Skate or Die: Nike shoes modeled after 20 year old video games

Nike Skate or Die

Shoe fetish. I don’t get it. I’m only mentioning it because it’s a good excuse to post a bunch of shots from the home version of Electronic Arts’ Skate or Die video game that came out in 1987. This isn’t even Nike’s first shoe inspired by or in tribute of 80’s skateboard video games. If they really wanted to do a tribute shoe, they should re-issue the red and black canvas Air Jordan’s that everyone wore while skating and playing video games. If you think skateboard forums are annoying, you should check out some of the sneaker forums where users have tons of Google ads in their signatures as well as bad Microsoft Paint graphics about how the user and/or their crew rules and everyone else deserves a beat down. Awesome community you’ve got their. Makes the comments on SnA look like one big hippie love fest. A little bit of shoes and a lot of Skate or Die after the jump.

Nike Skate Or Die Dunk SB Low

Here’s the shoe. Wow. U-G-L-Y. You aint got no alibi! I’d credit the photograph, but it seems that it has been picked up by every sneaker site out there, and it’s one long endless click trail to find the original. might be the original source. These shoes are set to come out in 2008 if you care.

Nike Skate Or Die Dunk SB Low

Here’s the video game box that these shoes were supposed to be modeled after. That’s funny, he’s not wearing Nikes in that picture. I can’t tell who the skater is, I want to say Cab or Gator, but I think it might be a Brit. Click to enlarge.

Skate or Die game

Then there’s the Nike SB 720 Dunk Low, as found at, also due in 2008.

Nike 720

Man this was going to be a quick post, but it is getting out of hand. There are a ton of “Skate or Die” images and references out there. Skate or Die! was released in 1987 on a bunch of different platforms for computers (Commodore 64, Apple IIgs, IBM pc, Sinclair) and gaming consoles like the NES and recently in emulation form for Wii. Here’s two more covers of the box for the Apple IIgs and NES.

Skate or Die boxes

Here’s some scree captures from the Commodore 64 version, used with permission from Stadium 64. I swear that’s the same skate shop owner from the 720 game. I can’t find the degree symbol on my keyboard. OK, here’s the code. 720°.

Skate or Die game

The bottom shots on the half pipe are actually from the “Freestyle” and “Highjump” events respectively.

Skate or Die game

Here’s the character sign up screens for limited customization via 80’s video game technology. A far cry from Electronic Arts Skate video game 20 years later. Dang, that would have been another good angle for this post. On the bottom right, a scene form the Pool Joust.

Skate or Die game

The graphics on the Apple IIgs version are quite a bit better. Thes shots are from the Apple IIgs Gaming Memory Fairway.

Skate or Die game

Here’s an advert for the Sinclair version of the game, found over at World of Spectrum, the official web site for the Sinclair Spectrum computer. This advert is very appropriate in the context of MC’s comic.

Skate or Die Advert

Skate or Die on the NES

And if that isn’t enough, here’s some actual video footage of someone playing Skate or Die on the NES.

Skate or Die Highlights

Here’s video with annoying voiceover that is probably close to what this site would sound like if it were a video blog. Count yourselves lucky.


  1. houseofneil on December 28, 2007 - Reply

    the Jordan 1s have been reissued a few times. All have sold out almost immediately and they are worth lots of $$. Not as much as the originals of course. I know a Nike shoe collector. He literally has hundreds of pairs. Some Air Jordan reissues he’ll buy 10 pairs of, one in every colorway.

  2. Ryan Heckler on December 28, 2007 - Reply

    think of all those poor barefoot kids in third world countries who can’t afford even a single pair of the shoes they labor all day to make….. your friend should donate a pair.

  3. Looks kind of like Micke Alba.

  4. I still love playing skate or die, but won’t buy the shoes.

  5. only posted that one on sleestak like a month ago!

    cue the wolf graphic howling “oooooooollllddd!”


  6. Everything is old. Sheesh. 1987 for cryin out loud. I’ll bet you didn’t over-post it to death like I did.

    My OCD is better than your OCD.

  7. Prickly Pete on December 28, 2007 - Reply

    That’s Cab circa ’88 with those pumas. The other picture where the guy has suspenders is also a Cab knock off. Raging Waters contest? Ugly Nikes, but wish I could get some of those cool pumas.

  8. I got ADHD … lets go ride bikes!

  9. that half-pipe part is still fun today. I still got my old NES cart of that game, played it about a month ago.

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