Ultimate Guide to the adidas Stan Smith

The adidas Stan Smith shoe is the most popular trainer that adidas has ever produced and has reportedly sold more than the adidas Samba.  Considering the first version of the Stan Smith was first produced in the early 60s it is quite remarkable that it is still in production today and is as popular as ever.

Over the years the adidas Stan Smith sneaker has gone through many changes but the key features have always remained the same.  This guide is going to take a look at those developments, we will see how it all began and discover the changes that have resulted in the modern day classic of today.  Whether you are looking for some rare Stan Smiths or the latest release, adidas won’t leave you hanging.

“Once you know the history of your Stan Smith’s you will be even more attached to this iconic piece of footwear”

The history of the adidas Stan Smith

In 1962 Horst Dassler, the son of adidas founder Adi Dassler had the idea to create a tennis shoe made out of leather.  This concept was completely unheard of in the early 60s but kept to adidas’s tradition of innovating new sports products.

In 1965 the tennis shoe was given the name “adidas Robert Haillet” after the French tennis player.  It wasn’t long after that Haillet retired from tennis and adidas went looking for a new face for the increasingly popular shoe.  Horst had another famous idea to look towards to US where he was keen to develop the market.

In 1967 an extra piece of green padding was added to the Stan Smith to provide extra support for the trainer.

In 1972 adidas signed a deal with US tennis star Stan Smith.  It was agreed that Stan would receive royalties on the Stan Smith sales.  It is still unclear whether Stan Smiths signature was a genius tactic from Horst or a turn of events but it is said that deal helped adidas to break into the lucrative US market.

“The kids think I’m a shoe!” – Stan Smith

During the 70s there was some transition from the Haillet to the Stan Smith. Between 1973 – 1978 the shoe was still called the Robert Haillet but had a portrait of Stan Smith on the tongue.

In 1978 the trainer finally became the adidas Stan Smith and the wording Robert Haillet was removed completely from the shoe.

stan smith 2In 2000 adidas launched the adidas Stan Smith 2.  As you will see in the image, the Stan Smith 2 had some quite distinct changes.  Probably the most noticeable change was the tongue which became fatter and the Stan Smith tongue portrait was dropped.  Instead adidas chose to emboss the tongue with the words “adidas Stan Smith”.  This 2nd version was the first style that offered the shoe in a number of different colourways.  The adidas Stan Smith 2 has become one of the best selling versions behind the traditional style.

Versions of the adidas Stan Smith

adidas Robert Haillet

robert haillet

The adidas Robert Haillet is where it all began in the early 60s.  It wasn’t until Haillet retired and adidas signed Stan Smith that the tennis shoe was given its new name.  If you are a little bit older you might still refer to this trainer as the Robert Halliet.

The 1972 adidas Stan Smith Original

stan smith original 1972

This is the exact shoe taken from the adidas-archive that Stan Smith wore when he won Wimbledon in 1972 by beating Romanian Ilie Nastase.  The upper leather is made from white cow hide and the sole is made from an extremely rigid compact rubber.  The tongue is fairly thin and has the Stan Smith Image and signature printed on it.  The green achilles support at the back of the shoe is made from PVC-coated charmeuse and has the adidas trefoil and Stan Smith name written on it.

adidas Stan Smith Slim

adidas stan smith slim

In 2009 adidas attempted a strange modification to the traditional Stan Smith shape by making it slimmer.  The adidas Stan Smith slim’s were met by criticism that  adidas should not mess with a classic.  Despite the early criticism the shoe was still extremely popular for fashionistas that liked a more fashionable look with a pointier toe.  adidas was never a company to rest on its laurels.

adidas Stan Smith Comfort

adidas stan smith comfort

The adidas Stan Smith Comfort kept all the original features but exchanged the laces for easy access velcro.  As you can probably imagine the Stan Smith Comfort became extremely popular as part of the Stan Smith Kids section but was also produced with adults in mind.

Adidas Stan Smith Vintage

The adidas Stan Smith Vintage ditched the green and made the shoe all white except for a gold Stan Stan signed portrait on the tongue and Stan Smith text down the side.  adidas then started to experiment a little further and used the Stan Smith Vintage as the base to design some distinct limited editions.

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adidas Stan Smith 2

As mentioned above the Stan Smith 2 started a new wave of popularity for the traditional classic.  Over the years this 2nd version has seen numerous twists and adaptations to keep it in the forefront of peoples minds.

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adidas stan smith 80s

stan smith 80s

In 2011 The Stan Smith 80s rewound the clock and took us back to the original classic that Stan Smith wore when he won Wimbledon in 1972.  The only noticeable difference in the replica was the use of a off-white cream for the laces and sole rather than the pure white of the 70s.  A number of limited editions of this version have been released including a popular Star Wars edition.

The celebrity status of The Stan Smith


Phoebe Philo

Adidas-Stan-Smiths-Phoebe-PhiloOne sure way to ensure your sneakers are worn by millions is to get them worn by celebrities. The adidas Stan Smith certainly has done that and has appeared on countless runways and has been pictured on celebrity feet all around the world.

During fashion week in Spring 2010 Phoebe Philo took to the catwalk wearing a gleaming pair of white adidas Stan Smith’s.  When the Creative Director of Celine does this then you know the latest Stan Smith trend is about to take place.

As a result adidas Stan Smith womens shoes saw a huge surge during it that time and once again showed that it is impossible to keep this ever popular shoe down.

Pharrell Williams

Then how could you forget the endorsement by Superstar Pharrell Williams.  In 2014 Pharrell personally created 10 designs using paint that he said displayed strong messages.

At the Grammy’s in 2015 Pharrell showed up in some outrageous customised Stan Smith kicks which definitely caught the attention.

pharrell stan smith

Gisele Bundchen

What if you take one of the biggest models of our generation, remove all her clothes and then add a pair of classic Stan Smiths.  Well thats exactly what Gisele Bundchen for a photoshoot that really got the adidas collectors pulses racing.

So who else is wearing the Stan Smith?  Well the list is endless and includes Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Dynamo.

The adidas Stan Smith has overcome many obstacles during its conception by Horst Dassler all those many years ago.  And the journey definitely isn’t over yet.

adidas Stan Smith Promo Video

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