Year Released: 1970

Here's the thing about the Rod Laver. This is a grown man's shoe. For whatever reason, adidas made the design decision to go superclean. Full-on mesh and no stripes at all. That goes for both the original 1970 version, as well as the version that still sells commercially in 2012 (pictured here). in 1986, that was a big strike against the shoe. I needed those stripes. Time keeps on slipping, however, and in retrospect I get it. If adidas had put stripes on this shoe, it would have been the Nastase Super. The other strike was the PU midsole. Built for comfort, PU was a positive technology benefit. But when fluorescent light hits it, or when it's old, forget it. Here's the thing. Back in the day (before Biz began), people didn't have 10, 20, 80 pairs of sneakers. They had one. Maybe two. The Laver was a grown man's shoe too. So whenever I saw it, it was on an older person. Because that person didn't tear up his shoes like a teenager would have, he would break them out summer after summer. So everytime I saw the Laver, all I saw was pee pee yellow midsoles. It wasn't until the mid-1990's that I really came to appreciate the clean, breathable simplicity of the Rod Laver. I was also really feeling the work Oki-Ni did with the shoe in 2004. Wolf fish skin? Like Colombian fish scale, ask my man Ishmael!