Why You Can’t Buy Those Cool Roland TR-808 Adidas Beatmaking Shoes

Images of these Roland TR-808 inspired Adidas running shoes have been blowing up on social media over the last few days. The 808 color scheme looks pretty cool, and the shoes even have built-in beatmaking circuitry.

But – unfortunately – you can’t buy them. Here’s why….

The Neely Air | Roland TR-808: Disturb the Peace shoes are a design prototype, created by design agency Neely & Daughters. d

Here’s what they have to say about the design:

When given the opportunity to develop our custom concept/prototype for Mi Adidas, we popped and locked at the chance to create the TR-808 — inspired by the famous Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer, break dance culture, and “808” (police code for “disturbing the peace.”)

Not only do these kicks look fierce, but brace yourself: They actually. make. beats. The shoes are equipped with volume control and six different pre-programmed settings so you can recreate your favorite scenes from Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo in your mom and dad’s kitchen on a broke down cardboard box from Costco.


Creative Strategy
Art Direction


Though they never hit the production line (the “Just for Kicks” creative challenge – pun intended – was custom design and prototype only), the shoes won accolades and fans around the globe.

While the idea of beatmaking shoes is fun, no speaker that could fit on a pair of shoes could do justice to the 808 sound.

Check them out and let us know what you think of the idea of 808 shoes in the comments!

25 thoughts on “Why You Can’t Buy Those Cool Roland TR-808 Adidas Beatmaking Shoes

  1. The “no speaker” bit is just an excuse. I have a drum machine T-shirt from ThinkGeek and it has a very good speaker that clips onto your belt. It’s a very doable thing. I think this was just a cool “looks-like” design concept where someone repainted a pair of shoes and created a good backstory.

    I’m an industrial designer specializing in toys and I can tell you from experience that there are tonnes of ways to incorporate a decent speaker into a shoe project like this. (Hey Adidas, give me a call and we can talk…Also say “Hi” to Sheldon M. for me!)

    Adidas would be the right fit (sorry) because of the whole RUN DMC thing but hopefully some other company will be inspired by this concept and take up the challenge to develop it further. Wearable tech is a hot topic right now and music gear & dance are definitely (here it comes again…) a perfect fit.

  2. Like most here, I say never mind the electronics, these are too good looking to not make. Maybe even on the zx8000 model?

  3. Seriously, 808 shoes?! Thank god they did not make these. Can you image all the f*cktards walking around with a kick drum and clap going off, so stupid.

  4. Laurie Anderson sewed a drum machine into a jumpsuit back in the 80’s. Don’t tell me that a Tr-808 molded into sneakers in this century can’t be done!

  5. Just…. Make these shoes real !!! Please !!!
    If there is no drum machine in.? Not a problem. The 808 desingn and colour are enought to create a very fantabulous pair of sneakers !!!

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