About the Author: Adam Terry is a thirtysomething salesman in the heating and manufacturing industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, denim, and working on his
dad bod father figure.
The boffins at Adidas HQ have once again tinkered with the effortlessly cool and timeless Stan Smith silhouette. The Lux Pack, released in December of 2022, contains three to four models of Stan Smith sneakers with a few upgrades that make this specific model stand out from the rest of the Stan Smith centuria. What exactly are these luxury additions? Mainly it boils down to a higher quality leather upper, a new leather lining, and a nicer leather heel tab. While that doesn’t sound like much, those were some of the biggest gripes with the original Stan Smith models. Adidas says the Stan Smith sneakers are elegant, simple, genderless, and classic. Let’s find out if the Lux model maintains that degree of versatility and see if these upgrades are worth it.
The Stan Smith Lux is currently available in three color options.
The Adam Review Scale of Excellence (A.R.S.E.)
- 5 – Excellent! No issues and highly recommended.
- 4 – Good. Above average, but not perfect.
- 3 – Average. Minor issues, might be good at the right price.
- 2 – Fair. Below average due to defects, flaws, or imperfections.
- 1 – Poor. Significant issues, not worth purchasing at any price.
- Brand: Adidas
- Style: Tennis court sneakers
- Size: 11 US
- Last: N/A
- Construction: Glued and stitched
- Upper: Leather
- Sole: Rubber
- Details: Leather lining, removable insole
- Extras: N/A
- Country of Origin: China
$145update: as of spring 2024 they’ve reduced the MSRP to $120
Low profile, court shoe design, just like the original Stan Smith.
My pair of white and black Lux Stans was ordered via Adidas.com on one particularly cold Monday afternoon. The package shipped out on the next business day via LaserShip, an independent and privately-owned “last mile” carrier that has had a ton of negative press over the years. Luckily for us, my package arrived on Thursday afternoon with no issues to note.
FYI: Adidas offers a full refund within 30 days of receipt with a few exceptions such as shipping fees, personalized products, third party collab merch, and “hype” products (which have a smaller return window). As usual, footwear must be in unworn, like new, resalable condition.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Easy online ordering, quick shipping, and simple returns.
The shoes might be upgraded, but this was not a lux unboxing.
This pair arrived in your standard blue and white Adidas sneaker box. Inside, the shoes were wrapped in a single layer of tissue paper. There were no spare laces or extras to note. If you’re looking for a premium or luxury unboxing experience, this ain’t it. Compared to the Nike by You Blazers that I reviewed recently, these are $20 more expensive and have fewer premium perks.
Score: 3/5 Stars – The unboxing experience was average at best. Not lux at all.
Fresh out of the box, these look like every other pair of Stan Smith’s I’ve ever seen. The Stan Smith design is a blend of 70% minimalist white sneakers, 20% retro tennis vibes, and 10% bowling shoes (from above). Stan himself says this sneaker design is essentially a blank canvas where you can mix and match different aspects of it to create something new. It’s extremely versatile and you can do (and wear) almost anything with it, especially as style trends continue to edge more and more into the casual side of fashion. This Lux model just takes it up a notch.
Those are Stan Smiths alright.
Today, it’s entirely normal for people to wear sneakers in most day to day situations. While I’m not one to pair sneakers with a traditional business suit, plenty of people do (for better or for worse) wear sneakers like these in a professional business setting. It’s not that uncommon. Personally, I prefer to wear sneakers like Stan Smiths in a smart casual style – pair them with a logoless knit athletic polo shirt and a crisp pair of slim fitting khaki chinos or neat raw denim. Using this style scenario, you can go straight from the office to drinks with friends afterwards.
Adidas logo stamped into the higher quality leather on the heels.
The upper is made from a “premium” and “buttery soft” leather. While it’s hard to tell whether this is entry level calfskin or a highly polished and painted top-grain layer of cowhide, you can definitely tell that it’s a major upgrade over the standard Stan Smiths. It feels nicer in hand, crinkles slightly as you run a finger over the surface, and will crease like traditional leather sneakers. One of the biggest complaints about the standard Stans is that the upper leather is so overly corrected and painted, the finish tends to crack and flake off over time. I don’t foresee that happening on this pair as the leather does feel like a nicer, higher quality option.
