Lacoste shoes are divided into three initial categories: men, women and children. The men’s and women’s shoes are divided into three further categories: club, sportwear and sport. The children’s shoes come in infant and junior sizes. The ‘club’ category is much more focused on tennis club than nightclub in theme and style. The men’s shoes include white leather loafers (also available in tan or black leather) and classic ankle-length boots in a similar choice of colours. In this category you will find a monochrome selection of boots for women, and suede knee-length boots in neutral tones.
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The sports shoes are split into shoes made for playing sport in, and shoes made for casual wear but not necessarily the tennis court. These latter might be slip-on mule style trainers, for example, which look great with the Lacoste tennis dress, but are less practical when actually playing tennis.
With Lacoste shoes, the emphasis is strongly on classic styles. The shoes remain in fashion year after year because they are made from high quality materials and are quintessentially stylish. The reputation of the shoes does not rely on the whims of fashion to keep them popular. That said, in the sportswear categories you will often find shoes that are classic in essence, say a white or black trainer with simple velcro fastenings, but there is a bit of twist in the colour of the fastenings, or the heel is perhaps made in patent leather instead of matt like the rest of the shoe.
Originally a French label, Lacoste is now an internationally recognised clothing and footwear brand. The small crocodile symbol adorns shoes, t-shirts, jumpers and cologne bottles, as well as the traditional polo shirts. The crocodile symbol dates back to the early 20th century when René Lacoste, a champion tennis player, won the Davis Cup in 1927. He was nicknamed ‘the alligator’ by the press because of a bet he made with a fellow tennis player that involved an alligator skin suitcase. The name stuck and so a friend drew a crocodile for him to embroider on the blazers he wore when he played tennis.
Then, in 1933, Lacoste and another Frenchman started producing shirts with this logo embroidered on them. He had designed a shirt for his own needs as a tennis player, taking into account how it might be adapted to become a versatile design for golf and sailing as well. It is said that the Lacoste crocodile was one of the first labels to emblazon clothing on the outside - as labels had always appeared on the inside until that point. Nowadays, of course, labels are all over the place.