Jordan. Kobe. LeBron. Shaq. Penny. Yeezy. Run-DMC.
Over the years, there’s been no shortage of signature shoes with an athlete’s or entertainer’s name attached.
But how many sneakers can you think of that are adorned by the endorser’s face?
There’s only one I can think of (as long as you don’t count the curious decision to put Paul George’s likeness on the sockliner of his Nike PG1 signature model): the adidas Stan Smith.
One of the most iconic signature kicks of all time, the Stan Smith made history upon its release as the first purpose-built tennis shoe to feature a leather upper.
While it was groundbreaking upon its first release in 1961, it wasn’t branded until 1965, at which point it was named for its original endorser, French tennis player Robert Halliet.
Not until 1971 did American tennis star Stan Smith become the face of the franchise in name, and in a literal sense by the mid-70s when adidas emblazoned his face on the tongue of the shoe.
By 1988, adidas had sold more than 22 million pairs of Stan Smiths, earning the shoe a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Since then, Stan Smith’s face has only become more and more ubiquitous, making him more familiar with new generations of wearers as a sneaker brand than he was as a tennis player.
Now, in 2021, after countless collabs and endless iterations of that versatile and timeless model, the Brand with the Three Stripes is making moves to ensure the Stan Smith is playing a part in lessening its impact on the planet.
The new sustainable Stan Smith utilizes high-performance recycled materials under adidas’s PRIMEGREEN initiative which includes a commitment to reducing the use of virgin (first-use) plastics in its manufacturing by 2024.
The upper is made of 50 percent recycled material, and the outsole is also built from rubber waste. They’ll be landing in a range of classic colorways on 3/18.