Ed Coan wore Adidas Top Tens

In all the years I followed the amazing exploits of Ed Coan, I never noticed the shoes he wore in some of his competitions.  I guess at the time, I just figured they were Adidas basketball shoes with the particular model not being important.  It wasn't until just recently that I recognized the model he wore.
That's the Adidas Top Ten basketball shoe he's wearing.  How do I know?  Kind of a long story.  When I was a kid, basketball was my favourite sport--this despite not being very tall or fast or quick.  Like most sons I wanted to be like my father.  My father played varsity basketball in High School but his career was cut short by a knee injury.  He grew up in Hawaii so even though he was only 5' 10" (an inch taller than I), he was labeled as "Towering Ted" in his old high school yearbooks.  Hawaii in the late 50's was still largely Asian so anyone over 6 feet tall was very rare.

Hearing stories about how good a player he was before he got hurt during our many trips to visit family in Hawaii ingrained a deep desire to excel at basketball and follow in his footsteps (except without the career ending knee injury).  I tried hard but I was never very talented and for a long time, not very aggressive.  Not a great formula for an aspiring basketball player.

One year, after I had finally made the travelling team as a 13 yr old, my parents surprised me with a pair of the best basketball shoes of the time, the Adidas Top Ten.  When that shoe first came out, it cost about $65 a pair and in 1979 dollars, that was a ton of dough.  It was almost ridiculous how much it cost compared to other shoes sold at the time.  Still, you could tell that shoe was special.  The leather was softer, it had extra padding in the ankle and it was supposedly designed with input from NBA pros.  I wanted it but knew it was just way too expensive; just the previous year my brothers and I played in canvas Nike low tops that cost less than half of what a pair of Adidas Top Tens cost.  Thus, when my father surprised me with a pair after being selected to the travelling team, it was a moment that stuck with me forever.  We weren't poor by any means but there usually wasn't money budgeted for extravagances.

Twenty-something years later, I happened across the news that Adidas had re-released the Top Ten.  As significant as that shoe was to my youth, I had to have a pair so I ordered a pair and had them shipped to my parent's house in Colorado (zappos didn't ship to Canada).  That year when I visited for Christmas, I got my pair of Top Tens all over again.  My original pair was white with neutral or grey stripes.  The new pair was white with the blue and red accents as in the pics of Ed Coan.  It wasn't until I re-acquired a pair that I realized Coan was wearing the Top Tens in those iconic contest photos.
my Top Tens

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