Designing skate shoes is difficult. Difficult because the features most needed in a skateboarding shoe directly contradict one another. For example cushioning and board feel: Skateboarders need cushioning to protect their feet from impact, but they also need a thin midsole to feel the board beneath them. Another paradox — durability and breathability: Thicker materials help prevent a skateboarding shoe from blowing out at the seams, but more layers mean less breathability. And then there’s the delicate balancing of tradition and progression in shoe design, between respecting skateboarding’s heritage and blazing the future with advancements of technology and materials.
Nike became the leader in designing for sport by accepting challenges like these. A decade ago, Nike signed its first skateboarding athletes and launched Nike SB, a line of skateboarding shoes that would draw from a wealth of athletic shoe innovation, 40 years in the making.
With the video below, on the example of Paul Rodriguez, Nike shows the innovation that has happened over the last years and their inspirations from other footwear innovation, outside of Nike SB.