words // Nick Engvall
It’s hard to believe that 1996 was 15 years ago, but it’s even harder to believe how new to mainstream sports like skateboarding and BMX were then. Just a year earlier in 1995, the very first X-Games took place in Vermont, which in a way has been a major part of what has brought attention to “extreme” sports. Even more extreme, may be the change that these sports have had on the brands and shoes that are commonly associated with the sports and their star athletes.
Brands like Airwalk and Vans are still a major part of action sports today, sponsoring athletes in BMX, skateboarding, surfing, wakeboarding and more. While the growth of these sports has created major changes over the years for brands like adidas and Nike, who have created subsidiary brands like adidas Skateboarding and Nike 6.0 to offer better products for the new generation of athletes.
Looking back in this week’s Eastbay Memory Lane, the thing that stands out to me the most, is Dave Mirra being signed on with adidas. Mirra has since become a legend in BMX, and has earned a medal at every X-Games event since it began in 1995. The tire -tread like outsole of his signature shoe from adidas has since moved on to more race car inspired sneaker designs, and Mirra has moved on to a long term partnership with DC Shoes, who were non-existent back in 1996. The adidas Equipment Grady is also a noteworthy find, and probably the only skate shoe to ever feature ‘Feet You Wear’ technology. The same could be said for the asymmetrical lacing on the Nike Air Zoom Scream. I guess sometimes, less truly is more.
X-Games 17 hits Los Angeles later this week, and it’s a safe bet, Dave Mirra will find a way to take home a medal yet again.