime soon. 

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