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Tennis sneakers that influenced the sneaker scene

May 25, 2021 10:49 AM
Tennis sneakers that influenced the sneaker scene

When talking about Sneaker history, we often talk about Hip-hop culture and sports. With regards to sports, the ones most often mentioned are ones like basketball or running. However, a sport that isn't as often mentioned is tennis. And this is even though many sneakers we see around us everyday, and are now must-have's in many people's closets, were originally made for the tennis court. This is why in this blog, I want to put the spotlight on tennis for once. Moreover, I will share some of my favourite models, like the Converse All-Star high, the adidas Stan Smith, Reebok's Pump Fury, and adidas pharrell williams tennis hu.

Evolution of the Tennis Shoe

Tennis & Sneakers - a brief history

The Converse All-Star first hits the market (1917)

Converse might not be the first name you would think of, when thinking of tennis, but it is true: The iconic All-Star silhouette was the most prevalent tennis shoe from it's creation onwards, until at least the early 1960s. So, whilst the Converse is known as a Basketball Shoe, this is not it's full history. Btw, it's creation was in 1917, truly wicked right? To think that Converse has survived as the fashion icon it is, for over a 100 years now.


Converse Chuck 70 Hi

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The adidas Stan Smith (1965)

The Stan Smith might as well be the most legendary tennis shoe ever made. Nowadays, it is basically the almost universally accepted pair of sneakers to represent the sport of tennis.

adidas Stan Smith W (weiß / silber / gold)

The shoe that was released in 1965, and can thank a part of its popularity back then to the fact that this was the actual first tennis shoe that emphasised support. In our heads, the simple leather structure might seem basic. However, back then, this addition of sturdier material onto a silhouette that was still lightweight enough to play tennis with was revolutionary. At this moment of time, when tennis started to become an increasingly more aggressive and physically intensive sport, the Stan Smith initiated a tech war between major sportswear brands, that still lives on to this day.


Fun fact: The adidas Stan Smith were originally named Robert Haillet, after the adidas brand endorsed the French player Robert Haillet. It was only in 1978 that the popular model were rebranded to the now icon name of the American tennis player Stan Smith.

adidas Stan Smith

The Reebok Court Pump Fury (1990)

The 90's made their mark with the arrival of Reebok's iconic pump sneakers. Reebok made a deal with the 17-year-old teenage tennis sensation, Michael Chang, who was the perfect person to wear the shoes. His sneakers were armed with tennis ball pump buttons on the tongues of the shoes. Wearing these sneakers into the historic French Open victory, helped immortalise pump technology as one of the most defining sneaker revolutions in the early '90s.

Pump Court Juun. J

Recent tennis models

Other, more recent tennis models, include the NikeCourt series. The NikeCourt series exists out of various models, as well as a whole clothing line. Check out some of my favourites below. Apart from the classic adidas Stan Smith, adidas also sets the stage with the adidas Pharrell Williams tennis hu and the Grand Court models.

adidas pharrell williams hu

NikeCourt React Vapor NXT Black/Metallic Red Bronze/White

adidas Grand Court Base

A Brand History: Nike Tennis Shoes – Merchant of Tennis