‘80s Tennis Sneaker Legends Autry Drop Shoe With the Best Sportsman the World Has Never Known

By Racquet

Autry’s release of the Bob Lutz model celebrates the American tennis great —who lifted the US Open trophy five times as a doubles champ—just in time for his 75th birthday. The stalwart American doubles specialist, hailing from the public courts of Santa Monica, also led the United States to five Davis Cup titles—which is only fitting for Autry, the legendary ‘80s tennis brand now in the midst of a renaissance—known as the “sneaker with the American flag.

Bob Lutz in his heyday playing Davis Cup in 1972. (Getty)
Bob Lutz in his heyday playing Davis Cup in 1972. (Getty)

“Davis Cup for me was one the highlights of my tennis career,” Lutz says. “I started playing when Stan [Smith] and I were still in college. At that time, we didn’t have tennis in the Olympics back then, this was one of the only times you got a chance to play for your country. Every time I was picked for a team, I was honored to be on the team, and I would lay everything aside.”

Lutz recalled a particularly challenging time during the late ‘60s when he and Smith had not been selected for Davis Cup, and made other plans instead.

“One time we weren’t picked for the team to play against Sweden, and Stan and I were in San Francisco playing a tennis tournament,” he says. “Our next stop was Maui—we really looked forward to that one, I even had swim fins in my suitcase. Someone on the team got injured, and that was the only Davis Cup match they needed to talk me into. We showed up, got a pep talk from Vitas Gerulaitis, who knew that he had a bad record against their number one Björn Borg, so we went out there and won it for him.”

The Bob Lutz shoe hearkens back to the heyday of tennis style, now roaring back with the game’s resurgence in popularity at the recreational level (with the style as on trend as ever).


“Bob Lutz is one of the iconic champions of the seventies and eighties,” says Mauro Grange, CEO of Autry International. “We’re proud to immortalize his achievements with a testimonial sneaker that recalls a golden era of tennis, one which continues to have an influence on style outside the sport.”

For Lutz, the recognition is just as nice as the footwear:

“Everyone seems to know my doubles partner through a white sneaker, it seems only right that I finally have my own. I want to thank Autry for making a beautiful sneaker, and a campaign that reminds the tennis world of my legacy.”

You can check out a brief film about the man, the legend… the shoe here.

Autry Bob Lutz sneakers are available at Saks Fifth Avenue and all great luxury footwear stores, as well as Autry-USA.com.


Issue No. 20