Varsity colorways are a perennial fixture of Nike’s repertoire, but no varsity colors hold more weight than the Swoosh’s University Blue hue. Tracing its roots back to Michael Jordan himself and his light blue-repping Alma Mater UNC, the University Blue colorway is inextricably linked to Nike’s history. There’s no doubt it’s part of the future, too, with Nike gearing up for a University Blue Dunk Low just a week after the Air Jordan 1 dropped.
From retro Jordan reups to contemporary collaborations by Off-White™, from Air Max to Foamposite, the University Blue colorway touches every side of Nike’s landscape. In this way, the versatility of the colorway stands as one of its biggest pulls, and our selection of the best University Blue models proves that. Whether the hue is given the leading role with a full upper or simply assigned to trims and overlays, it always steals the show.
Having transcended its role as a varsity color to become a staple hue for Nike, we thought it was high time that the full range of University Blue models was shown some appreciation. We’ve rounded up ten of the best University Blue colorways around, just in time to flex in the spring and summer sunshine.
The latest release celebrating the light-blue palette comes in the form of the Jordan 1 Retro High. A University Blue outsole and overlays act as the highlight to a black and white backdrop.
Virgil Abloh’s collaborations with Nike are extensive, and the Off-White™ designer has looked to University Blue more than once over the partnership. This Dunk features a gum sole to contrast with the inimitable blue hits throughout the upper.
Somewhere between bold and understated, the color works in intricate palettes just as well as the most pared-back. This Air Force One exemplifies the former with a simple two-tone approach.
Retro, underrated, and one of the most recognizable Nike footwear designs ever, the Nike Air More Uptempo is a bold choice no matter what the palette but one that definitely resounds.
Classic colorways usually go hand in hand with classic silhouettes. It should come as no surprise, then, that the January 2019 marriage of University Blue and Air Max 1 is a triumph.
Released in 2004, the Air Jordan 12 ‘Melo’ boasts a premium leather upper in all-white while University Blue takes up the outsole, lining, and heel tab.
Nike’s Spiridon model was originally released in 2003 but saw a resurgence in 2019 and 2020. The newly updated silhouette also quietly got a University Blue makeover last year.
Originally a performance basketball design, the Nike Blazer might have lost favor on the hardwood but colorways like this black and blue number with a grid backdrop keeps us coming back for more.
Less is more. This Nike Air Max Plus TN SE sees an all-black outfit rounded out with restrained hits of blue to the Swoosh motif.
Love it or hate it, the Nike Foamposite is up there with the boldest sneaker choices around. The Foamposite upper gives the University Blue a characterful sheen for added spring points.
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