View Full Version : Rod Laver Mesh, Stan Smith Originals

Steve F.
05-11-2004, 07:21 AM
Anybody know the weight of these shoes? And why TW doesn't carry either of these awesome old schoolers? I used to wear these years ago - thinking about picking up a pair to see how they hold up compared to today's shoes and clay court play...

Capt. Willie
05-11-2004, 04:23 PM
I bought a pair of leather Rod Laver's about a year ago on a whim. I always wore them (the mesh ones) back in High School in the late 70s and when I saw them in the mall, and in leather, I had to have a pair. Big, big mistake. They were worn out in less than three weeks. The funny thing is, back in the day I could have sworn they held up longer than that...unless I'm harder on shoes now. As for the difference in them, I found the Laver's to be more durable and comfortable than the Smith's. The Smith's were made with a stiff leather that was hard to break in and by the time you did break in the uppers, the soles were worn out. The new leather Laver's have a nice leather that I found to be comfortable but as I already stated the soles wore down way to soon for me. Also, they aren't as well cushioned as modern shoes. Anyway, I think these things are more better suited as a fashion thing rather than a real tennis shoe. If you're going to play on clay you might be okay but if you play on hard courts, expect a short life span. If you do want a "retro" looking shoe you might want to look into the Adidas Nastase Millennium...again not the most durable but they will hold up longer than the Laver or Smith and they are better padded.

Steve F.
05-11-2004, 07:07 PM
Hey Cap'n, thanks for the reply. Too bad about the leather Lavers, they look comfy but yeah, not suited for real play. The mesh Lavers, I remember holding up, along with some canvas Nikes and the adidas clamshell superstars. Yeah, no doubt there's no comparison with the cushioning, but - you just can't help wondering what it'd feel like at net with a pair of these on after all that time. Same impulse I guess as whipping out the old pro staff or 200g for a few strokes. I had on a pair of Mesh Lavers in a shop, and the thing that got me was how hard the rubber outsole was, as if it might just skid on hard court. Funny you mention the Smiths as being less durable, but I'm sure you're right, especially for toe draggers. Which reminds me that both these shoes were developed in the grass and clay court days, so durability on hard courts wasn't even an issue.