The Nike Blazers have transcended the skateboarding market, even though the shoes were originally made for basketball in 1973. But are Nike Blazers actually good for skating?
Nike Blazers are not only good but also popular for skating because their vulcanized rubber soles stick to the grip tape of a skateboard very well. The heavy suede and leather uppers are also durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of skating.
Also, the high-top silhouette of the Nike Blazers offers good ankle support and protection. Let’s break down the shoes to find out whether they are good for skateboarding or not.
Are Nike Blazers Good For Skateboarding?
Before the Nike Blazers became a fashion icon, Nike created them as basketball shoes in 1973. The shoes were named “the Blazers” after its regional NBA team, the Portland Trail Blazers, since Nike was based in Beaverton, Oregon.
At the time, the shoes were one of the most technologically advanced basketball shoes.
However, by the 1990s, basketball players wanted to leave behind the hard vulcanized rubber-soled sneaker for something more cushioned and flexible.
Since the basketball shoes also met the demands of skating, it didn’t take long for skateboarders to pick up on the Nike Blazers, giving the shoes a second life.
Soon enough, the Nike SB Blazers, designed by Lance Mountain, was released in 2005. The shoes were adapted to the special requirements of skateboarding for the first time.
Today, the stylish silhouette and durable build of the shoes continue to appeal to many skateboarders across the globe. In fact, both the Nike SB Blazer Low and Blazer Mid models have become an integral part of the Nike skateboard shoe range.
Here are three reasons why Nike Blazers are good for skating:
1. Nike Blazers have excellent grip for skating
The biggest reason why Nike Blazers are excellent for skateboarding is because of the grip. Much like the most popular skate shoes, the vulcanized rubber soles of the Nike Blazers can stick to the grip tape of a skateboard very well.
It’s no secret that the tread of a skate shoe’s outsole can really affect board feel and grip. Two very popular tread patterns include the Herringbone tread and the Waffle sole, both of which are prominent in the most popular skateboarding shoes.
On the bottom of the Nike Blazer shoes, you will notice the Herringbone tread outsole pattern which not only guarantees traction but is also extremely durable.
Likewise, the double foxing tape without a stitch on the vulcanized rubber soles in the toe areas is able to withstand abrasion very well. Even after several weeks of skating and kickflips, the signs of wear and tear are barely noticeable.
In addition to the vulcanized rubber soles, the Nike Blazers are equipped with Nike Zoom Air footbeds, which provide a flat base for both your feet. As long as you give the shoes enough time to break in, they should be comfortable and reliable for skating.
2. Nike Blazers have durable suede and leather uppers
Another big reason why the Nike Blazers are great for skateboarding is due to the upper materials. Since the shoes are made of heavy suede and leather uppers, they can withstand the rigorous wear and tear often associated with skating.
The upper material is an important aspect of skateboarding shoes because it makes the most contact with the board. And since it plays a huge part in durability, you need to consider your personal skateboarding style to find the right skating shoes.
Nike Blazers are made of a combination of leather, suede, and canvas. However, the majority of the shoes are made of synthetic leather, which is a durable material that provides a decent grip and flicks for skateboarding.
Suede is considered the most durable material, while canvas is cheaper and won’t last very long. Fortunately, the suede material on the Nike Blazers is strategically placed to cover the parts that would hit the board when you do an ollie, kickflip, or heelflip.
Kudos to Nike for creating shoes with expert craftsmanship and high-quality materials, as the Nike Blazers are very resistant and durable skate shoes.
Even after several weeks of skating, it’s difficult to notice any flaws.
3. Nike Blazers offer ankle support and protection
Last but not least, Nike Blazers offer great ankle support and protection for skating, especially the Nike Blazer Mid (which are actually high-top sneakers, despite their name).
The Nike Blazer Mid, which is similar to Converse High Tops, provides more ankle protection than the typical low-top sneakers. Due to their slim profile, the shoes can feel tight, but they can absorb some of the impacts when your board decides to go after your ankles.
Wide shoes can cause instability, causing your feet to be all over the place. Narrow shoes like the Nike Blazers, however, provide great stability and ankle support.
While you will sacrifice freedom of movement while wearing the Nike Blazers Mid, the abundance of padding will not only prevent you from rolling your ankles but will also protect you against razor tails (when the tail of a skateboard becomes thin).
The downside to wearing high-top sneakers, however, is the lack of breathability.
Since the uppers of Nike Blazers are made of leather, suede, and synthetic materials, your feet can become soggy and sweaty because the shoes don’t allow your feet to breathe well.
You can get some runner socks to combat that but be warned that the high top profile of the Nike Blazers can cause your feet to sweat more than they should while skating.
Nevertheless, Nike Blazers are great for skating.
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Now you know whether Nike Blazers are good for skating or not.
Nike Blazers are great for skating because of their Herringbone tread outsole pattern, which provides excellent grip and traction. The durable combination of leather, suede and canvas uppers can also withstand abrasion from skating very well.
If you decide to get a pair of Nike Blazers for skateboarding, we recommend getting the high-top version because you can benefit from having more ankle support and protection.