Throughout the countless stories and tales of Sergei Fedorov when he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame Monday, you could find a reference to his iconic Nike Zoom Air skates in most of them.
Hockey equipment’s design and aesthetics really hit a boom during the mid ’90s and Nike hit the turbo button by signing the prolific Russian scorer to a massive marketing deal in 1995.
And nothing says a statement piece by busting out white skates in what was an all-black skate market. The commercials seemed to be even better than the skates themselves as Nike made its first push into hockey gear.
It’s been 20 years since those skates launched becoming a vintage piece. Thanks to Fedorov’s HOF induction and the chatter about the skates, Fedorov’s Nike Zoom Air model is seeing a booming resale value in a pattern similar to collectors finding old school Air Jordans. Clean them up and put them up on eBay and see the dollars come in.
Typically, a 20-year-old skate might not even be in one piece anymore. Rusty rivets can ruin the soles, leather rot or dried out, possibly mold, or just worn-out ankles. At best you’ll get $30 to $40 for a skate that old.
Not these. Listings as of Tuesday, Nov. 10, show one adult pair is going for $125, only expected to rise. Another listing the Gretzky models, which are black with the white portals and some with silver instead of white, are also around the $100 to $125 range. One seller thinks they can get $300.
Gretzky wore a couple variations of the Nike Zoom Air, with my fave being these white beauties with a blue overlay.
I’m amazed that these skates, if the pictures are accurate and up to date, are in such good condition. Some would argue that’s because these were the days when Nike actually made hockey gear in Canada. And those Tuuk blades and runners were the best of the best. How the plastic isn’t chipped up on some of these is a little suspect. Maybe new holders, but they do look original or at least of the era.
If you have a pair lying around, you may want to either clean them up and take them for a twirl to relive those glory days for us gear sluts. Or, even better, capitalize on a booming vintage market for the skates and list them on eBay.
Fedorov left Nike in 1999 as he himself wasn’t all that comfortable in the skates, which is understandable for pros. He went back to Graf skates that year. Which is too bad because those Nike commercials were the greatest.