Introducing Nike Blazer: The Brand's First Basketball Shoe
The Blazer was Nike's company's first foray into the basketball world. The Blazer was initially released in 1973 and took its name from the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, neighbours to Nike's Beaverton, Oregon global headquarters. The running shoe was the third released by Nike after officially changing its name from Blue Ribbon Sports.
of the Nike Blazer
of the Nike Blazer
San Antonio Spur star George Gervin helped make the Blazer–and the Nike brand–popular in the NBA. Gervin was one of Nike's first NBA endorsers and had a Player Exclusive pair of Nike Blazers with his nickname "Iceman" printed on the collar's licence plate.
Off the basketball court, the Nike Blazer was adopted by skateboarders. Its vulcanised rubber sole makes it ideal for skating. Skaters' affinity for the Nike Blazer would later open the doors for a dedicated skate version of the silhouette in 2005. Created in collaboration with legendary skateboarder Lance Mountain, this variation's modifications made it better suited for skateboarding. These skate alterations included a Zoom Air cushioning unit, padded insoles and a padded tongue for protection.
Old School Features and Design
Old School Features and Design
The Nike Blazer's most notable attribute is its bold Swoosh branding across the side of the shoe. The original version of the running shoe features:
Durable leather upper with suede overlays
Nylon tongue with exposed padding
Vulcanized rubber sole for superb traction
Available in low-top variations for men and women
There have been various retros and iterations of the Nike Blazer over the years. For running shoe enthusiasts looking for the version most faithful to the original, the Nike Blazer Mid 77 Vintage is the classic choice.
Note on care: Suede versions of the Nike Blazer should be treated with a water-repellent spray before wearing.
Nike Blazer Colourways and Collectability
Though the original Nike Blazer came in a classic white colourway, many colour iterations and collaborations have followed. Here are some of the hot Blazer models serious collectors look for:
- Futura collab (2003). One of the rarest pairs of Nike Blazers was designed in collaboration with graffiti artist Futura. It was limited to 1,000 pairs and features a suede upper with green and tan accents. Its resale value is upwards of $AUD9751*.
- Supreme collab (2006). Skate brand Supreme collaborated on several versions of the Nike Blazer. Their luxury take on the Nike Blazer features a quilted leather upper, faux snakeskin and a ribbon that runs up the heel with a golden metallic D-ring. The Supreme x Nike Blazer comes in red, black and white colourways. Resale values in this collection can run as high as $AUD2,600 to $AUD3,9002*.
- Stranger Things collabs (2019). Partnering with the popular Netflix series Stranger Things, Nike released a Hawkins High capsule collection featuring Cortez, Tailwind and Blazer colourways to mark the third season of the show. These have resale values ranging from $AUD195 to $AUD2423*. The OG assortment in red, white and blue celebrates Independence Day and resales run from $AUD155 to $AUD1964*. And the Upside Down collection incorporates coded messages under the insole and a heat-activated upper in white that can be burned off to reveal a royal blue layer. Resale value on these run from $AUD208 to $AUD2995*.
- Virgil Abloh's "The Ten" collection (2017/2018). Abloh chose the Blazer as one of the ten running shoes that represented innovation for his Off-White brand. Three colourways were released: White/Muslin, Canvas/Total Orange and Black/White Cone. A women's version, inspired by Serena Williams, features a wolf grey colourway with a fluorescent gradient on the midsole. Resale values run anywhere from $AUD910 to over $AUD1,5606*.
- Sacai collab (2019). Sacai fashion label debuted its collaboration during its Spring 2019 Paris Fashion Week show. It features double Swooshes, double tongue and double laces. The collection comes in Navy, Maize, Black/Grey and White/Grey and resale values range from $AUD285 to $AUD5857*.
1Australian Price indication converted from US$750.
2Australian Price indication converted from US$3,000.
3Australian Price indication converted from US$186.
4Australian Price indication converted from US$151.
5Australian Price indication converted from US$230.
6Australian Price indication converted from US$1,200.
7Australian Price indication converted from US$450.
*All prices are based on historical eBay data. Actual selling price of items not guaranteed and may vary.
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