When Michelle Wie searched for inspiration on the golf course, she didn’t look towards Kathy Whitworth or Nancy Lopez—instead Wie channeled basketball legend George Gervin. Of course, ‘The Iceman’ had no particular say on Michelle’s chipping game or how to read a break on the green; instead Wie teamed with Nike to create the Women’s Blazer golf high-tops, a design that debuted on the feet of Gervin way back in 1972.
Of course, Michelle Wie’s Blazer designs are distinct from those worn by basketball players in the early 70’s, mostly because they are colored a bright pink and feature a camouflage swoosh symbol with contrasting bright white outsole. Folks who turned into the Evian Championship in France in early September may not have recognized Wie, not only because she has blossomed into a beautiful young woman since breaking onto the golf scene at age 10, but because her rainbow-colored hair and bright pink shoes were a completely new look.
It should be noted that although the Women’s Blazer shoe is stylish, the main asset it provides is performance. Wie wanted a shoe that was reflective of her bubbly personality, but also provided more support through her swing, and a greater connection to the ground. Wie suffered ankle injuries over much of the past year’s golf season and is hoping the high-top design helps alleviate some of those issues. The cleat base is almost reminiscent of a pair of football spikes and should provide great traction and grip through a swing.
2015 into 2016 is an important time for Nike Golf. Along with the Wie-influenced kicks, the company also teamed up with Rory McIlroy to develop colorful custom golf shoes that the former World’s #1 wore at various events over the course of the year. Go to any local 5K run and you’ll notice that bright, blazing shoes in pinks, greens, and yellows are popular right now. There’s no reason that sense of style can’t transcend to the golf course as well, especially with the current abundance of talented young golfers enjoying professional success.
As for the Wie shoe, it’s definitely not traditional, but could serve as the benchmark for future designs. Although the Nike Women’s Blazer won’t be released for the public until early 2016, the high-top design and reinforced outsole could be an engineering success that might allow those with chronic ankle problems back on the course. Plus, the hot pink design and camouflage swoosh is actually very stylish – cool enough for even ‘The Iceman’.