Nike Air Ballestra - New again for 2010
July 2010: The Nike Air Ballestra fencing shoes have been made available at Fencing.Net. The shoes are shipping in July. Another run of the shoes is planned for Christmas. After several
May 2009: Looks like Nike will be developing the Ballestra into a retail fencing shoe targeting to launch August 2009.
Recently, fencing.net had the opportunity to talk with Sean McDowell, the Creative Director for Nike's Olympic Footwear, about the shoe, the Ballestra, that Nike has been developing for the last 18 months.
We showed the Nike Ballestra at the Atlanta NAC and it looks like these shoes will get a lot of interest once they launch.
A quick update on the Ballestra on the heels of Nike's Olympic Media Day: More on the Nike Ballestra at fencing.net.
The Nike Ballestra was for sale online at the Nike Store. Now there are plans being made to bring the Nike Air Ballestra to market to the fencing public.
Durability Case Study - Active Sabre Fencer - How well do these shoes hold up to sabre fencing?
This is a photo case study of the Nike Ballestras after a season of use by an active sabre fencer. We'll walk you through all of the wear points in the shoe with high resolution photos showing the wear patterns and detail.
From this video you see just how well the shoe holds up over time.
Nike Ballestra - The US Olympic Fencing Team's color scheme
A forum member shares their review of the Nike Ballestra Fencing Shoes
FWIW they have my vote for best fencing shoe on the market currently (outside of the most recent Viktorias which I haven't tried for comparison). UNC will be getting them as part of our Nike "Christmas" package for next season.
They come in a variety of colors, one of which is exclusive to Granbassi(a pink and black with white accent color), one of which is exclusive to the Chinese team (exactly like the standard red/white scheme but with a red tongue as well), a standard white/tangerine/gray, a "USA" Obsidian/Carolina/white accents, a "Ukraine" which is basically blue/lemon accents, and a white/carolina/obsidian (dark navy).
The sole is kind of 2 pieces, the center is a black rubber with a sort of waffle-esque pattern while it's surrounded by same rubber material that they used to make the outsole and abrasion areas. That part is actually a nice touch b/c you don't have an edge where the protection layer stops or can get ripped off.
Like with any shoe that has rounded edges you might lose some traction around the edges if you're on a dirty/slippery floor but they have very good traction overall. Great fit, a little on the narrower/sleeker side and forms to foot pretty well. They're feather light, lighter than any other shoe on the market and the sole is thin so you get a pretty good feel of the floor. I didn't notice too many problems with lack of cushioning... but it was only one night. That being said, it has Nike Zoom cushioning in the heel area, which is probably worth noting.
The colored areas of the sole/outsole/rubber areas of the abrasion zone are NOT non-marking. There were definitely some red streaks on the floor tonight. The upper is a lot like a light weight running shoe on the "outside" half of the shoe and the inside half has this lightweight synthetic material that Nike claims is made to abuse. As such the shoe breathes ridiculously well in addition to being light and should have a good lifespan.
Nike Fencing Shoes - Red/White color combo.
The Granbassi - Pink on Black Color Scheme
Another Great Review!
The Nike Ballestra is so unbelievably comfortable!
Here's a review from the reviews section at Fencing.Net:
5 of 5 stars!
The Ballestra is so unbelievably comfortable. I fence 3-5 nights a week on both metal and wood strips with a tournament every few months. I used to fence with the Hi-tec scimitars which were great shoes too but they are definitely not as light as the ballestras nor as comfortable. My feet have not hurt once since I started using the ballestras. They also provide that good foot to strip feel while providing adequate cushioning in all the right places. I'm especially impressed with how much padding is in the heel it definitely makes those long lunges a whole lot easier. The shoe breathes pretty well and it feels pretty sturdy and like they're going to be able to handle a long season on the metal strips. I expect I'm going to have these shoes for a long time.
Fencing Shoes Available via Amazon
Some fencing shoes or fencing fashion shoes you can order from Amazon.com. Before purchasing, you may want to read our comprehensive guide to fencing shoes.
Vote for your Favorite Nike Fencing Shoe - Which color do you like?
Other Nike Fencing Shoe Colors
Colors from NCAA Team Shoes
At a fencing tournament, you may notice other color schemes of the Nike Ballestras floating around. Those are special colorways made for the NCAA fencing teams.
Here are a number of the different color schemes available. If you're particular to a specific color scheme, then you may want to get on that school's fencing team. ;-)
White / Blue Nike Ballestras
Princeton Tigers - Orange Swoosh
The shoe used by Princeton University features the orange swoosh.
Red / White Nike Ballestras - White with Red Swoosh
The Blue (Team USA) version of the Nike Ballestra was provided to the 2008 US Olympic Fencing team. It is also used by Penn State as their fencing shoe color.
Do you have a comment or question about these shoes? Leave it here.
Feedback on the Nike Fencing Shoes
FencingNet (author) on February 11, 2014:
@akiitrippolt: You can get those here: http://www.absolutefencinggear.com/shopping/produc...
akiitrippolt on November 28, 2013:
Where can I get the pink/Black ones ? Want them so badly
avigarret on May 03, 2012:
I'm not into fencing, yet these shoes are just amazing, great lens!
Cinnamonbite on February 13, 2011:
I was just laughing at these shoes yesterday! Way to tell the opponent what's coming, huh?
"Look out for the ballestra on this guy!"
You know what my main problem with fencing shoes is? My widdle baby boy (so cute that he's taken up fencing like his momma and daddy) is a size 13.5 and still growing fast. Which means I need the cheapest shoes available because in a couple of months, he'll need new ones. And of course he and his coach insists on fencing shoes, especially for competition.
anonymous on November 26, 2010:
Were can i get the red ballestra shoes?? I want them really bad....
AmbrosiaPopsicle on November 08, 2010:
En Guard! Thank you for the info, awesome shoe.
Paul Hassing on October 15, 2010:
Well, these certainly look the goods! I was unable to do your poll, but the lens was ace nonetheless. Best regards, P. :)
termit_bronx on October 09, 2010:
My favourite sport shoes are nike. I love them!
JJNW from USA on September 17, 2010:
Awesome! I did not know these existed!
SofiaMann on September 17, 2010:
Thanks for the selection and information. Nice lens.
anonymous on June 20, 2010:
Good lens, i might get one for my fencing shoe friends birthday
anonymous on March 31, 2009:
I wonder how tough it would be to get someone to reverse engineer them and solicit a manufacturer in China to make a knock-off of the Ballestra... Seems possible. Might be expensive, but if they're truly good shoes, people might flock to them.
I would definitely cover a Ballestra knock-off on my Fencing Shoes blog ;)
custom-made on February 26, 2008:
Good information about specialty shoes.
After all that hard work, take a break and have a snack. http://www.squidoo.com/pancakepuff