The Adidas Rod Laver is a tennis shoe that was endorsed by the Australian tennis player Rod Laver. The Adidas Rod Laver shoe was released (1970) a year earlier than the Adidas Stan Smith (1971) tennis shoe; even though Rod Laver was a more successful tennis player, and an all-time great, his shoe has not sold as well. The Stan Smith is Adidas' best selling shoe, whereas the Rod Laver shoe, while still produced, is nowhere near as popular. The Rod Laver shoe is made from mesh/suede, whereas the Stan Smith is a leather shoe; the Rod Laver shoe has a basic 'no frills' design.
Rodney "Rod" Laver is a former Australian tennis player that was ranked the number 1 professional from 1964-1970. Rod Laver won the the Grand Slam in 1962; the Grand Slam is winning all four major tournaments in the same year: Australian Open, French Open, U.S. Open and Wimbledon. Rod Laver won a total of 11 grand slam tournaments, and is widely regarded as one of the all time great tennis players. One of Rod Laver's main challengers in the late 1960's was Stan Smith; Stan Smith was ranked the number 1 professional tennis player soon after Rod Laver lost the rank in 1970.
The Rod Laver tennis shoe was originally released with a mesh and suede upper; although modern versions of the shoe have been released with a eco-rebound full grain leather upper. The Rod Laver shoe features: chevaux eyestays (for the laces); a suede reinforced toe; tight-weave round laces for fastening; an EVA cushioned midsole; and a "grippy" outsole. The Rod Laver shoe features a cupsole, rather than a vulcanised sole; this provides superior impact protection and durability. The Rod Laver shoe does not feature Adidas' three stripes design; because the design broke the dress code of some major tennis tournament. The Rod Laver shoe features a two tone coloured midsole; the tongue of the shoe sometimes features a portrait of Rod Laver, other versions (as above) simple have the trefoil Adidas logo printed on the tongue.