Adidas / Yeezy, Initial Impressions, Sneakers

Adidas Forum Mid Luxe: What Does Luxury Mean

Price: $150 [SOLD OUT; Check eBay for Current Prices]

Why Buy?

The Adidas Forum Mid Luxe has some surprising upgrades from the original model, and offers greater versatility in style.

Why Avoid?

the materials don’t live up to the Luxe moniker, and it’s hard to justify the price increase.


ModelForum Mid Luxe
HeightMid / High
MaterialsLeather / Faux-Leather / Faux-Suede / Rubber
Weight597 g / 1 lb 5.1 oz
ConstructionSewn Cup Sole / Cemented
Country of OriginChina


Adidas Forum Mid Luxe
Adidas Forum Mid Luxe

When Adidas relaunched the Forum Mid they had an immediate hit on their hands. From Jeremy Scott to Beyonce, from SVD to Bodega, if you collab with Adidas you’ve probably had the chance to do a Forum Mid. However, one Forum always stood out to me. An (almost) European exclusive model known as the Adidas Forum Hi Luxe.

Adidas’ take on what “Luxury” means in sneakers has always been a bit confusing to me. Adidas has their Y3 brand, which takes Adidas models and amps them up a bit, as their luxury option. However, every so often, Adidas will release a model under the Adidas brand with the “Luxe” moniker. These sneakers are supposed to feature upgraded materials and design, and are only supposed to be based on the shoe they are named after.

I couldn’t help but wonder – how much do they really change? The Y3 line, along with most other sneakers with the word Luxury attached to them, are typically several hundred dollars. The Luxe models are typically 30 or 40 dollars more. Is this an alternative to the regular with a fancy name? Or, is it a true upgrade for those who don’t need “BALENCIAGA” splashed over their feet.


Let’s find out by taking a look at the Adidas Forum Mid Luxe.



Forum Mid Luxe
Adidas Forum Mid Luxe

While it may share the name and the generic shape, the Adidas Forum Mid Luxe loses a lot of what makes a Forum a Forum. Gone are the three stripes and the strap. Instead, Adidas chose to pull in style cues from higher end sneakers, including overlaying panels, slight color variation, etc.

The majority of the sneaker is still white leather, however just behind the toe guard, under the laces, and along the midfoot you’ll find cream-colored hits. As you flip the sneaker around to the back, you have faux-suede grey panels on the rear, and a green plastic heel cap to help keep your foot in place.

Along the back is also the first place you’ll spot one of my favorite things about the sneaker – the semi-aniline leather. For those who are unaware, aniline leather is natural or uncoated. You can see the imperfections and natural wear. All the tan hits on the sneaker, including the tab at the back, are semi-aniline. On these, Adidas sanded the leather slightly, but didn’t coat it in plastic like most sneaker leather. Really cool.

Other key features of the upper include unsewn ankle tabs with decorative edge stitching in silver and gold eyelets.


Inside, the lining is a bright white faux-leather, but it is nicely padded and incredibly soft. The removable insole is a white with a green writing.

Mid- and Outsole

Unique Outsole
Unique Outsole

Looking at the bottom half of the Adidas Forum Mid Luxe, you’ll find something interesting. Adidas created very similar but new tooling for this model. The tooling is the mold that the rubber for the outsole is poured into, and creating a mold is one of the most expensive parts of making a sneaker.

Getting a unique mold is almost unheard of. Even Kanye and Pharrell need to reuse existing tooling on most of their models. I’m not quite sure why this sneaker, of all sneakers, got its own set up. I’ve dug around and wasn’t able to find this used anywhere else – if you know of another Adidas sneaker that uses it, please leave a comment below.

Another Angle

As for what changed? Surprisingly, not all that much.  The toe and the heel are still circles with the Adidas logo, and there is a patch on the middle. However, where the large pivot circle is located the Forum Mid Luxe has a ripple pattern.

Does it do anything? Probably not. Does it look cool? Sure.


The other item to note is that the exposed foam on the interior of the shoe has a bit of netting glued to it. It’s on all Forums but this looks… bad. Remember the Disrupt? Imagine that but with glue stains all over it. I wouldn’t mind Adidas skipping that on the next run of Luxe model.


Forum Mid Glue
The Netting Could Use About Half as Much Glue

The Adidas Forum Mid Luxe does a good job separating itself from a traditional Forum Mid. The slightly updated upper goes give a luxury sneaker vibe. The outsole isn’t that much different, but must have cost a ton. If changing things needlessly doesn’t scream luxury sneaker, I don’t know what does.

However, the best part of these sneakers – by far – is just how versatile they are. The Adidas Forum Mid isn’t a bad looking sneaker, but it is decidedly casual. For most people who work in an office, wearing a Forum just won’t work. With the Luxe model, you could get away with a much more formal environment.

