Adidas Stan Smith vs. Superstar (Debate Ends Here)

Adidas is a good brand to start if you are looking for high-quality sneakers. Two of their most popular shoe models are the Adidas Stan Smith and Superstar.  

So, what are the differences between Adidas Stan Smith vs. Superstar?

  1. The Adidas Stan Smiths have rounded toe boxes, whereas the Adidas Superstars have classic shell toes.
  2. The Adidas Stan Smiths have perforated three-stripes made of tiny holes on the sides, whereas the Adidas Superstars shoes have serrated three-stripes.
  3. The Adidas Stan Smiths have a portrait of Stanley Roger Smith on the tongues, whereas the Adidas Superstars have the trefoil logo on the tongues.
  4. The Adidas Stan Smith shoes are inspired by tennis, whereas the Adidas Superstar shoes are inspired by basketball.

More important than the above comparisons are how the shoes feel on your feet. So, let’s compare the Adidas Stan Smith vs. Superstar to find out which sneakers suit you best.

Adidas Stan Smith vs. Superstar Comparison

Adidas Stan Smith (buy on Amazon)

  • Perforated three stripes
  • Rounded toe boxes
  • Thin padding and cushioning

Adidas Superstar (buy on Amazon)

  • Serrated three stripes
  • Classic shell toe boxes
  • Thicker padding and cushioning

If you want a quick answer, here it is:

The Adidas Superstars are much superior to the Stan Smiths in every way. Not only are the shoes made with thicker padding, but they last longer too.

To make this comparison fair and purposeful, we will compare both sneakers based on three important categories: sneaker design, materials and comfort, and value for the price.

Here is the Adidas Stan Smith vs. Superstar comparison:

1. Sneaker Design

Adidas Stan Smith

In terms of looks, the Stan Smith is a simple pair of sneakers, inspired by the game of tennis. The shoes resemble another Adidas pair called the Advantage, which we’ve compared to.

There’s nothing crazy about the looks of the shoes, but that’s what the shoes are all about: clean and simple. In fact, the minimalist design is what draws people to the shoes.

On both sides of the Stan Smiths, the iconic three stripes branding is missing.

They are, however, replaced with 3 lines made of tiny holes, which make the shoes look simpler, yet still embody the Adidas brand in a very subtle way.

These holes also add ventilation to your feet.

On the tongues, you can find a portrait of the great tennis player, Stan Smith. On the heels, you can find the Adidas trefoil logo with the “Stan Smith” text.


Stan Smith portrait on the tongues

Other than the tongues and the heels which are colored, the entire Stan Smith shoes are dominated by white, which is clean and simple.

The laces of the shoes are also nothing crazy, just standard flat laces which go along well with the white color theme of the sneakers.

Overall, the Adidas Stan Smith shoes are the standard white sneakers that will go along well with any outfit. It goes well with jeans, joggers, even relaxed shorts.

Adidas Superstar

The Adidas Superstar is also a popular pair from the brand with the three stripes. But while the Stan Smiths are inspired by tennis, the Superstars are inspired by basketball.

Dating back to 1969, the Adidas Superstars were introduced as basketball sneakers. However, until today, the shoes remain popular and have become a fashion staple.

So much so, that many similar sneakers are made after the Superstar’s design.

As far as sneakers go, the build is similar to the Stan Smiths, however, the Superstars are bulkier and heftier, mainly because the shoes are equipped with more padding.

But the biggest difference between the Stan Smiths and the Superstars are the toe boxes. The Adidas Superstar shoes are well-known for their classic shell toes.

In fact, no other shoes in the world have the same shell toes.

On both sides of the Superstars are the iconic three stripes with serrated edges, which goes along well with the design of the sneakers, especially the thicker shoelaces.

If you look closely at the tongues of the Superstars, you can find the Adidas trefoil logo.

Overall, the Superstars will go well with most outfits, especially if you wear them with jeans and joggers because the shoes have thicker builds than the Stan Smiths.

Verdict on Design

The design of the Adidas Superstar is better than the Stan Smith. A big reason why is because the Superstars feature thicker padding, heftier build, and more history.

Don’t get us wrong, the Stan Smiths are still great white sneakers, but the thinner profile may come across as “budget sneakers” to a lot of people.

