The Nike Blue Ribbon SB could easily get lost in your timeline amongst the hundreds of hyped releases dropping this year, but this should not reflect on the quality of the sneaker. The Nike Blue Ribbon SB, also known as the Nike BRSB, is a phenomenal silhouette that shows the level of thought that has gone into it, which we rarely expect from such a run-of-the-mill general release.
The leading colourway plays on the classic Nike SB Cortez, worn by Farrah Fawcett on a skateboard in the movie “Charlie’s Angels.”
Firstly, this is what you need to know about the shoe. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Nike Cortez, Nike has decided to create an adapted version of the iconic silhouette that people can skateboard in. Whilst not an immediately obvious move to make, when looking at the success of the blazer – a similarly old and successful Nike sneaker – and its skateboarding equivalent, it makes a bit more sense as to why the Cortez might be a candidate to receive the skateboard shoe treatment. This silhouette is much more than just a “Cortez SB”, however. Named the Blue Ribbon SB after Nike’s original Blue Ribbon Sports moniker, the shoe features a reinforced suede toe to give the model greater durability when practicing shoe-destroying kickflips or ollies and a heavily updated sole that offers a sturdier base.
What makes the sneakers so brilliant, however, is the thought that has been put into blending the new design with references to the Cortez and Nike’s early history. For a start, the sole implements Nike’s react cushioning to offer greater impact protection, and it adds a translucent segment to the heel of the midsole in order to make this new tech visible. In doing so, the shoe makes a callback to the Cortez’s blue chip in the heel, which contrasted with the otherwise white midsole in order to emphasize the shoe’s added cushioning. This callback to how the Cortez showed off its latest tech, updated in a manner that emphasizes Nike’s updated technology, is not only the kind of nerdy detail that sneaker enthusiasts appreciate but is also done in such a tasteful manner that it fits in seamlessly with the rest of the design of the shoe. Whilst this remains the standout detail of the silhouette, the return of a herringbone traction, the two stitching lines down the sides of the shoe and, most importantly, the jagged eyestay overlay, keep the spirit of the Cortez ticking along in its newest adaptation.
This colorways split green and orange detailing is another call back to Nike’s earliest running shoe designs.
The only detail that looks slightly off on the shoe is its branding. Most notably, the oversized swoosh on the side which follows the current trend of Nike shoes messing around with this Off-White “The Ten”-esque branding. Whilst we think the shoe would look better with a slimmer swoosh that more closely resembles the original Nike swoosh mock-ups, this is a very small complaint about an otherwise brilliant shoe.
A tasteful remaster of a classic silhouette, creating its own identity with new tech whilst simultaneously holding on to its vintage inspiration. A solid 8/10 in our books, that is growing on us with every new colorway that’s announced, we love the Nike BRSB and can’t wait for it to be released.
By Thomas Perry and Hannah Rodriguez