Now, I wouldn’t suggest wearing these with a suit or wool trousers, but with chinos and a button down on casual Friday? Absolutely. The best part is that it doesn’t lose the ability to dress them down. They also work well with joggers.

These really are a do-it-all sneaker.


Fit & Comfort


Adidas Forum Leather
Love that Tan Leather

The Adidas Forum Mid Luxe fits like any other Forum mid. That means it’s a bit long, and a bit narrow. For most people you’ll want to go with your standard sneaker size, but if you have particularly narrow feet you might want to consider sizing down.

One thing to be aware of is that the heel of this sneaker is a straight up and down line. Unlike most high tops, which curve in a bit, these don’t do a great job of holding your heel in place. While I never recommend going with the wrong size as you’ll regret it later in life, if you’re the type of person who likes to leave their laces loose you may not be able to do so in your true size.

Personally, I take these in a size 13. That is the same size as I take in the Jordan 1 and Ultraboost, but a half size larger than I take in the Adidas Stan Smith.

For a full list of sizing for every shoe reviewed on this site, click here.


Forum Mid Luxe Tongue
Cut Out on Tongue

The Adidas Forum Mid Luxe may have nice and soft leather, but it can’t hide the fact it’s an old design. There isn’t much in the way of tech here. A thin slab of foam, and a bit of rubber are the only things between your foot and the ground.


If you’re looking for the most comfortable sneaker, this isn’t it.

That being said, because of the soft leather, it does do a better job than most mid-80’s sneakers. If I was walking a lot, I’d happily grab these over a Jordan 1 or a Reebok Club C.

One other item to be aware of is that, while most of the materials on the upper are leather, the lining isn’t. This means the lining basically doesn’t breathe at all and these sneakers can get hot. I know most people don’t wear higher cuts in the summer anyway, but these definitely fall into the fall/winter side of things.

Materials & Construction


Forum Leather Cross Section
Leather Cross Section

There is a lot going on material-wise with the Adidas Forum Mid Luxe. Starting with the smooth white leather on the upper, this is real leather though surprisingly thin. There is a heavy coating of plastic on top, which help gets the bright white, but does feel a bit cheaper.

Moving onto the tumbled leather near the eyelets, this is also real, and also plasticky, but a bit thicker. It’s also backed by the best leather on the sneaker – the tan cuts. As mentioned above, the tan leather is the closest to actual real, good leather I’ve ever seen on a sneaker from one of the big brands. You’ll find it on the back tab, the underside of the laces, and the underside of the ankle tabs.


To be clear, it isn’t the best leather in the world, but it isn’t coated in plastic either.

Unfortunately, all the other panels – the grey suede, the cream leather, the lining, and the tongue – are all fake. This isn’t unheard of for a sneaker, but when a brand specifically highlights the materials as being “luxury” it is a bit of a letdown.

The outsole and exterior of the midsole are a fairly hard rubber. They should be durable enough, though they are on the thinner side. Inside the cup sole is a piece of EVA foam.


Adidas trefoil
No Three Stripes, but Trefoil

The Adidas Forum Mid Luxe are made with a sewn-on cup sole, held in place with cemented construction. This type of construction was pretty standard in the 1980’s for basketball shoes.

The way this is made is the upper and midsole are coated with contact cement, and glued together. Then, the upper is sewn to the midsole along the front, outer side, and back. A cut out on the interior is left to give room for the foam to expand.

This style of construction is more durable than what we get on most sneakers today, but is more expensive to make and is a bit heavier. For a casual sneaker, I think this is a great option.

Pricing & Value



The Adidas Forum Mid Luxe was only available at a small number of US retailers with a price of $150. While it got a much wider release in Europe, here in the U.S. finding a pair from a retailer is basically impossible. At time of writing, BSTN has a single pair in 7.5 available and that’s about it.

If you do want a pair, eBay has a few but only in a small number of sizing. Resale is under retail at around $130.


Dethatched Ankle Strap
Dethatched Ankle Strap

At either retail or resale, the Adidas Forum Mid Luxe is not a cheap sneaker. However, as you think about it more, it might not be a bad value. What the Forum Mid Luxe does is offer the casual appeal of the Forum, and the slightly dressed up formality of a Stan Smith, all in one package. If you think about it that way, it’s really two sneakers in one.

Wrap Up

Adidas Forum Mid Luxe

The Adidas Forum Mid Luxe doesn’t really pass the luxury smell test. Sure, that tan leather is great, but other than that the new tooling on the midsole is doing all the luxury work. However, even though it doesn’t feel high end, the sneaker ended up surprising me with its versatility.

Being able to be a weekend better or an office option means the sneaker is great for someone who needs to be able to have a sneaker that does it all. If that describes you, consider picking up a pair – if you can find one.