Stan Smith Style
My first purchase of a pair of adidas’ Stan Smith leather tennis shoes happened in the early 70’s when I was in college. Since then, that pair of shoes has been a staple in my wardrobe. The Stan Smiths are a great example of how I like to define the difference between fashion and style. It has endured the test of time for almost five decades.
It began as a functional athletic shoe to be worn in both casual and athletic settings that was first worn by the French tennis athlete, Robert Haillet, in 1963 and was marketed under his name by adidas. When Haillet retired in 1971, adidas approached Stan Smith, another professional tennis player, to endorse the brand…and since has been sold and marketed under Stan’s name.
This was the first all-leather tennis shoe ever made by adidas. It did not have the traditional bold side stripes of most other adidas shoes sold at the time. Instead, adidas took their traditional three stripe trademark and punched three identical rows of perforations into the side leather. This looked very cool, but also helped to make the shoe much more breathable. The outsole was made of pimpled rubber to give the sole a special grip on tennis courts. One additional enhancement to the shoe occurred in 1967, when green foam padding was added at the back to help protect the Achilles tendon. Since then, the shoe has remained basically unchanged for six decades, except for some color infusion into the back heel padding.
A shoe that is as fresh looking today as it was in 1963. Adidas created and then maintained a timeless expression of style with this shoe. Fashions can come and go, but true style remains timeless. And that approach exemplifies what I work to achieve with everything I touch here at CircleRock…men’s apparel with a timeless expression of style.
-Mark McNeill, the Doctor of Style