Adidas Campus 80 Towlie: You’re a Towel
Price: $100 [SOLD OUT; Check eBay for Prices]
The Adidas Campus 80 Towlie is an affordable way to get into a pair of unique and semi-hyped sneakers, and pack a lot of cool details.
The Adidas Campus 80 Towlie won’t be the most durable sneaker, and carries certain baggage with the design.
|Materials||Polyester / Rubber|
|Weight||430 g / 15.17 oz|
|Construction||Sewn Cup Sole / Cemented|
|Country of Origin||China|
To begin, this is a serious review. To be blunt, I’m not trying to make a bunch of childish jokes. The stakes are too high. I’m not just going to burn through a bunch of text just for a cheap laugh. I’m going to pass on all of that.
Alright, with that out of the way, the sneaker we are looking at today is the Adidas Campus 80 “Towlie.” This was Adidas’ release on April 20th, 2021, though they just had a much larger release in October of 2022. As you probably already know, this sneaker is designed to take inspiration from the Towlie character on South Park.
While there were other sneakers in the South Park collection, none of them had the same appeal as the Towlies. In fact, the others were at outlets almost immediately. However, the Towlie model ended up reselling for way over retail. In fact, even after the recent drop, they still go for a premium.
All that being said, prices dropped from a staggering $600 to only barely over retail in most sizes. In light of that, should you consider picking up a pair? Let’s find out.
The upper is where all the real magic happens on the Adidas Campus 80 Towlie. The first thing you’ll notice is that the upper is made of the same material as a towel. Is it going to be very durable? Almost certainly not. But it nails the look. Dyed purple to match the character, it is an unmistakable homage to him.
The next thing you’ll notice looking over the shoes is the eyes on the tongue. Inside they are simple white ovals, but take them into UV light and they turn bright red. In practice, they almost always have a slight reddish hue unless you’re in a very dark room, but cool none the less.
Surprising details don’t end there. Around back, the white faux-leather panel has the Adidas Trefoil along with “ADIDAS” in the South Park cartoon lettering. Further, the lace tips match the white and yellow design of Towlie’s feet. Maybe even something else.
Elsewhere on the upper, it’s classic Campus 80. A fairly basic Stan Smith-like design with 3 stripes along the side. Not that it needs anything more.
Mid and Outsole
While the upper is packed with little details, the midsole of the Adidas Campus 80 Towlie is just a standard cup sole. Made of a single piece of white rubber, the cup sole is held on with white stitching along the edge. A slight curve at the heel is a nice touch, but nothing you wouldn’t find on the $30 base model.
Flipping the sneaker over, you’ll find Adidas’ outdoor soccer herringbone pattern. Again, nothing too special here, but should get the job done.
I hesitate to call the Adidas Campus 80 Towlie subtle, but for a purple sneaker designed to look like a cartoon towel they are surprisingly wearable. The only details that you would notice if you were not looking are the eyes, which would be covered if you’re wearing pants. If you did want to show them off, a pair of joggers or shorts will let the world see.
Fit & Comfort
The Adidas Campus 80 Towlie fits like all other Campus 80s, which means very narrow and slightly long. Originally designed as a soccer shoe, the narrow last is designed to hold your foot in when sprinting, but for walking around the fit isn’t great for most people.
While the upper is very flexible, the hard walls of the cup sole are not very forgiving so you’ll want to be sure you get the right fit. The good news is that, while you won’t find the Towlie on shelves, the Campus 80 will be in every Adidas store and outlet. It should be easy to try a pair on before buying.
There is no other way to say it, the Adidas Campus 80 Towlie is one of the least comfortable sneakers out there. Not only is the last a bad fit for most people, there just isn’t much in the way of stuff between you and the ground. Compared to modern sneakers, it’s like walking directly on concrete.
Even worse, unlike something like a Jack Purcell, the cup sole means they are still plenty stiff.
These probably won’t be the pair you’ll grab if you’re going to be on your feet the whole day.
Materials & Construction
The Adidas Campus 80 Towlie uses a mix of unique and standard materials in its construction, though for the price they are all pretty impressive.
Starting with the upper, Adidas used a material extremely similar to what you might find on a towel at home. Once you get closer you notice it is slightly stiffer and with exaggerated loops, but both of these changes will help with durability (slightly) and don’t impact it visually. Elsewhere on the upper, the white stripes and back panel are faux-leather.
Inside, the removable insole is fairly thin, and sits on top of a wedge of EVA foam. Nothing different from the standard Campus 80 here. Around your heel a faux-leather lining protects the sneaker a bit, but it ends just past the opening.
At the bottom of the shoe, the mid and outsole are made of two pieces of rubber melted together. The rubber compound that Adidas uses for this sneaker is fairly hard. That hurts it in comfort, but should make for a very durable sneaker.
The Adidas Campus 80 Towlie is made using a sewn-on cup sole. This type of construction is a bit older, and is designed with durability in mind. To make a sneaker this way, first the cup sole is glued on using contact cement, then it is sewn on along the edge of the midsole.
The benefits of this style of construction are durability and a retro style. The drawbacks are the lack of flexibility and higher construction costs. Overall it’s a great option.
Pricing & Value
Originally set at $100, the Adidas Campus 80 Towlie sold out immediately on both of their runs. After the first run, resale prices kept creeping up, eventually hitting around $600. Today, prices are much more reasonable. At time of writing, prices range from around $120 to around $160.
If you’re looking to pick up a pair, I suggest checking eBay. The prices are the same as on StockX or Goat, but the fees are way lower, especially for the buyer.
Both the retail price and the resale price put them squarely in the affordable end of sneakers that have some hype. For less then retail on a pair of Jordan 1 Mids, you can get something that is far more limited – assuming you care about that.
The Adidas Campus 80 Towlie offers a fairly affordable take on a semi-hyped shoe.
To be clear, it’s a gimmick shoe. This isn’t a sneaker that will go down in history as one of the all-time greats in design. You won’t find one in MoMA, or in Milan. However, it’s cheap enough that you can pull it out for a laugh every now and then, without needing to take out a loan.