When I bought Stan Smiths the summer before arriving at Brown, I thought I was making a statement. Who else would have a mustachioed cartoon man on the tongue of their Adidi? Upon arriving on campus, however, I realized that everyone and their mom has these shoes. They are practically a Brown staple. Here’s what I’ve learned—through roughly two weeks of on campus ethnographic research—about what your Stans say about you:
Really dirty Stan Smiths: You want everyone to know how much ~exploring~ you do. You’ve been on the roof of more than one building (or inside Lamp/Bear) and you’re not afraid to show it. You may even have a disposable camera picture as your cover photo documenting the occasion. You ride a fixed gear bike and sometimes you get chain grease on your shoes. It’s just part of the lifestyle you lead. That, or you’re French.
Suspiciously clean Stan Smiths: You’re a sneakerhead. A hypebeast, if you will. You’re frequently caught stealing your roommate’s Burt’s Bees face wipes (which are really expensive, by the way) to shine your Stans. Your shoes emit a white light that is blinding to passersby.
Stan Smiths with highlights in any color other than Green or Blue: I’m looking at you, people with Red Stans. You had the foresight to know that everyone would have the other colors; I envy you for this. Sure, your shoes are slightly uglier than the standard blue or green ones, but at least you’ll never stand in the Ratty salad bar line with 5 other people wearing the exact same shoes as you.
All black Stan Smiths: You have the confidence to be okay with the orthopedic Reeboks look.
Zig-Zagged Stan Smiths: You paid an extra $5 to get a zig-zag design to fill the holes on the side of the shoe (why are those there, anyway?). In terms of edginess, you stand somewhere between people with dirty Stans and people with clean Stans. You’re marching to the beat of your own drum, but this beat is a pretty standard one. Bonus: because of these shoes, everyone thinks you’re great at embroidery.
Velcro Stan Smith: You’re a toddler, senior citizen, on your way to a bowling alley…or you go to RISD.