In the world of classic Adidas tennis shoes, you are either Team Stan Smith or Team Rod Laver. I have always fallen into the latter camp. In college, before there was e-commerce or “sneakerhead culture,” I once traded a ride across the country in my VW Golf for a pair that my passenger owned—and felt like I came out ahead in the deal.
So when Adidas rereleased the Stan Smith a couple years ago and made it the minimal fashion sneaker, with everyone from Pharrell to Raf Simons collaborating on the silhouette, myself and fellow Laverites felt left out of the party. But no longer. After a good run for the Stan Smith, the Three Stripes are showing the Rod Laver some love. And they’re not just reissuing the original, they’re making it better. Adidas Originals is set to release a new Primeknit version of the Rod Laver that will become your new favorite end-of-summer shoe. In addition to the breathable upper, Adidas retooled the sole to make it the lightest Rod Laver ever.
The addition of Primeknit also makes more sense on the Rod Laver—which originally had a similarly textured mesh upper—than it does on the Stan Smith, which began its life as a leather sneaker.
The Rod Laver PK will drop on August 5 in two classic colorways, white with navy details and navy with white details.