The inside is lined is a soft leather, except for the underside of the toe cap.
I’ll note that while Adidas calls this model Lux, you can also find other sneakers on this price tier that have better quality leather and construction. Personally, I wouldn’t consider these Stan Smiths any more “lux” than my recent Nike by You Blazers or my Morgen trainers from Beckett Simonon, both of which feel notably nicer in hand than these Stan Smiths and typically cost less to boot. If you’re focused on maximizing the value for your dollars but you want something in the minimalist sneaker style, Gustin’s white leather low tops are slightly more expensive but feel much more premium and on par with genuine luxury brands that can cost 2-3x more.
The leather toped foam insoles, while technically are supposed to remain anchored, can be pried up
and removed when it’s time to replace them.
The interior of the Stan Smith Lux sneakers is lined in a decently soft calfskin (I think?) leather, except for the underside of the toe cap. In that area, you can feel a softer felt or fabric layer. Whether that change was made for cost cutting or comfort is up for debate, but it’s not noticeable when the shoes are on your feet. The leather lining feels comfortable and is a notable upgrade from the fully synthetic, rougher lining on the run of the mill Stan Smiths.
Technically speaking, the leather topped foam insoles are removable. They’re not supposed to be; they are glued down rather well. However, if you need to swap them out for something with proper arch support or find that the open cell foam layer has collapsed too much after a year of wear, the insoles can be pried up and removed with no lasting damage to the shoes. Neat!
The tonal rubber cupsole hides hollow chambers that flex, creating squish under your feet.
Decent grip pattern on the sole should provide tractions for average days in good weather.
The tonal white rubber cupsole keeps everything grounded and comfortable. Thanks to a cut away video online, we know that this particular cup sole style has small cells or chambers of air that can partially collapse as you walk, creating that comfortable squish that you feel. It’s a similar concept to the Purple Mattress grid that flexes and conforms around you. Compared to a higher quality Margom cupsole that you find on true luxury sneakers, this Adidas unit does look to be a little thinner overall and may not last a year or two of hard, regular wear. With that said, it is glued and stitched to the upper assembly and that’s a notable advantage over others. The grip pattern on the bottom looks to be decent enough for average days out and about.
Score: 4/5 Stars – Looks are subjective, but these fancy bowling shoes are pretty good.
In terms of fit and sizing, I recommend trying a half-size up from your true-to-size Brannock measurement. I chose an 11D in this pair, my tried and true Adidas size, and it fits just right with my heels locked in the heel cups, the widest part of my foot at the widest part of the shoe, and about a thumb’s width of extra space in front of my toes for some expansion.
Recommendation = order a half size up from your normal Brannock measurement.
For size reference, I am a 10.5 D/E on a Brannock device and usually take a 10 D in most roomy dress shoes, including Alden’s Barrie last and Grant Stone’s Leo last. I take a 10.5 E in Allen Edmonds 65 last, as that last runs too narrow for me. I also take a 10.5 in Converse/Vans and an 11 in most athletic sneakers from Adidas or Nike. Have a size question? Email us!
Comfort is always subjective, but these Stan Smith sneakies are feeling pretty good right out of the box. You can tell that the softer leather uppers, decent leather linings, and foam-backed insoles are putting in work to keep things as comfortable as possible. No complaints here!
Score: 5/5 Stars – Fits exactly as all my other Adidas sneakers do and these are comfy.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with these “Lux” Stan Smiths. In the Adidas realm that includes the regular Stan Smiths, Gazelles, Superstars, and other models, these are definitely a small step up in terms of materials and craftsmanship. The upgraded upper leather is nice enough, the new lining feels pretty good, and the insole is comfortable and supportive out of the box. Don’t forget that these are side stitched, too, which is an advantage over cheaper sneakers that are simply glued together. Are they worth $145? That’s for you to decide as worth is highly subjective. While I might personally prefer other brands and models, that’s not to say the Stan Smiths we’ve reviewed here are bad. On the contrary, they are effortlessly simple, extremely versatile, and classically cool sneakers that should deserve a spot in your closet. Cheers!
Avg. Score: 4.25/5 – Recommended! If you like the regular Stans, these are upgrades.
Not a huge “lux” jump, but for many a little lux goes a long way.