When you think of an "it" shoe, designer brands like Christian Louboutin or Prada may come to mind. But this spring, the Adidas Stan Smith sneaker — the best-selling tennis shoe of all time — is suddenly the most coveted, hard-to-find shoe.
The Stan Smith initially launched in 1973 and was named after American tennis champion Stanley Roger Smith, but nowadays the minimalist sneakers can be spotted on everyone from Kanye West and Pharrell Williams to Céline's uberstylish creative director Phoebe Philo and fashion blogger the Man Repeller. Thinking about buying a pair? Better act fast since they're nearly all sold out.
Adidas has had quite a history with its Stan Smith kicks, which feature three rows of perforated holes on the side in place of the signature stripes. Aside from being worn by Smith while taking home U.S. Open and Wimbeldon titles, they were name-checked in a 2001 Jay Z song.
More than 30 million pairs were sold over the past four decades. Adidas decided to stop producing the shoes in 2012, with rumors of a big relaunch. To build up the hype, in September Adidas Originals teamed up with some high-end retailers to sell exclusive, limited-edition updates of the Stan Smith. It also created custom Stan Smith sneakers for a small group of fashion and cultural influencers around the world, replacing the image of Smith’s face on the shoe's tongue with that of the recipient. Adidas eventually relaunched the Stan Smith to the public in limited quantities on January 15, and fans scooped them up in droves. They've been nearly impossible to find ever since.
Aside from the shoe's long-standing popularity, the timing is clearly right for the sneakers to take over the masses. "No matter what your style is, Stan Smith just works. Every sneakerhead and influencer has a pair, no matter what their brand preference is," Simon Atkins, head of sport style for Adidas America, tells Yahoo Shine. "The demand for one of the best-selling shoes of all time was high, and we thought the timing and the market was right to celebrate the return."
For sure, designer sneakers by brands like Givenchy, Miu Miu, and Isabel Marant have been luring in the fashion crowd lately, and the sleek, minimal design of the Stan Smith is quite stylish. (Interestingly, the prefall Isabel Marant sneakers look an awful lot like the Stan Smith.) There's also a massive '90s fashion resurgence happening right now, and it has both men and women alike seeking old-school garments and accessories with iconic logos, and Adidas's timeless designs certainly fall into that category.
The brand's striped slide sandals made a comeback last summer, so it's no surprise that one of its most acclaimed sneaker designs is having a resurgence as well. At $75 a pop, they're more affordable than many other sought-after shoes like Nike Jordans, and they clearly stand the test of time.
With limited supply comes demand, of course, and the hunger for the unisex Stan Smith design is strong. Adidas says the shoe will become more widely available in April and eventually work its way back to being a staple of its sneaker collection once again. The company is restocking every month or so and replenishing inventory based on demand. The classic (and most coveted) green style and updated blue version are both sold out at Adidas.com, and no other websites are carrying them. At press time the less-popular red version was available in limited quantities in men's size 8 and 13 on the Adidas website. There are currently no waiting lists, but you can sign up online to be notified when the site is restocked or hit up your local Adidas location and keep your fingers crossed.