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    adidas Stan Smith

    144 articles

    Tennis simplicity from the 60s.

    Stan Smith Slip-on Shoes
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    Stan Smith OG Primeknit Shoes
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    48 out of 144 seen

    Stan Smith

    Let’s travel back to the tennis world of the early seventies. That’s where the story of adidas Stan Smith starts. Back then, British tennis player Stan Smith was the hottest athlete in sport. He took on his opponents and won Grand Slams wearing a pair of adidas tennis shoes called the ‘Haillet’, named after the French player, Robert Haillet. That model was first brought out and endorsed by Haillet in the 1960s. When the French sportsman retired in 1971, adidas set out to find a new star to endorse their shoes. And the search didn’t last long. Smith signed a deal with the Germans in 1973. For a couple of years, it wasn’t clear what the shoe was supposed to be called. The tongue still said ‘Haillet’, accompanied by a portrait of Smith. It wasn’t until 1978 that the shoe’s history really started, when the words ‘Stan Smith’ replaced ‘Haillet’. The adidas Originals Stan Smith was officially born. Given the growth in popularity of tennis as a sport back then, this launch was timed perfectly. In the seventies more and more men, ladies and kids were taking up tennis. Soon, this performance footwear made the cross over to the streets, becoming trainers. By the 70s, celebrities such as John Lennon and members of the Rolling Stones were spotted wearing the Stan Smith. Over the following decades, the sneaker would grow to become one of the most sold shoes of all time. Girls and boys in the UK and the world over fell for the Stan Smith. Just like people of different cultural tribes, from breakdancers to fashion designers. It suited everyone. You could even see a baby, a toddler, or kids in grade school wearing the shoes, with infant, childrens, or junior sizes. Especially when the trainer went on sale and could be acquired for a cheap price. It was even a popular shoe to skate with. The main reason for its success was the straightforward design which was remarkable enough to stand out, but simple enough to go with every style. This was a shoe that could transcend cultural differences and social class. All thanks to the elegant simplicity of this 60s design. Come the new millennium, something strange happened. Adidas stopped the production of the Stan Smith completely. The shoe had become too mainstream for the German brand. Adidas decided they wanted their model to be exclusive. For this reason, there were no new releases, only the existing original. And in 2014, at a time you couldn’t buy a Stan Smith anywhere, adidas brought their old classic back. And this was the start of a new life for the vintage shoe. In no time, the sneaker was spotted everywhere again. It was a comeback the likes of which the world had rarely seen. And perhaps the most remarkable thing was that no significant updates were made to the design.

    When the adidas Originals Stan Smith debuted in the mid-60s, it had an innovative feature: a leather upper. Until that point, tennis shoes were made of canvas. Adidas realised that leather would bring more stability to the foot, so excellent for playing tennis. And that was the basic idea. The overall design didn’t need any frills. Everything was simple and focused on sporting performance alone. There was no obvious three-stripe, for example, and instead of stitching on the side, the stripes were perforated. The foam midsole was complemented by an outsole with small studs, which were great for tennis matches on grass. The upper was made from white leather with only a modest coloured panel at the heel. As for colours and shades, the Stan Smith as well as the classic white version, the model has been released in block black, known as the All Black or Triple Black. The original version has also had subtle variations in colour, with the green heel panel swapped for navy blue. These were all pretty minor changes, but with the 21st century relaunch the shoe was decked out in all kinds of different colours and patterns. As well as the classic-looking All White and Triple White, changes in material, print and vibrant colours were added to the design. We saw new models which captivated the youth by changing the shoe’s look significantly. All while keeping a touch of the original well-loved 60s style. So let’s go a bit deeper into the new colours given to the adidas Stan Smith. The original model was always famous for its white upper and coloured heel tab. But different shades have also been featured on the back, such as shiny copper in the Rose Gold. Adidas even decided to use that colour for the whole shoe in the adicolor line. Green, blue, orange and maroon were also used on the heel and ended up in colouring the whole upper. The same goes for red, which ended up as the All Red and was also used in models with cool polka dot print. A nice subtle variation on the original comes in the form of the pastel pack. Adidas launched its classic in mint, peach and light pink. Differences in tan were also an option, with shades of brown from beige to nude released for models such as the Trace Cargo. Later on, the uppers were given a spectacular metal-like look, with block silver and gold Metallic, as well as the reflective and iridescent style of the Stan Smith Hologram, an impressive holographic shoe.

