Nike’s skateboarding-specific Nike SB division launched in 2002 with a revamped version of the Dunk, a former basketball sneaker that had been fine-tuned for skate performance with improved comfort and durability. 15 years later, the brand is once again shaking up the world of action sports with its first-ever skate shoe designed specifically for women.
“I used to look up how to modify my shoes online so I could make them fit better,” Nike SB pro skater Lacey Baker said of her previous struggles with ill-fitting skate shoes.
In a press release, Baker explained how she resorted to DIY hacks such as putting frozen plastic bags inside of her shoes or spraying them with water in attempt to stretch them out.
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According to Nike, the brand also gained insight from female skaters on its roster including Leticia Bufoni, Sarah Meurle and Josie Millard, who recounted tales of duct taping and even microwaving their kicks to achieve a proper fit.
To remedy these issues, Nike SB designers went into the lab and created an all-new women’s-specific last for its Bruin High model. From there, they were able to give the sneaker a more contoured fit with a shallower forefoot and tapered heel, resulting in a snug fit without being too narrow.
Even the inner workings of the Bruin High have been modified, as the footbed now makes use of a tri-star pattern in place of its previous square shapes. According to Nike, this allows the shoe to be lighter and more flexible while also improving the overall structure.
“The shape inside the shoe fits perfectly around my foot,” Baker said of the new design. “The back of the shoe has a slight tilt that grips my heel, while the shoe is wider towards the front, which provides that balance of support and freedom.”
The Nike SB Dunk High Women’s launches Oct. 5 from nike.com, the Nike+ app and select Nike SB doors.
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