OLD SCHOOL SNEAKERS – ROD LAVERS
The first time I laid eyes on a pair of Rod Lavers was in the Black Moon video for How Many MC’s. A shot at the end of the video showed Buckshot walking down a staircase with one of his pant legs rolled up and, there, on clear display, was the pair of shoes that would solidify my loyalty to Adidas forever. A crisp pair of Rod Lavers look fresh, no doubt. But, like most of my favourite pieces of gear, they look even better with wear and tear. The white mesh that makes up most of the shoe gets nice and creased up, the suede around the toe cap get s few scuffs and starts to develop real character. Then, those green accents get a little darker, matching the hue of the rest of the sneaker and you can finally say, “That was worth it!”
Rod Laver was a massive sports figure in his day. With records and titles that saw him as the number one ranked player in the world, his style was fast and precise. Australian by birth, Laver was a living legend and his accolades are too many to name in this article. A long standing rivalry with fellow countrymen Ken Rosewell, was the stuff of sports lore. My seventh grade teacher, Mr. Reeves, was not only an Aussie, but also a fantastic tennis player and a man who wore his Stan Smiths until they were bursting at the seams. I learned a lot from him and his love of Adidas spurred me to find my appreciation for the shoe company who was endorsing superstars long before anyone else.
Over the years I have owned about half a dozen pairs of Rod Lavers and each of them had their own story to tell. Some of them I bought in Cali, some of them while on tour, others still while on trips abroad, but one constant remains, I first saw them as a young man, being rocked by one of Brooklyn’s finest emcess and, the image is engrained in my mind forever. If you take care of your Rod Lavers, they will make you feel like the champion whose name they bare, and that is a true Grand Slam!