The 50 Greatest Tennis Sneakers of All Time

36. adidas Robert Haillet

Year Released: 1964

Ok, listen up young fiends (nerds). The shoe you know as the Stan Smith was originally called the Robert Haillet. The Haillet was the first leather tennis shoe by adidas, and it was only slightly different than the Stan Smith. Signature on the lateral, no picture on the tongue, very, very dope suede heel with no Trefoil and a bug shape reminiscent of 80's shells. Robert Haillet was a French tennis pro who later repped adidas product as a sales rep, because back then you weren't necessarily paid as hell if you were a pro. Haillet's bio on Wikipedia US contains 31 words. Not what you would call a global icon. However, this shoe was so successful for adidas, that after Haillet retired, adidas kept it going with a new athlete, Stan Smith, beginning in 1971. For a minute, the shoe was still called the Haillet, but Stan's mug was on the tongue (with "HAILLET" written above Smith's face, and "STAN SMITH" in italics on the lateral). That was weird and confusing, and it didn't last. The shoe eventually became the Stan Smith in 1978. Now for what it's worth, the whole Haillet-Stan Smith transition is the functional equivalent of the Air Jordan launching in 1985, not changing it until 2003, then calling it the LeBron. That would never, EVER happen today. Oh, and Jordan would be lugging a shoebag around, slinging Roshe Runs. Also very unlikely.

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