Want to know how to make a sneakerhead feel f$%*ing old? P-Rod’s Nike SB sneaker line is 10 years old. Yep, you know Paul Rodriguez, the 20-year old kid that took gold at X-Games in 2004 in Los Angeles? He’s had a signature sneaker from Nike SB for 10 years. P-Rod also turned 30 to close out 2014, and for 2015, and his ten-year anniversary as a signature athlete for Nike Skateboarding, the SB legend is having his first shoe, the Nike SB P-Rod, release in retro form today at skate shops around the globe. To say that the Nike SB P-Rod line is underrated, would be the understatement of the century. There’s no doubt in P-Rod’s skills on the board but somehow his sneakers seem to go under the radar when it comes to sneaker collectors. Although special makeups were more common early in P-Rod’s signature line, there were some solid releases over the years that deserve some credit. That said, let’s take a look at P-Rod’s 10 Best Nike SB Sneakers.
Nike SB Lunar Rod “Crystal Mint” (2013)
The Lunar Rod is comfort on a hundred thousand trillion. Most people slept on them. I could have thrown the Safari Lunar Rod in here but frankly, the red midsole just doesn’t look right. To me, the Crystal Mint version of the Lunar Rod is one of those joints you could rock day all summer long and turn heads, day in and day out.
Nike SB P-Rod 8 QS “Black/Metallic Gold” (2014)
The P-Rod 8 from Nike SB is lightyears away from the original P-Rod shoes. Skate sneaker style has transitioned from fat tongues to minimalist designs that could easily be confused as runners. The Nike SB P-Rod 8 uses an incredibly lightweight build with a Lunarlon midsole, Flywire and Hyperscreen. The design has been met with skepticism from skate traditionalists but visually, it’s something you could rock with on the regular.
Nike SB Dunk “Cinco De Mayo” (2005)
You could say the Nike SB Dunk Low “Cinco De Mayo” was the beginning of the hype when it comes to Nike SB. The Cinco De Mayo Dunks released in May of 2005 but they were on P-Rod’s feet when he won the X-Games in August of 2004, which he happened to win, making the boldly colored SB Dunks impossible to not notice. It’s crazy that you can usually find these on eBay for cheap considering their significance in sneaker history.
Nike SB P-Rod 3 “Doernbecher” (2009)
Before the Doernbecher releases became a national reseller’s holiday, Nike SB and P-Rod had these gems designed by Collin Callsen. I mean, who doesn’t want motorcycles and skull and cross bones lasered on their kicks? Exactly.
Nike SB P-Rod 1 “Cinco De Mayo” (2006)
Maybe it’s my fascination with Latin American Culture, but I feel like the execution on the design of the “Cinco De Mayo” Nike SB P-Rod 1 is about as good as it gets. It followed up the SB Dunk, but added lasering details that took it to a new level with artwork that could have easily come from the lowrider scene. But that’s for the next slide…
Nike SB P-Rod 3 “White/Black” (2009)
These get moved up the list because the commercial is one of the greatest of all time. OF ALL TIME!
Nike SB P-Rod 2 Elephant Print (2007)
Is it cliche to put these on the list? I mean, the colors everyone remembers as “Supreme” and the Elephant Print is Jordan, not SB. But the truth is, these Elephant Print colorways work on the P-Rod 2. Which would you choose, the white and blue or the black and red?
Nike SB P-Rod 2 “HatRod” (2008)
The second collaborative effort from Paul Rodriguez and Tinker Hatfield may not get the shine that the “J-Rod” P-Rod 1 gets, but the material, woven upper, satin tongue, and combination of black, light blue and gold really stands out amongst other colorways. It’s just not a combination that is seen very often.
Nike SB P-Rod 1 “J-Rod” (2005)
Tinker Hatfield’s eye for design combined with P-Rod’s first signature sneaker resulted in Elephant Print and a soft grey suede that resulted in one of the most sought after Nike SB designs outside of the Dunk lineup. Nicknamed the “J-Rod” due to the Jordan Jumpman logo on the heel and tongue and the Elephant Print, these gems can reach upwards of $1000 on eBay.
Primitive x Nike SB P-Rod 2.5 “Cali” (2011)
If you’re reading this site, you probably know that Paul Rodriguez owns the sneaker and skate store Primitive. In 2011, Primitive expanded overseas and opened a location in Berlin, Germany. To help celebrate the new store opening and pay homage to P-Rod’s California roots, the P-Rod 2.5 was created in a colorway inspired by the California flag. However, unlike the version that released in the United States, these special versions featured the Primitive scripted logo stitched into the heel. They were limited to 24 pairs, so if you come across these, don’t hesitate.
Nick Engvall is a sneaker enthusiast with over 15 years of experience in the footwear business. He has written for publications such as Complex, Sole Collector, and Sneaker News, helped companies like Eastbay, Finish Line, Foot Locker, StockX, and Stadium Goods better connect with their consumers, has an addiction to burritos and Sour Patch Kids, and owns way too many shoes for his own good.
Think my favorite of the group are the P-Rod 8 QS in black and gold. Great article.