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Adidas Nastase: tennis shoe endorsed by Ilie Nastase (1978)

The Adidas Nastase is a tennis shoe, released in 1978, that was endorsed by Romanian tennis player Ilie Nastase. Ilie "Nasty" Nastase is a former world number one tennis player who won the French Open and US Open. Ilie Nastase was at the peak of his abilities during the 1970's - particularly 1971-1977 - and was endorsed by a number of sportswear companies. In the early 1970's, when Nastase won the French Open and US Open, he was endorsed by Nike; one of Adidas' new competitors. It was quite a coup for Adidas to persuade Nastase to switch to wearing Adidas sneakers; although Nike may say Nastase 'best days' were behind him. However, Nastase was a flamboyant personality - a David Beckham of the tennis world - that continued to be useful for sports equipment marketing; even if he was no longer a serious grand slam contender after 1978 (release date of his Adidas shoe).

Side profile of the canvas tennis shoe. Tennis shoe with a portrait of ilie nastase on it, dyed in blue. Rear of the tennis shoe, placed on a blue shoe box; which is looking tatty.

The Adidas Nastase is a modified version of the Adidas Rod Laver tennis shoe. The modification is simple cosmetic: the Adidas Nastase features three stripes on the side of the shoe; the Rod Laver does not feature stripes on it's upper. The upper of the Adidas Nastase is traditionally made from mesh (canvas) with suede overlays placed on the toes and the heel. The shoe features decent midsole cushioning and a pivot-point rubber outsole. As with other Adidas tennis shoes endorsed by a professional tennis player, the shoe features a portrait of the player (Nastase) printed on the label stitched onto the shoe's tongue. The shoe is unusual for printing "nastase" underneath the trefoil logo on the heel patch; only a handful of Adidas shoes print the name of the shoe at this location: the Adidas Stan Smith being another. The traditional colourway for the Adidas Nastase is shown in the above images: white and sky blue.