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The Past, Present and Future of the Nike Blazer

A brief history of the iconic silhouette that changed the NBA, skating and global style.

WRITER: CHRIS DANFORTH Updated on: May 2, 2023

The Nike we know today is different from the Nike of the 1970s. Although the Swoosh had started to build a name for itself in the running space, it was virtually unheard of in the world of basketball. In fact, until May 1971, Nike was still known as Blue Ribbon Sports, a name that had stuck around since the brand got its start importing and distributing Onitsuka Tiger shoes from Japan. 1971 also marked the year designer Carolyn Davidson first sketched the Nike Swoosh logo.

In 1972, Nike decided to take adidas and Converse, then the most popular on-court footwear brands, head on, introducing two basketball-specific models, the Bruin and the Blazer. (For perspective on how quickly Nike would come to dominate the game of basketball, 1985 saw the introduction of both the Dunk and Air Jordan 1.)


What are the new Nike Blazers?