2. Comfort and Materials

Adidas Stan Smith

As far as materials go, the Stan Smiths are made of white leather at the top with rubber soles. Inside, the shoes’ inner soles are made of synthetic materials.

Thankfully, the Adidas Stan Smiths got a complete makeover as of 2021. Now, the shoes are made with recycled and eco-friendly materials.

The makeover is part of Adidas’ commitment to end plastic waste and boost climate change.

All of that sounds great, but are the shoes comfortable? As it turns out, we think that the Stan Smiths offer minimal support because the padding is very thin.

The midsoles are also very low and not well-cushioned. Compared to other sneakers, including the Superstars, the Stan Smiths have thin rubber midsoles.

Another issue we found was the tongue. Not only are the tongues minimally padded, but they stick out constantly, which do not provide a clean and sharp look.

Overall, the Stan Smiths would pass as your daily average white sneakers, but don’t expect cloudlike cushioning and heavenly foam on the midsoles like other modern shoes.

Adidas Superstar

Just like the Stan Smiths, the Adidas Superstars have full-grain leather uppers. However, I feel like the uppers of the Superstar are more solid, which provides better durability and support.

The original Superstars already have thick midsoles (which is why they are considered one of the tallest Adidas shoes), but in 2017, the Superstars will include Boost technology.

Compared to the original version, the Superstar Boost shoes are noticeably lighter and the insoles are substantially softer, upgrading the shoes to a whole new level.

On the inside of the shoes, the padded sock liners gently cradle your feet when you slip into the shoes, along with the padded tongues that secure everything in place.

Overall, it’s a wonderful sensation to wear the Superstars, especially once the shoes have been broken in and conform to the unique shapes of your feet.

Verdict on Comfort

It’s no question that the Superstars are much more comfortable than the Stan Smiths. Not only are the uppers thicker and more padded, but the midsoles are more cushioned too.

Add in the fact that the Superstars are now equipped with Boost, you can slip into the shoes knowing that your feet are going to enjoy the whole ride.

3. Value For Price

Adidas Stan Smith

It’s absolutely refreshing that the Stan Smiths are available at an affordable price. In fact, the shoes retail for only $85, which is considered budget-friendly.

So in terms of value, there’s nothing to complain about the Stan Smiths. There are plenty of white sneakers out there that are more expensive.

There’s nothing wrong with buying the Stan Smith to wear them as your daily sneakers. Not only do they look good, but they will also get the job done.

Adidas Superstar

Sometimes we like to appreciate the fact that the Adidas Superstar shoes are available for just $85, considering the shoes are timeless and iconic.

But it’s not the design of the sneakers that we admire, it’s the durability factor.

Made with classic shell toes, high-quality rubber, and top-notch leather, the shoes can stand the test of time very well. In fact, Adidas Superstars can last well over 5 years.

Sure, the shell toes and midsoles can become yellow after several years, but they are still in very good shape. The Superstars may not look as good as when they are new, but you can see how they are clearly built for the long haul.

And since there are simple hacks to unyellow the shell toes and midsoles, you can worry less and wear them proudly since the Adidas Superstar shoes are very comfortable.

Verdict on Value

It’s clear that the Adidas Superstars provide better value than the Stan Smiths. A big reason why is because the Superstar shoes are more durable.

Considering that both shoes retail for $85, we would recommend you to invest your money in the Superstars because they will last longer than the Stan Smiths.

Final Verdict

WINNER: Adidas Superstar

Adidas Stan Smith (buy on Amazon)

  • Perforated three stripes
  • Rounded toe boxes
  • Thin padding and cushioning

Adidas Superstar (buy on Amazon)

  • Serrated three stripes
  • Classic shell toe boxes
  • Thicker padding and cushioning

While the Adidas Stan Smiths are awesome sneakers, the Adidas Superstars are more superior in every category. For the same amount of money ($85), you get to enjoy the classic shell toes, better quality leather, and most importantly, the extra durability.

And there you have it, the Adidas Stan Smith vs. Superstar comparison.

Without a doubt, these two shoes are amongst the greatest in Adidas’ sneakers pantheon. However, we would argue that the Superstars are simply better than the Stan Smiths.