With the latest launch from Brooks Heritage, your new favorite spring sneakers might actually have roots in the past. The iconic sneaker brand is stepping into tennis shoes for the first time with the launch of its Grand Slam Collection — and you’d do well to buy a pair or two.
The collection — featuring two silhouettes — is the result of 16 months of research, planning and preparation, all designed to re-connect the brand with its roots. The new silhouettes also precede the 35th anniversary of the brand’s appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated — tennis legend Jimmy Connors wore the brand as he won Wimbledon.
“The Grand Slam collection is a story that we felt compelled to tell. We have paid attention to every detail on these, with the overall goal of recreating them in the most modern way,” said Global Heritage Director Shane Downey. “For Brooks, the tennis shoe silhouette was the most natural extension beyond just … the vintage element of the sport.”
The results of the research and design process speak for themselves, and considering that the process involved purchasing past samples and reinterpreting the older outsole, it paid off. Even for those who normally stick to simple classics like stylish men’s dress shoes, these sneakers are wearable and perhaps even … essential to your spring style.
The Renshaw ($89.99), with a gum sole and a name derived from seven-time Wimbledon champ William Renshaw and his brother Ernest, looks quite a bit different than your average white sneaker — in a great way. With color options ranging from white with a navy stripe to a crisp all-white, they’re begging to be worn throughout the season.
If you’re looking for a way to switch up your spring sneaker game, give the Brooks Heritage Renshaw a shot with slim tan chinos and a light blue polo. Or heck, try it with a denim jacket and grey chinos. Even better? It’s Downey’s favorite shoe in the collection.
“I personally love the White/Navy Blue Renshaw—it has that classic athletic/collegiate aesthetic that I like from a court shoe. I have memories of court shoes as far back as a I can remember,” Downey said.
The Doherty ($74.99) on the other hand, is named for another set of tennis brothers, Laurence and Reginald Doherty. It features just as many eye-catching color options and mixes a suede and rubber upper with a sturdy rubber outsole. The brand notes it’s inspired by the grit and athleticism of tennis, yet one could argue any of the colorways would team stylishly with faded denim and a classic chambray shirt through the warmer months.
Even moreso than the stylish, updated silhouettes, Downey is particularly excited to see consumers experience the sneakers in the modern era.
“History is timeless and we value this above everything at Brooks Heritage,” Downey said. “These are models of yesteryear that we are excited for (consumers) to experience.”