When you think of fire kicks, the first thought that comes to mind are the sneakers we’re used to seeing on the hardwood, right? A big reason why basketball sneakers are so popular is due to the person that actually wears the shoes.
Aside from player’s signature sneakers there are plenty of sneakers that became iconic thanks in large part to the players wearing them. Penny made people go crazy over Foams. Scottie Pippen put the spotlight on the Nike Air More Uptempo, while Dee Brown made the Reebok Pumps Omni Lite famous during his Slam Dunk competition.
Just like basketball kicks, the same thing can be said about tennis sneakers. Although not as widely known (or popular) as basketball kicks, there are plenty of tennis sneakers that have earned the title of iconic over the years by being placed on the feet of some of the best tennis players to ever do it. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most iconic tennis sneakers ever created. Presented in collaboration with SportsDomainLab.com, read over the list and let us know which pair takes the grand slam, pun intended.
adidas Stan Smith
A list made up of iconic tennis sneakers would not be a credible list if it did not have the adidas Stan Smith on it. Made back in the early 70s, the adidas Stan Smith was made for the legendary Stan Smith. Smith’s signature tennis shoe was known for its simple and clean aesthetic. It was also said to be the first ever leather tennis shoe in production. The White and Green pair is known as the OG colorway, but hundreds of iterations have been made since its inception close to 50 years ago.
Adidas B.J. King
Billie Jean King won 39 Grand Slam titles combined in singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. In other words, the former World No 1 professional tennis player is one of the best to ever do it. During the prime of her career, King wore the Three Stripes. Adidas even made the adias B.J. King model just for her. The low-top silhouette came with a sketch of King herself on the tongue, while her signature was stitched on the side of the shoe. Not many women can say they have their own signature shoe, Billie Jean King can proudly say she is one of them.
Nike Air Tech Challenge Huarache
Andre Agassi is the definition of swaggy. A tennis player as unique as Agassi had to have a sneaker just as unique. Enter the Nike Air Tech Challenge Huarache. This tennis model combines the Nike Air Tech Challenge and fuses it with the beloved Huarache technology. Andre Agassi debuted the Nike Air Tech Challenge Huarache back in 1992, the same year that he won the Wimbledon title. Coincidence? I think not.
Nike Air Oscillate
As an 80s baby, I remember growing up Pete Sampras being the man! He did most of his damage while wearing the Nike Air Oscillate. Designed by Tinker Hatfield, the Nike Air Oscillate was made exclusively for Pete Sampras without the feedback or input of Sampras (who was not interested in changing shoes). Hatfield designed the shoe and somehow got Pete to try on a prototype. It was love at first fit. Pete ended up wearing the Nike Air Oscillate to the Australian Open and won. How legendary is that?
Adidas Grand Slam
The adidas Grand Slam was released by adidas back in 1984. It was known as the brand’s premier tennis sneakers. The sneaker was known for using the adidas peg cushioning system, which lets you add/remove pegs to help customize the comfort of the shoe. Steffi Graff who won 22 Grand Slams ( a record for Grand Slam titles by men and women) was one of the most notable tennis athletes to wear the adidas Grand Slam. Although not her signature model, with a name like Grand Slam, it looks like it was a match made in heaven, right?
This article also appears over at The Spectator here.