Continuing skateboard culture's seemingly peerless ability to re-purpose style icons from worlds removed from its own, Nike Skateboarding team rider Gino Ianucci has retooled the 1984 Nike Challenge Court SB famously worn by the great John McEnroe for a skateboarding sneaker.
Ianucci tweaked a few technical aspects and switched up the colour from the original's red, white and blue to either white and tennis green or black on black but kept the revamp minimal. Originally drawn to the sneaker's simplicity, the Long Island native “didn't want to change anything except it slimming down and softening the outsole…little things like the tongue, the thickness of the interior and the colors… In my eyes the shoe was ready to go SB back in ’84.”
The world famous skater was a keen tennis player in his youth and saw Challenge Court SB ambassador as an inspiration "John McEnroe just didn’t care and he played with so much emotion," Gino recalls. "He never held back and always spoke his mind. Tennis never saw that attitude until he came around. I admire how he did things his way and didn't conform to anything. He stood for just being yourself, whether good or bad. There’s honor in that."
The Nike SB Challenge Court ramps up the original Challenge Court’s stability with a nylon mesh upper trimmed in full-grain leather, an integral arch sock liner and an extended ankle collar. The Variable Width Lacing System™ ensures a snug, comfortable fit. And the lightweight Lunarlon sockliner/midsole promises soft but still responsive full-foot cushioning that cuts down impact without giving up board feel. Plus, the two-color, bi-level hobnail cupsole helps skaters grip the deck for premium performance.
The Nike SB Challenge Court drops at select retailers and skate shops beginning August 23.
The short film was shot and directed by Jon Humphries and music is by John Patrick.