Did you know that the Nike Blazer was Nike’s first foray into the world of basketball-specific footwear?
In 1973, the Nike Blazer was introduced. Nike, which had previously been known as “Blue Ribbon Sports” for nine years, had recently rebranded as the Swoosh brand at that point.
Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight started a business in the United States to sell Japanese shoes. Swoosh, created by Carolyn Davidson, was unveiled in 1971 and the firm started creating its own shoes under the Nike brand.
Read on for our full breakdown of Nike Blazers history and how it became the iconic piece of footwear that most aficionados can identify at first glance.
Nike Blazer 101: The Style and Specs
The logo is the star of the show with a clean, white, and smooth form. Its leather top, nylon mesh tongue, and rubber sole were all constructed by vulcanization.
Even Nike, a pioneer in the development of sports performance systems, had not yet developed the Air at the time due to the lack of significant technological advancements in the footwear industry.
The brand was just getting started in the world of basketball when it was created. Michael Jordan would be the company’s marquee signing for twelve years. The Portland Trail Blazers were Nike’s most popular basketball team in 1973, and the company’s logo was based on the squad. Because of this, the firm christened its first basketball silhouette the same.
Onto the Iceman’s Feet
For the first time in Blazer history, George Gervin, also known as “The Iceman,” donned the shoes. In the 1970s, this NBA standout was one of the biggest names in the game. So everything worked out well for the two of them.
Gervin began wearing Blazers with the word “ICEMAN” on the heel instead of the typical “NIKE” in games. The innovative activity led to the movement of special player editions that now occupy the game fields; an edition that was never issued by the way. We hope so.
Sneakers have evolved throughout time to include cutting-edge technological systems and advancements that have turned each pair into a technical marvel ready to extract the greatest performance potential from its wearer. With time, the Nike Blazer, which lacked these features, fell out of favor.
We didn’t see them as often in the basketball scene, but they weren’t entirely gone. The vulcanized sole of this model makes it ideal for skating since it provides the best grip possible for this kind of material.
Performance, simplicity, and affordability are the hallmarks of this package. Everything was in place for them to become the next skateboarder must-have.
First Bespoke Nike Blazers
When it came to the first bespoke Blazer, it was graffiti artist Futura 2000 who got the distinction of working with Nike on it in 2003.
One thousand pairs of the Futura edition, which came in tones of green and blue, were made available, and they quickly became highly sought after by sneakerheads all over the globe. In spite of the absence of technology, the event helped to re-emphasize the significance of the Blazers as a silhouette.
In fact, this feature became the sneaker’s main selling point and presentation card. It was all about the class and simplicity.
Since then, Lance Mountain has made significant adjustments to make the Blazer SB even more ideal for skaters, announcing the model two years ago. This is how the Blazer’s impact-absorbing Air system and cushioned tongue came to be.
The Supreme x Nike partnership in 2006 was a monumental moment in the history of streetwear. The Blazer was reimagined by the streetwear brand, resulting in one of the most sought-after shoes of all time.
Gucci-inspired details included a checkered ribbon on the heel portion with an ornate golden ring, as well as a snakeskin Swoosh. The release of the red, black, and white colors of the Supreme Blazer heralded a watershed moment in the history of footwear for the general public. Even though they’re still in use, these sneakers fetch four-figure sums when they’re offered for resale.
You can easily shop for Nike Blazers here.
The Age of Blazers Partnerships
The shoes would be reimagined in fresh partnerships in the following years.
Converse, Comme des Garçons, Fragment Design, and Supreme all collaborated with Nike in 2016 to create fresh iterations of the style, all while maintaining its simplicity and discretion in design.
Virgil Abloh would join the SB family in 2017 with his Off-White brand. Blazers have long been a staple in men’s wardrobes, but now they’ve been given a modern twist by one of our most popular designers.
They are part of the Revealing collaboration collection and incorporate industrial features and distinctive symbols in their diverse colorways, such as stitching, quilting, and the label.
Aside from the “Rainbow” make-up on the midsole and sole, Serena Williams has her own “Rainbow” shoe. Nike SB’s Abloh’s Blazers have become yet another sought-after item.
Issues With the Design
In spite of the fact that Nike is known for its performance technology, the most striking advances are missing from the Blazer.
Wearers may be able to reasonably claim that the sneakers do not offer as much to support their arches. They don’t cushion their heels or provide as much cushioning on their balls of the foot as they should, given their $100 price tag.
However, despite the fact that you can wear these shoes every day, we wouldn’t suggest them to anybody with any foot difficulties. They may be more comfortable than traditional dress shoes, but they lack the cushioning of Air Max or Air Max 270 models.
Nike Shoes: The Nike Blazer Sneakers Edition
With its pioneering silhouette and current relevance in the shoe market, the Nike Blazer has made its mark on the Swoosh brand.
We hope that our guide on all things Nike Blazer has given you a solid idea about what these iconic sneakers are all about. And, if you’re looking for more shoe-based inspiration, you should check out our fashion section.