A Visual History of The Adidas Stan Smith

The world’s greatest tennis shoe has never been cooler.

(Photo: Rizzoli)

The Adidas Stan Smith is among the most influential and beloved sneakers of all time. Named after a former No. 1-ranked tennis player who has long been overshadowed by his namesake kicks, the iconic shoes have never lost their patina of casual cool since debuting in 1978.

The simple, clean silhouette has served as an obvious style reference for luxe reboots ranging from Common Projects to GREATS, just a few of the upstart brands chasing that essential blueprint. Pharrell Williams, Method Man and Raf Simmons are among the lucky few with their own signature Stan collabs, surely a dream of streetwear obsessives everywhere. 

So what’s next for a cult tennis shoe that has already ascended to sneaker Valhalla? A  coffee table book designed to serve as a testament to its singular greatness, of course. Stan Smith: Some People Think I’m a Shoe (Rizzoli), with a forward by Williams, traces the shoe’s humble athletic roots to its current status as a towering style touchstone spanning preppie, hip-hop and avant garde sensibilities.

Check out some of the visual highlights from the new book in the slideshow above, and gaze upon Instagram snapshots of a glorious assortment of Stans below. 


(Photo: Rizzoli)