The Director Won't Surprise You

Is This the Most Insane Sneaker Commercial Ever Made?


October 31, 2019 Culture By

By 1993, David Lynch had quite a few movie and television achievements under his belt. Think Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Dune (sigh), Wild at Heart and Twin Peaks. What could possibly be next for this enigmatic, shapeshifting auteur? Why, a running shoe ad, of course.

No joke. That year, Lynch directed an ad for Adidas Tubular running shoes, and it’s just as bizarre as you might imagine. It starts innocently enough, with a man running along a wide-open overpass. But as trippy music plays, it’s not long before things start to get pretty, well, Lynch-ian. We go inside the man’s beating heart, we see flames in his eyes, then… lightning, explosions… scorpions? We don’t want to spoil everything, though. You really need to watch this recently unearthed gem yourself. (Only then can you decide whether this British ad was worth the nearly $1 million Adidas reportedly paid for it.)

And if that somehow puts you in the mood to buy shoes, we’ve ID’ed the footwear in question: the 1993 Adidas Tubular Trainer, featuring a super cushioned outsole modeled after conventional tire designs.

While this actual colorway is somewhat scarce these days (check eBay), single-color models are plentiful. Click the links below and prepare to make your own mind-bending run into oblivion.

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Steve Mazzucchi

Steve Mazzucchi is Gear Patrol’s outdoors and fitness editor. Outside the office, you can find him mountain biking, snowboarding, motorcycling or sipping a dram of Laphroaig and daydreaming about such things.

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