About the Author: Adam Terry is a thirtysomething salesman in the HVAC and hydronics industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, raw denim, and working on his
dad bod father figure.
What do you get when you crossbreed a vintage inspired, low profile tennis sneaker with a very similar vintage inspired, low profile basketball sneaker? You get the Blazer Lows in a very familiar colorway that was previously only available in the Killshot 2 tennis trainer profile. I dub these Blazershots – a new hybrid low profile sneaker, offering the best of both worlds in one package. Let’s take a look at this pair, which I believe to be a sleeper hit for the sneaker world.
Move over Killshot.
The Adam Review Scale of Excellence (A.R.S.E.)
- 5 – Excellent! No issues and highly recommended.
- 4 – Good. Above average, but not perfect.
- 3 – Average. Minor issues, might be good at the right price.
- 2 – Fair. Below average due to defects, flaws, or imperfections.
- 1 – Poor. Significant issues, not worth purchasing at any price.
- Brand: Nike
- Style: Retro basketball low top sneaker
- Size: 10.5 US (44.5 EU)
- Last: N/A
- Construction: Vulcanized rubber sole
- Upper: White leather upper
- Sole: Solid gum rubber vulcanized outsole
- Details: Exposed foam tongue, suede pieces at the toe and midfoot
- Extras: None
- Country of Origin: Indonesia
- Price: $85 USD
Classic sneaker shape.
My pair in “Sail/Gum Light Brown/Summit White/Midnight Navy” (aka the Killshot 2 white/navy swoosh colorway) was ordered via Nordstrom on a Friday afternoon and they were delivered on Monday afternoon via USPS Priority Mail. That’s pretty impressive for the US Postal Service, so I have nothing to complain about there.
FYI: Nordstrom has the industry’s best return policy, in my opinion. There’s no set timetable for returns or exchanges and everything is on a case by case basis in order to best take care of their customers. As long as you don’t abuse it, Nordstrom will take care of your issues. I truly believe this is a major reason why they remain one of the last brick and mortar department stores who can withstand the retail apocalypse. Customer service above all else. But for a wider color selection, you can go directly to Nike.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Easy ordering, quick shipping, and fantastic customer service, too!
Nike packages their sneakers in various boxes, based on what style or tier your sneakers are in. Mine arrived in their “vintage” orange box with the white swoosh and black text on the sides. The shoes inside the box were wrapped simply in tissue paper and there were no included spare laces or anything of note. While you don’t expect much more than the sneakers themselves at this price point, I can’t help but wish there was a little more offered here. This category is always hard to judge, so take this for what it’s worth to you.
Score: 3/5 Stars – Average at best. Nothing to write home about here.
Orange box and sneakers. What you see is what you get.
Fresh out of the box, I really like the overall looks of the Blazer lows in this particular colorway. The tan gum rubber soles are a wonderfully warm contrast to the white, textured leather upper and off-white/grey suede accents. The navy blue Nike Swoosh keep things cool for the Summer. The subtle pops of navy on the tongue tag and rear heel tab keep things interesting.
Speaking of the leather upper, it’s a fairly typical athletic sneaker leather and has a subtle grain texture to it. I assume this is a faux texture imprinted after sanding down a side of leather to make the surface overly uniform during processing and before the final surface dye. I can see the telltale blue backside and edges noting this leather is chrome tanned. Interestingly, the leather used for the toe box and side panels is a slightly warmer shade of white, whereas the facings and heel stripe are a different leather and a slightly brighter, cooler shade of white.
Textured white leather with grey suede additions.
The grey suede panels at the tip of the toe and at the lateral (left) side are hallmarks of old school tennis and skate shoes. Unless you’re trying to ollie your board in the Blazer lows, these suede panels probably have no modern daily function. Most of us are probably wearing sneakers like this to school, to the office, or to the mall and we’re pairing them with casual henleys or tees and tapered jeans and chinos. The style is super versatile, though!
I’m a big fan of tan gum soles on white sneakers. On these Blazer lows, the rubber sidewall foxing tape is reinforced with another slice of rubber at the toe for added durability. The herringbone and swoosh pattern sole adds plenty of traction for your daily commute. All of these rubber bits are glued together on the shoe and then vulcanized in a hot, pressurized oven (autoclave) to make everything permanently bonded and more durable.
Rubber gum soles with plenty of traction.
Inside, the heel cup and opening is leather lined. The remainder of the shoe is lined in a mesh-like fabric that seems pretty breathable. The non-removable insoles are made of some sort of foam for a bit of comfort and they’re topped with some sort of terry cloth-like fabric. Imagine having a towel as an insole topper – that’s what it feels like, in a good way! Finally, the tongue is an exposed slice of open cell foam, lightly lined on either side so the foam can’t run away. I’m not an experienced skater by any means, but this type of foam tongue feels more comfortable than stiff leather ones on other types of shoes. However, nothing will ever beat those giant puffy tongues on old DC, Osiris, and Etnies skate shoes from two decades ago!
Score: 4/5 Stars – Better than expected, but overall, still a basic Nike sneaker.
Comfort, Fit, and Sizing
Comfort is always subjective, especially with faux vintage athletic sneakers, but personally I found the Blazer Lows to be fairly comfortable. Standard sneaker-type comfort, similar to Adidas Stan Smiths and Nike Killshots. While they’re not as supportive as my New Balance 997s or as soft and squishy as my Yeezy Boost 350s, I think the Blazer Lows are perfectly fine.
Just in case you forget the brand of your sneaker.
I found the Blazers to fit slightly short and narrow while wearing my thinner no-show, athletic-type socks. Sizing up from a 10.5 to an 11 cured this; with my heel securely in the heel cup and the widest part of my foot matching the widest part of the shoe, I have about a thumb’s width of space in front of my toes. This is the correct sizing method for me. I suggest going with your normal Nike size. If you’re unsure, try a half-size larger than your Brannock measurement.
For reference, I am a 10.5 D/E on a Brannock device and take a 10 D in Alden’s Barrie last and Grant Stone’s Leo last. I take a 10.5 E in Allen Edmonds 65 last, as that last runs too narrow for me. I also take a 10.5 in Vans and an 11 in most Adidas, Nike, and Yeezy sneakers.
Score: 4/5 Stars – Average comfort for sneakers, sizing is typical Nike sizing.
I’m certainly a fan of the Killshot and Blazer silhouettes, but I think these Blazer Lows nail it best. Everyone else be damned, ignore the Killshots and go with these Blazers in white/navy/gum instead. You’ll be happier in the long run knowing you paid less to have something that’s one of the hidden gems in sneakers. They’re comfortable on your feet, they look great with a ton of casual outfits, and they’re the unexpected “Goldilocks” option in a world chock full of minimalist, hypebeast, and influencer sneaker detritus. BlazerShots!
Avg. Score: 4/5 – BlazerShots take the win and are authorized to fly the W flag proudly.