All The Sneakers You Need To Know For The Tokyo Olympics
The Olympics have served many purposes over the years. Though the sports included in the Olympic Games have changed throughout the years, it is still one of the only places that athletes can showcase their talents to a truly global audience. At the same time, it's the only place to compete against the best of the best, not just athletes who have been marketed as the best of the best. While nothing compares to football's popularity on a global scale for sports fans, no sport influences the world of fashion the way skateboarding does. Surprisingly, this year will mark the first year of skateboarding as an official sport in the Olympics.
Sneakers and the Olympics go way back. 85 years ago Adi Dasler, the founder of adidas, gave a pair of custom-fitted track spikes to Jesse Owens in 1936 in Berlin to thwart Hitler's German team. In 1968, track and field stars Tommie Smith held his kicks in his hand as he stepped onto the medal stand, before he and John Carlos stood in protest with raised fists while their PUMA Suedes were removed and placed on the stand at their feet. In 1972, swimmer Mark Spitz held a pair of adidas high above his head while receiving his gold medal. Then of course there is Michael Jordan's Air Jordan 7 "Olympics" in 1992, and the countless other sneakers that have followed suit, turning the Olympics into an important event for brands as it is for the athletes competing. In more recent years, brands have used the Olympics as a launching platform for new technologies like Flyknit, Primeknit, and more. This year will be no different.
For the Tokyo Olympics, the on-then-off-then-on again nature of this year's games, combined with the challenges of a global pandemic that has everyone looking for an inspiring distraction, has built anticipation in ways that haven't been seen in years. While the Nike SB kits designed by world-famous Dutch artist, Parra, seem to have the internet buzzing more than the rest of this year's releases, the Nike SB ZoomX Bruin is a potential game-changer. The "Sandy" colorway pays tribute to Sandy Bodecker, who led Nike Skateboarding for years before losing his battle with cancer. While colorways for each of the athletes skating will also bring attention to the most advanced cushioning system to make its way into skate shoes.
Nike SB might be winning the early moments of the Olympics without an athlete even setting foot in Tokyo but there is plenty more to be revealed. Jordan Brand is using the Olympics to unveil Luka Doncic's new logo. Doncic, Jayson Tatum, Rui Hachimura, Guo Ailin, and Kia Nurse, will all wear exclusive colorways of the Air Jordan 36 while competing in Tokyo. The Three Stripes will be using the Olympics to launch new models as well, including the adidas 4DFWD, Adizero Prime Sprint, Adizero Ubersonic 4, and USA-inspired colorways of signature shoes for James Harden, Donovan Mitchell, and more. Not to mention uniforms for Team USA's golf team and countless others. As for the rest of the sneaker world, we'll have to tune in on July 23rd when the Tokyo Olympics kicks off to see who else is bringing heat to the table.