Even in a world where collabs between high profile designers and athletic shoe brands have become, dare I say, trite, sneakerheads still get themselves into a tizzy whenever Off-White and Nike are uttered in the same breath. And one of the models kicking off this frenzy was the Blazer Mid, part of the original “The Ten” pack.
“What we’re talking about here is larger than sneakers, it’s larger than design culture,” said Abloh in a news release announcing his then new partnership back in 2017.
“It’s nothing short of state-of-the-art design. These 10 shoes have broken barriers in performance and style. To me, they are on the same level as a sculpture of David or the Mona Lisa. You can debate it all you want, but they mean something. And that’s what’s important.”
Created with two themes in mind, the Blazer falls under “REVEALING,” which was designed to look accessible: hand-cut, open-source and reconstructed.
There’s the exposed foam around the tongue and heel tab, off-set Nike label, mismatched materials, oversized and relocated Swoosh overlapping the midsole, and of course the signature orange tag on the heel panel and “Off-White for Nike” text on the medial sides of the sneaker.
“Yes, we’re making a desired product, but by making a trip to your local store, and using tools you have at home, you could also make this shoe,” said Abloh, though those without corporate dollars backing the project may not possess the intestinal fortitude required to take a pocket knife to a beloved pair of kicks.
Other details I love about the Blazers — widely regarded as top three, if not number one, of the entire pack — are the cream coloured soles and mudguard, hits of buttery light grey suede and the four different coloured laces that come in the box (black, white, green and orange), all featuring “Shoelaces” printed at the ends.
Fitment wise, expect pretty much the same as the non-Off-White versions. I have what I’d consider a pretty average width foot but going up half a size feels more comfortable for me.
While Virgil and Nike continue to churn out new models, some more successful than others (I’m looking at you, pink Zoom Flys), it just further cements these OG Blazer Mids as one of the greats.