Take a walk around any of Metro Manila’s big malls and you’re bound to come across a pair of adidas Stan Smiths. It’s not even funny anymore; in fact, it’s a little tragic. How could such a great shoe fall so hard from grace and into a realm of nauseating ubiquity? We’ve reached peak Stan Smith: These days, everyone and their mother owns a pair of adidas Originals’ blockbuster hit, and that the crisp white tennis trainers have gone from ‘classic’ to flat-out ‘corny’ in the span of a year.
So in an effort to revitalize their flagship sneaker, adidas Originals decided to release a new version of it, with the three stripes’ trademark Boost cushioning.
And we’re not exactly sure how to feel about it.
On one hand, it looks like a pretty contrived creative decision. It seems as if adidas is trying to pump blood back into a design that’s well on its way out-of-vogue by riding the wave of one of their other successful designs, the Ultra Boost. It’s a recurring theme in the three stripes’ recent design ethos: Take a classic sneaker and attach a contemporary feature to it. This is true of their EQT sneakers (which they also reiterated with a Boost sole), and the new Superstars (which have been released in Primeknit). It’s a chop-shop approach to sneaker design that does work out sometimes, when the results are greater than the sum of their parts. But in some cases, as with these Boost-laden Stan Smiths, it feels a little like an unnecessary combination.
On the other hand, these look comfortable AF.
Perhaps we can allow adidas some slack, though, as their boom over the past few years under Creative Director Paul Gaudio has yielded some of the most unique and truly original contemporary sneaker designs. The Ultra Boost itself came with little precedent, design-wise, and regardless of how you feel about the ever-changing, ever-evolving Tubular line, you can’t say that they haven’t pushed boundaries.
So chalk this up to a marketing necessity—from a business-perspective, slapping a Boost sole onto the Stan Smiths is a smart move, albeit one that lacks imagination. But while your average fuccboi fawns over these, keep an eye on adidas’ efforts to make greater creative strides with other more original releases.