Nadia was a brief drop in the bucket that is the collective skate shoe experience, operating for a year in total, but they definitely added a different flavor for the time. Nadia boasted a solid squad upon their debut, with Ronnie Creager leading the pack and rounded out with Gailea Momolu, Corey Sheppard, Ali Boulala and the one and only Henry Sanchez.
Of their short run, mostly consisting of comfy, oversized puffy models with a (2002 era) Circa-meets-Adio feel with Savier-influenced curves, the Henry Sanchez shoe was the clear winner of the bunch. A clean cupsole with a rubber toecap, the Sanchez was a breath of fresh air with basic colorways and no trinkets, staying more functional than fashionable (this was 2002 – fashionable meant big and flashy). The “H” on the side was humorously on the nose, destined to be fully utilized many years later by a certain prolific skate shoe brand, allowing our theory that this shoe could hold it’s own in with today’s models some merit.
At this point, Sanch’s career was given a second life with a part in debatably Transworld’s strongest video, Sight Unseen, a shared Gold Wheels part with Pat Washington (the one where they rap together as their own soundtrack), a part in Chomp On This (the only real noticeable Nadia-clad footage of his) and a new shoe sponsor. His legendary EMB persona complimented an updated aesthetic, and his Nadia shoe stood out at the time as one of the cleaner available models in the entirety of skate shoes.
You’d be amazed at how little evidence there is that this shoe ever existed. Go ahead, google it – it’s almost like it never happened. Thanks to an old Slap message board post, we were able to recover enough of a usable image to at least provide a visual. If you were lucky enough to snag a pair of these, you know why we made the effort here – the shoe was undeniably solid.
Nadia went under for reasons we’ve been sworn to secrecy over, but their contribution stands out as one of the more interesting of the short-lived attempts in the early-’00s era. We’d really love to see more companies utilize their shoebox to it’s full potential – every Nadia box turned into a stencil – but ultimately we’re hyped that Sanch was given his props with such a great shoe, however briefly.