When Adidas announced that they were bringing back the Stan Smith back in January, we kind of just shrugged and said, "Uh, okay, cool." Stan Smiths have always been a fine sneaker, but never exceptional. For the #menswear set, they were always kind of like what people who didn't feel like dropping $400 on Common Projects Achilles bought, or just another sneaker in the pantheon of basic, albeit classic styles that bros wear.
But quickly it became clear that Adidas wasn't fucking around. They wanted the Stan Smith to be the sneaker of the year, and so far, it pretty much has been through the force of sheer will. It's been worn by their recent signees Pharrell and Kanye West, and has become the staple sneaker amongst cool fashion industry insiders, from designers Pheobe Philo and Adidas collaborator, Raf Simons, to your favorite editor. Through a literal downpour of collaborative efforts as well, Adidas has made sure that everyone at every taste level and price point imaginable can find the Stan Smith for them.
This influx has also emphasized the fact that Adidas has absolutely no chill, putting out some pretty terrible and weak ass versions of what might be its most iconic silhouette in the process. So, we've taken it upon ourselves to rank these releases in an effort to definitively determine the best of the best because that's just what the fuck we do.
12. Stan Smith x Bedwin & The Heartbreakers
Paint splatters were cool for about a month there. Essentially, these are the wildly struggle bus versions of those paint-splattered Margiela GATs, which, to be honest, weren't even that cool to begin with, so you can do the math on these. Who wants to walk around wearing shoes that look like they were worn to a 3rd grade art class?
9. Stan Smith x Pharrell
"Less is more" is also a concept that Pharrell should probably learn next time he wants to make his Stans not look like they were doodled on by a Japanese schoolgirl (though, to be fair, is kind of Pharrell's whole steez). That said, these were auctioned off and the money went to charity. It's just too bad that whoever paid top dollar for a pair of baby shoes.
6. Stan Smith Tier Strug
Obviously, these are pretty high up on the list because without these, none of the other shoes here would even exist (which, actually, in hindsight doesn’t seem all that bad). The tier strug, available everywhere Stan Smiths are the ones you're most likely to see in the wild and worn by real, actual human beings because they’re stylish, affordable and, most of all, boring.
3. Mastermind x Stan Smith
These would be pretty much perfect if it weren't for those stupid fucking skull and crossbones. But that’s Mastermind’s logo! Does it look like we give a fuck? A designer's job is to make hot shit, not to make everyone scared that wearing a pair of sneakers might give them cancer. But, still, overall these are pretty dope.