As far as contributions to modern society go, French inventors and designers have come up with some absolute icons.

The stethoscope. The Etch-a-Sketch. Patta The hair-dryer. Rechargeable batteries. Neon lights. The adidas Forum.

That last one is not an error. The Forum, one of the Three Stripes’ classic retro silhouettes, was conceived by a French designer.

Jacques Chassaing, who spent more than three decades with adidas, was involved with the creation of both the basketball-focused Forum and the ZX running line, both of which have stood the test of time since the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The story goes that Chassaing spent months watching basketball practices and games, examining players of all positions and sizes to establish what most hoopers needed.

Chassaing zeroed in on ankle support, and added stabilization with a “criss-cross ankle system” which incorporated asymmetrical straps at the ankles of the high-top version.

Like the Top Ten before it, the Forum also featured some high-tech additions never before seen on basketball courts.

A contribution from Bill Dellinger, who worked alongside eventual Nike founder Bill Bowerman as a track and field coach at the University of Oregon, was found deep in the midsole.

Dellinger’s webbing was said to absorb some of the energy transferred in each footfall and disperse it outwards rather than back up into the foot. It later became a key component of adidas running models, but it was groundbreaking for a basketball sneaker.

Like many retro hoop shoes, the adidas Forum has had a long life of retro models and collaborations that ensure it remained relevant and represented for more than four decades.

And don’t you love it when worlds and eras collide? The latest adidas release sees the Forum’s classic style made Patta over with modern materials and trends while remaining true to the ’80s color palettes.