Though lots of people -who like tennis- probably never knew Stan Smith was as a player (including myself, being born in 1975), they know his shoes very well. Smith a two time grandslam winner -with victory at the U.S. Open 1971 and Wimbledon 1972- once told a story in which his youngest son asked him if his father was named after the shoes or the shoes after his dad. The shoes though were named after the American tennis-icon 40 years ago, but not until the shoes were named after the French Davis Cup player Robert Haillet at first.
Adidas Stan Smith
After Haillet had finished his carreer Smith was approached by Adidas and the shoe’s name was changed into Stan Smith. Smith -at that time- was the world number 1 and signed a contract with Adidas. According to the sneaker report magazine this deal is still one of the most influential sneaker deals ever. Though the Adidas Stan Smith was highly successful, it took years for the shoes to be officially named the Stan Smith. The same thing happened to the looks of the shoes, for 5 years Adidas used Smith’s image with Haillet’s name on top. Only in 1979 the brand indefinitely relaunched the sneaker and so the most influential, iconic and best-selling sneaker (with over 40 million sales) was born.
Nowadays the shoes aren’t sold for playing tennis but mainly as a very fashionable sneaker. The original foundation of the shoes though is the game of tennis. At the time of it’s introduction the Haillet was considered a revolutionary tennis shoe, which of course was overtaken by new and better techniques. Despite the fact that the shoes -since it’s introduction- never changed much, they are still undoubtedly very popular. A few years ago to much surprise Adidas decided to remove the Stan Smith from it’s collections because the shoe “was only wandering around like a ghost in France”. But since then the shoe is back and available in a great variety of colors, the foundation however is still the original tennis shoe of the 1960’s.
Last year Adidas celebrated it’s 50th birthday with a unique pop-up store in London to show the public that the Adidas Stan Smith is still one of the most influential shoes ever. For more information or customizing your own Stan Smith sneakers: http://www.adidas.com/us/stan_smith. My own reviews are not so much based on extensive testing (though you never know what might happen in the future) but I review these products being a tennisfan and a graphic designer. So I look at the products slightly different, I look mainly at the design, if it could be a interesting fashionable tennis product and maybe a future classic. Durability is also imporant but that’s mainly based on the reviews I find, based on these 3 elements I’ll have my final overall impression.
Author: Vincent Bons // Photography: website Adidas
Grandslamtennisblog.com – Adidas Stan Smith
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