Adidas Stan Smith vs. Superstar (Debate Ends Here)

Brainstorming on Adidas Stan Smith vs. Superstar? Since both shoes are basically constructed the same way, you may wonder a lot about which one will be more advantageous. I guess it’s all about the personality test.

So, without getting directly into the differences, I decided to help you peel the layers of all U.S.P,s of these shoes. It would be best if you make your verdict by yourself after knowing these iconic models thoroughly. Stay tuned till the end to explore their qualities and shortcomings in appearance, construction, flexibility, and utilities. 

Adidas Stan Smith vs. Superstar

Stand Smiths and Superstars both are classic models of Adidas, whose iconic designs have proved hugely influential. Those of us who are a bit familiar with the legacy of the Stan Smiths and Superstars often wish to explore more about why exactly people admire these shoes.

Assuming you’re also here because of your doubt regarding their differences and expecting a specific answer of which one is more advantageous? Before getting dive into their similarities and differences, let’s recap their history for a better understanding.


In 1970’s end, Adidas introduced an exclusive pair of sturdy and dedicated sneakers for tennis players; named Stan Smith. The brand had set a benchmark for marketing their performance-based athlete shoes in the name of the best players; belonging to that particular field.

Before the ’70s, they had marketed these tennis sneakers under Robert Haillete’s name. Since the popular French tennis star Haillete retired in 1971, Adidas started looking for another poster boy. Meanwhile, Stanley Roger Smith started becoming popular in the tennis world, while Adidas planned to rebrand these sneakers under his name.

In 1978, Adidas officially reintroduced these shoes as Stan Smith including a few modern readjustments, like the sleek design and flashy collars. The Stan Smith was so popular and off the court till some new models stepped into the market around 2010.

Stan Smith started losing the competition and got discontinued in 2012. In 2014, Adidas re-launched it again after modifying it a bit with Boost technology and sustained immediate success. They sold over 40 million pairs globally within 4-years.


Like Stan Smith, Superstar is also a classic athlete shoe; designed for basketball players. Adidas introduced these performance-based shoes in a low-top cut design with rubber shell toe protection and non-marking sole.

The rubber toe protection is genuinely a great invention at that time; that protects the toes from all possible impacts of hardwood basketball courts. Though they made their debut as basketball shoes in 1969, the non-marking sole proved advantageous for the games; get played on indoor courts.


1. Design

Both sneakers have the same outlook and low-top cut design, though they have some unique features that distinguish them from other Adidas models.

  • Perforated Holes for Breathability

For instance, the Stan Smith models have three rows of punched perforations instead of the iconic three stripes. It may minimize branding, but the breathability it offers can win easily over others.

The Adidas Superstars carried forward the trends including the ventilation feature. It has those three stripes and two lines of punched perforations in between the stripes.


  • The Tongue

Adidas included a portrait of Stan Smith on the tongue for branding, whereas the Superstars marketed with embroidering Adidas logo on the tongue.

2. Materials

Adidas Superstar and Stan Smith both are made of pure leather and rubber midsoles. For added comfort and durability and reduced price to outlive competition, the company started re-modify their Stan Smith model with Synthetic leather.

Due to the full-grain leather tops, both shoes weren’t waterproof, but the GORE-TEX inner lining in the recently released Stan Smith models makes them waterproof without affecting breathability.

Both shoes have visible seams with the logo and name engraved on the midsole, though the last released version of Superstar doesn’t include these.

3. Sole

Superstars and Stan Smiths both have comfortable insoles and rubber-made midsole; that provide the ultimate cushion comfort to reduce foot fatigue.

With advanced Boost technology, the midsoles of both sneaker models closely packed thermoplastic polyurethane cells to create an air pocket; that minimizes loss of power and renders high energy return during striding.

Regarding the difference, you’ll find the blue logo and manufacturer’s name at the heel area on the insole of Stan Smiths. You may find the most modern releases a bit low in quality.

On the other hand, Superstars come with thin sock liners, though they provide promising cushioning. The sock liner absorbs sweat and efficiently eliminates the odor.

4. Sizing

Initially, both shoes ran large, but the last released Superstar model came with snugger fittings. Moreover, the toe cap makes the Superstar models tighter than their’ size. Stan Smith still runs large. So, you’ll need to size down when buying Stand Smith and size up for Superstar.

5. Comfort

Actually, both shoes are basically constructed the same way, so there isn’t much difference in terms of construction and comfort. Stan Smiths have extended bottoms for better protection, durability, and extensive cushioning comfort.

6. Versatility

Both Adidas shoes are suitable for a variety of situations due to their flexible outsole and insoles, though I’ll suggest going for dedicated sneakers.

You can choose any of both for everyday use or roaming the streets but must for Stan Smith for tennis and Superstar for basketball. If you have wide feet, Stan Smith would be a better choice for you than Superstar.

However, Stan Smiths are available in limited colors, but Superstar offers a range of color variants, so Superstar is the winner in terms of usability in everyday grime.

7. Value for Price

In my view, both shoes are worthy enough. Their versatile design makes them suitable for a range of uses. When you wear Stan Smiths or Superstars with the correct size, no other can beat them in terms of comfortability.



Stan Smiths, while being comfortable to wear for long, don’t offer dedicated arch and ankle support, so you may feel difficult on a long walk or during walking on uneven rough terrain.

Stan Smiths are comfortable and breathable enough for walking or everyday use. Due to solid heels and little flex, the shoes take a long time to break in. So you may find it hard to start with. As the shoes run in large, if you don’t size them down during purchasing, there will be plenty of free space that will prevent blisters, toe pain, or all possible problems of new tight shoes.


The Stan Smith models with GORE-TEX inner lining are waterproof. If superior waterproofing is all you need make sure to check the GORE-TEX label to confirm its’ water-resistance power.


In 2011, Adidas decided to discontinue Stan Smiths for a major comeback and come back again with some improvements in 2014.


Adidas Stan Smith has set a benchmark of being discontinued for a while before major comebacks.


Stan Smith vs. Superstar from Adidas indeed is a prolonged debatable topic. Now you know all similarities and differences, and hopefully, you’re sorted with what will really suit you. If you still have any questions, you can ask me by commenting below. I’ll try to add the answer to your question in a few days if I missed it for now. So, keep visiting this post and sharing if you liked it.

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