With Nike dropping its sneaker line this summer, the question of what to wear on the basketball court has been a hot topic.
It’s an idea that’s certainly been around for a while, with basketball players wearing black Nike SBs to signify that they’re ready to play.
But in a way, the sneakers aren’t so much for basketball as they are for the athletes themselves.
“Nike SB Dunk is a classic in that it’s a way of wearing your style,” says Zach Zajac, an NBA player for the Phoenix Suns.
“You’re basically wearing the shoes to prove that you’re capable of wearing the shoe, which is a little bit different than a lot of other sneaker styles.
Nike SB is a shoe that’s a little more sporty and more athletic than other Nike brands.”
What’s more, it’s one of the few Nike sports shoes to be specifically designed for basketball.
It features a midsole and a tongue that have been designed to help athletes jump higher and stay in place.
“The Nike SB has been designed for high-level athletes who need to feel good and feel comfortable,” Zajasad says.
“It’s more than just an athletic shoe, it really is the athlete’s favorite shoe.
It can be a sportswearing shoe, but also a casual shoe, or even a casual sneaker for guys.
The only downside is that it looks a little different.”
The sneakers aren, of course, designed for men who want to be seen as athletic, but it’s also for the people who want a more casual look.
That’s what Zajsad and his teammates are trying to make clear with their new sneaker.
“We’re just really, really proud of how Nike SB dunk looks and feels,” he says.
“They’re not the most casual shoe.
You can wear the shoe like you’re not wearing any sneakers at all, but they’re definitely more for the casual, sportsy type of person.”
For Zajic, it was important to design the sneakers with a casual aesthetic that didn’t clash with the sneakers they were being worn on.
“I just wanted to make sure that the shoes were going to be the same for everyone, which I think is something a lot people don’t know about Nike SB,” he adds.
“We wanted to keep it really casual, and it’s something we felt like we had to do.”
The basketball shoe was inspired by a pair of Nike SB sneakers that were worn by the Denver Nuggets players when they played in the 2010-11 NBA Playoffs.
It was a moment that helped cement the idea of the shoe as a casual, casual sports shoe.
“One of the most memorable moments was when we went into the playoffs,” Zavacs says.
“(The Nuggets) got down 0-0 with the first team.
They played some good basketball, but then we were playing our second team.
That was really the moment where it really hit home.”
And so it was, and Zajacs wanted to create a shoe for basketball players that was more like his favorite sneaker, the Nike Air Max 1.
“That was my favorite sneak,” he explains.
“I like the color, I like the design, I love the way it feels.
I wanted to get the shoe to be a little less flashy and have a little lower profile than the Air Max.
And it kind of fits that idea.”
Nike, which recently made its debut with the NBA’s new Nike+ app, will be making the Nike SB, a line of shoes designed for athletes who want something a little simpler than the athletic footwear it’s known for.
“You can go to the Nike store and buy an Air Max, a Nike Dunk High, or a Nike Air Force 1,” Zasad said.
“All of them are very athletic, all of them have a high cushioning and they are all designed to look a little casual.”