    This just shows the variety of design the adidas Stan Smith is able to handle. Over time, the classic leather was given updates, as can be seen in the Nubuck and Horween. It also received different fabrics for the upper such as suede, in models such as the grey Onix, and mesh, as with the multicolor Rainbow. There was even a model where pony hair was used in the upper. There we also cool variations in print, with snakeskin and reptile-like patterns used in the Stan Smith animal print range, as well as crocodile, leopard and zebra. Other references to the natural world are found in the Floral, a print model covered in flowers, and in the green and brown camouflage of the Camo. The remarkable thing is that with all of these huge variations in style, almost no aesthetic changes were made to the design of the upper itself. For a long time, it was leather and foam that formed the base of the shoe. But given the increasing popularity of the shoe, adidas started to change things on several facets. As mentioned earlier, mesh and suede made an appearance. And it was only a matter of time before the revolutionary knit fabric Primeknit was brought in too. This Stan Smith Primeknit made the iconic design look even more flawless. Once Primeknit got involved, the German brand’s groundbreaking Boost technology wasn’t far behind, seen in the Stan Smith Boost. The Stan Smith Gum Sole was released with an outsole made from gum material, as the name suggests. More outsole variations came along using vulcanised rubber in the form of the Stan Smith Vulc. This model is perfect to wear on a skateboard. Then there’s also the chunky raised platform version, the Stan Smith Bold. Other reinterpretations of key features can be seen in the Zig Zag edition, which was given strings woven through the perforated holes forming a zig-zag 3-stripe on the side, and the Recon, where the coloured heel tab got given a different shape. A special collection of exclusive models using the best materials in the business were released under the name Stan Smith Premium. Adidas didn’t hold back expanding the legacy of their tennis sneaker. They also added specific versions for women, known as the W. So there’s really something for everyone. And still, one of the most sought after models is the OG, which stayed as close to the original from the 60s as possible.

    There’s already so much to choose from when it comes to the Stan Smith, and we haven’t even started talking about special edition models. From celebrity made models to fashion designers and brand versions, the special editions are quite something. And you can create your own custom made adidas Mi Stan Smith online as well. Lots of celebrities have been linked to the shoe. It’s been reported that rapper Asap Rocky is mad about Stan Smiths. Music star Rita Ora got the opportunity to design a pair herself. This collab resulted in a flower-like print, a block black version, and one with a golden stripe on the heel. Also, adidas ambassador Pharrell Williams put his own touch to the Stan Smith, staying true to the original look yet adding vibrant green, yellow and pink dyed colourways. Furthermore, lots of fashion brands have teamed up with adidas on the trainer. First, there was a collab with fashion brand Billionaire Boys Club which resulted in a couple custom BBC models with some extraordinary prints. Then, there was a collab with Japanese fashion label Mastermind Japan, leading to tough-looking black and white leather versions. The Y3 is also one to look out for. This version, designed by Japanese fashion icon Yohji Yamamoto, came out in black and white with zippers on the side of the shoes. Additionally, we saw adidas teaming up with Porter, the label of the Japanese fashion designer Porter Yoshida. This collab brought us a brilliant dark blue and orange-detailed exclusive. Now, adidas Stan Smith is known for being a great summer shoe, but with Gore-Tex technology, or GTX for short, the Stan Smith showed it could become winter proof. So there’s quite a lot of cool limited releases, right? Not even including the adidas Consortium collabs. And, it doesn’t stop there. 

    Raf Simons x Stan Smith

    If we’re going to go into this amazing collab, we first have to introduce the Belgian fashion designer, Raf Simons. Simons launched his own menswear fashion label in 1995 and worked for some very prestigious brands such as Dior and Calvin Klein. Over time, he managed to collaborate with adidas several times. In 2014 he took his design skills to the adidas tennis sneaker, where he stayed close to the retro-look of the original from the sixties and its white colour. What appeared on paper was the Raf Simons x adidas Stan Smith. Later, he did add noticable changes to the colour palette. For example, the upper was kitted out in block pink, yellow and red. Simons replaced the classic perforated three-stripe on the side with the letter R. Additionally, a ‘Raf Simons’ logo was printed on the heel and Simons’ head was printed on one of the tongues. In the spring of 2019 there was a second wave of Raf Simons x Stan Smith models, first unveiled at the Paris Fashion Week. The Belgian designer used the art of trompe-l’oeil, or optical illusion. Simons painted well-known silhouettes from adidas collections on a Stan Smith model. This collaboration obviously gave the sneaker a high-end fashion touch, but it was still true to its 1960s roots. 

    Stan Smith CF

    For forty years the classic design of the Stan Smith stayed pretty much the same. The shoe had always been loved for its minimalistic look. But in the early 2000s, adidas got rid of the laces and replaced them with velcro straps, launching the adidas Stan Smith CF. This adjustment was certainly rewarded. The adidas Stan Smith Velcro, another name this model goes by, became really popular. Because let’s be honest: what is easier, to clumsy tie your shoelaces or quickly push down on the strap of the Stan Smith CF? Nigo, a well-known face in the fashion industry and owner of clothing brand A Bathing Ape (Bape), designed his own CF. He created a white version with a green - a little darker than normal - heel tab and the outsole got a yellow shade over it, giving it a vintage feel. This Stan Smith Strap did get quite many colour updates. Yes, the panel at the Achilles got all kinds of different colours, and at a given point in time, the entire shoe turned black, but also red and pink. All with the three velcro straps on top.

    Rank de Adidas Stan Smith
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