The 50 Greatest Tennis Sneakers of All Time

10. Fila T-1 Leather

Year Released: 1984

Let's just get this out of the way. FILA was an incredibly powerful sport luxury brand. Retailer ads in the back of tennis magazines listed prices for various shoes. But almost always, next to FILA, it just said "CALL FOR PRICE." FILA was so synonymous with high-end that everyone wanted a piece. Rap groups named themselves after FILA. Ford tried to go high end and collaborate with FILA on a Thunderbird before collaborations really even existed (white leather seats anyone?). So if you don't know, now you know. And if you still don't know, you better axe somebody. Detroit desperation aside, FILA was an apparel powerhouse in tennis and skiing. FILA tracksuits were rich—regal even—and barely attainable. I remember finally being able to get my hands on some FILA at the pro shop at Pier 30 in Philly and walking out with a plastic visor, because it's all I could afford. For me, FILA really had one tennis shoe that mattered: the T-1. The T-1 is a prime example of sleek European design, and how brands like this became a way for you to set yourself apart from your homeboys in 1985. I know FILA apparel tried to make moves like eight years ago. I have the orange wool track jacket to prove it (and it's crazy). I should have bought the kelly green one when I saw it too. More recently Premium Goods busted an amazing looking and completely slept-on T-1. So did Classic Kicks. FILA has a big footwear business in 2012, but it's obviously aimed a lot differently. When I see things like the Premium Goods T-1, I can't help thinking how much I'd like to get my mitts on that brand. Hey Jon Epstein, can we get a drink?

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