The Adidas Stan Smith is a tennis sneaker that was released in 1971, and was named after the tennis player Stan Smith. The Adidas Stan Smith is the best selling Adidas sneaker, and, is an iconic trainer that was popularised in the UK by the 'casual' subculture. The Adidas Stan Smith tennis shoe was manufactured in the 1960's, but was renamed to the Adidas Stan Smith in 1971. Stan Smith was an American tennis player who won the Australian Open in 1970, the French Open in 1971, and had become the world's number one tennis player in 1971. Stan Smith won Wimbledon in 1972 - he beat Romanian Ilie Nastase in the final - and wore Stan Smith shoes whilst doing so.
Adidas' sponsorship of Stan Smith helped them to market their tennis sneaker in the United States. The sneaker comes in a range of versions, but the original version has a plain white leather upper and has a green patch at the back of the sneaker that features the Adidas trefoil logo. Many tennis tournaments - like Wimbledon - required participants to wear all white attire; therefore, the Stan Smith sneaker had to adhere to these rules. The Stan Smith original is made from white cow hide, has a flat rubber sole, uses laces for fastening and has a portrait of Stan Smith printed on the tongue. The original version of the Stan Smith trainer is shown below:
The other versions of the Stan Smith sneaker are: Robert Haillet; Slim, Comfort, Vintage, Stan Smith 2, Vulc and 80's. The Stan Smith Vintage features an all white leather upper and a portrait of Stan Smith printed in gold on the tongue. The Stan Smith Comfort features velcro straps instead of laces. The Stan Smith Slim, as the name would suggest, has the same design but is slimmer in width.
In the 2000's, the Adidas range of sneakers was recategorised, and the Stan Smith became part of the Adidas Originals shoes. The Adidas Originals are Adidas sneakers that were released in the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, and the 1980's, and typically feature the older trefoil logo. Since it's launch in 1971, the Stan Smith sneaker has undergone a few minor design changes: the logo on the tongue has changed from the trefoil logo to a portrait and signature from Stan Smith, and, at the back of the sneaker, the words 'Stan Smith' were added underneath the trefoil logo.
Due to the plain white upper of the Stan Smith sneaker: it is the ideal sneaker to customise and print art upon. There has been many limited edition versions of the Stan Smith, such as: Beach Pack, Blue Suede, Camouflage, Comfort, Def Jam, Geisha, Graph, Kermit the Frog, Lite, Logo, Mahogany, Miss Piggy, Mr Happy, Nigo, Nubuck, Pool Ball, Rime, Slim, Sport Goofy, Velcro Pack, Vulc, Vulcan and Vintage.