July 14, 2022

The Buyer's Guide: Nike Blazer

Elhadji Mare

Elhadji is a Creative Content Strategist & Writer @ StockX

The Nike Blazer has a storied historied that dates back almost 50 years. Learn more about the classic Nike sneaker in The Buyer's Guide.

The Nike Blazer has a storied historied that dates back almost 50 years. Learn more about the classic Nike sneaker in The Buyer's Guide.

This article is part 31 of 27 in the series: StockX Buyer's Guides

The Nike Blazer dates all the way back to 1973, when Nike, a then-nascent brand in the sports world, introduced the Blazer to their limited catalog of sneakers. Originally, Nike founders Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight made only a small number of running sneakers, but knew that expanding into other popular sports and widening their pool of footwear options were necessary steps to becoming a premier sports brand. Nike’s ticket to mainstream sports was the Nike Blazer. The Blazer got its name after the Portland Trailblazers, seeing as Nike (then named Blue Ribbon Sports) was founded in Oregon. But one could also tie the sneaker’s moniker to Nike’s continued drive to create “trailblazing” footwear and equipment for sports that’s started ever since the brand’s inception. 

Since then, the Nike Blazer has transitioned into one of the Swoosh’s most revered silhouettes, standing alongside other athletic-turned-casual-classics like the Air Force 1 and Air Max 90. The sneaker has been around for almost 50 years, and with the help of vintage retro styling and collaborations from fashion-heavy hitters like Off-White and sacai, it’s maintained its relevance within the streetwear and sneaker culture. If you’re in the market for a pair of Nike Blazers or are just curious to learn more about the history of the silhouette, check out our Buyer’s Guide on the iconic Nike sneaker. 

Why Are Nike Blazers so Popular?

At first glance, the Nike Blazer doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles that are commonly found on some of today’s sneakers, and that’s one of the reasons it’s so appreciated by casual wearers. But for the 1970s, the Blazer offered top-tiered technological features that made it a highly desired product. From its vulcanized outsole for stability on the hardwood court, to its high-top padded collar for comfort and ankle protection, the Nike Blazer was a top-of-the-line sneaker for some of the NBA’s best. 

In addition to its superior materials, what really helped the Blazer’s popularity was the endorsement of NBA Hall of Famer George “The Iceman” Gervin. Gervin was a star point guard for the San Antonio Spurs back in the 1970s and was tapped by Nike to help get the Blazer in front of the public. With a combination of The Iceman’s on-court performances and the sneaker’s pioneering tech, the Nike Blazer became a hit for the Swoosh and helped build the Nike name into the leading sportswear brand it is known as today. 

Since its early beginnings as a basketball sneaker, the Nike Blazer has become a major player within the sneaker market. On StockX alone, the Nike Blazer is one of the most sold sneakers of all time on the site, with the classic Nike Blazer Mid 77 Vintage White Black single-handedly selling over 25,000 pairs since 2019. Despite being remade multiple times since its inception, the Nike Blazer’s basic design and variety of colorful offerings, including a slew of popular collaborations, have made the sneaker an appealing option for many looking for a casual sneaker.

Nike Blazer vintage sneaker

Nike Blazer Mid 77 Vintage White Black

What Were Nike Blazers Used For?

Before the Nike Blazer became a streetwear staple, it was originally constructed as Nike’s first basketball sneaker. The sneaker’s vulcanized rubber sole, nylon tongue, and high-cut construction were all high-quality assets that made the sneaker one of the best in the NBA for its time.  Today, Nike Blazers are considered by many as an everyday, casual choice. Their low price point and simplistic design make them a go-to choice as a reliable sneaker that looks just as good worn in as it does brand new.

Nike SB Blazer Supreme Red (2006)

Can you skate in Nike Blazers?

As technology continues to develop, so does the advancement of sneakers. There came a time when professional basketball outgrew the need for the Blazer. With the likes of talent like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James entering the league in later years, their dynamic style of play would highlight the growing changes and demands needed to keep up with the pace of the game. But the Nike Blazer found a new home in skateboarding. Materials and specs that were considered outdated for basketball ended up being exactly what skateboarders needed in a shoe. The Blazer’s outsole provided traction against the concrete and board, while the shoe’s mudguard helped protect the toe box from the rough grip tape. 

When Nike founded its skateboard division in 2002, Nike SB, a modified Blazer was added to the arsenal, coincidentally helping Nikeintroduce their brand to a new sport yet again. Since then, the Nike SB Blazer has seen an abundance of hype thanks to partnerships with different brands and skateboarders like Supreme, Lance Mountain, and Medicom Toy, have helped amplify the SB Blazer’s stance within both skateboarding and fashion industries alike.

Nike Blazer Low Sacai White Patent Leather

What Are the Most Popular Nike Blazers?

Today, the most popular Nike Blazers are a mix between classic colorways and new, avant-garde designs brought in through collaborations. Currently, the Nike Blazer Mid 77 Vintage White Black is the most popular Blazer of all time on StockX, racking over a 25,000 trades on the site. Its classic design of a Vintage Black Swoosh atop a white leather upper makes it an easy sneaker to wear with just about everything. On the other hand, another favorite amongst StockX customers is the sacai Blazer Low, which has similar basic color palettes to the Vintage Black, but distorts the structure of the silhouette with double-layered Swooshes, midsoles, and tongues, with exposed foam around the ankle. Both sneakers are just two examples of how the Nike Blazer has evolved from its original basketball setting into a signature casual sneaker for every type of person.