Welcome Back, Old Friend – Part 2

Fallen's Rambler just go upgraded. This James Hardy pro model will definitely last longer.

Fallen’s Rambler just got upgraded. This James Hardy pro model will definitely last longer with its rubber toe cap.

As a sequel to our article that took place around this same time back in 2012, the rubber toe piece continues to be the focal point of skateboarding footwear. A year ago, only few brands were willing to risk the embarrassment of coming out with technology that had been long forgotten. The models could’ve easily flopped but more importantly, the risk of putting out this dated technology could’ve hurt the brand’s involved big time. Fast forward a year later and all of a sudden, the likes of Fallen, HUF and Nike are just now catching up with Dekline and Etnies, who have been capitalizing on the protection value of the rubber toe for a year now. It’s not to say that any one brand owns this technology, we’re simply pointing out the facts.

Now that the Marana has done exceptionally well, every other brand is now realizing that this is what consumers want. Before, skater’s were content with the idea of a thin shoe that would give them all the board-feel they could ever ask for. Now, those same consumers are looking to combat the sore feeling of skating thin shoes for a modern day cupsole that’ll protect them and in turn, last longer too. In a nutshell, more bang for your buck. But, how much should this bang ideally cost you? How much would you pay for it? “How expensive is too expensive?” article will probably be out sometime next week.

Janoski Premium SE or Janoski with a Rubber toe cap. Whatever you wanna call it is fine by us.

Janoski Premium SE or Janoski with a Rubber toe cap. Whatever you wanna call it is fine by us.

A couple of weeks back, our Asian friends at Heroskate leaked the photo above. It’s the Nike SB Janoski Premium SE. It’s even more proof that skateboarding footwear in 2014 will be reverting back to its old ways. There’s no denying it. With the return of the runner toe and the airbag (why isn’t used more often?), the rebirth of tech is coming back much sooner than you thought. The brands that we once identified as tech brands are now pushing what’s modern and those who were modernized are now gravitating towards tech. For instance, it’s strange to see DC hold back on the runner toe sole with their re-released Lynx, whereas Nike found no problem using their endless running resources to create the Project BA model. We won’t talk about that anymore though, considering it’s been beaten to death but you get what we’re sayin’. Going back to the Rubber Toe Janoski, word on the street is that it’ll cost anywhere between $90-99 which doesn’t make sense. Well it does, but it doesn’t.

If the Etnies Marana is a protective cupsole, with tons of cushioning and only costs $75-80, how does the Nike SB Janoski Premium SE, a vulcanized model with practically no padding, equate to $90-99? Are consumers/skater’s paying to get the illustrious “SB” labeling back? Or are skateboarder’s rich all of a sudden? Will this Rubber Toe Janoski be strictly available at skate shops? Or will shop owners be told that and in a years time be seeing this same model at mall shops? Its happened in the past and as a result, skate shop owners have been taking steps back with carrying Nike….or wait, is it a step forward?

7 thoughts on Welcome Back, Old Friend – Part 2

  1. JD Turner on said:

    The new Marana Vulc from Etnies coming out this Summer also looks very promising. Looks identical to these new Janoski SE’s, but with a price point of $70. Why spend the extra $20 when Etnies has been dominating with the Marana rubber toe cap?

  2. Tommy G on said:

    I’ve been debating this for a long time with my friends who are “obsessed” with Nike. Why pay $90 for a pair of shoes designed by a guy who barely even skates anymore? My friend paid $70 for a pair of Nike Koston 2′s on sale and they hardly lasted him a month. Now he wants to buy another pair and rip a huge kickflip hole in these without even thinking. He could get a pair of Marana’s, the Dekline Tim Tim’s, or even a pair of Fallen’s that would last him longer but he just wants to look “Stylish” and “Good looking” when he’s at the skatepark. Skate shoes are supposed to be made for functionality and MAYBE what might be going on in the fashion world. Support a company that makes shoes more affordable and well thought out than a company that only wants your money and sells the same kind of shoe and bumps the price up significantly on a pair of shoes that just have glued rubber put on the top of the place where suede is.
    Peace

  3. Peter on said:

    Stoked to see that some brands finally realized that durability is a very important factor for skate shoes, if not the most important

  4. Anderson on said:

    Actually, I don’t give a rat’s ass if a skate shoe was made by a “core” skate shoe company or not; what matters to me is that the shoe is worth every dollar spent on it. Take, for instance, the time I got a pair of Lakai MJ Echelon XLKs. I was actually stoked that there was a store selling Lakai stuff near my place. I was gunning for Guy XLKs (the ones that looked like Manchesters) but since the store was out of stock on those, I got a pair of MJ Echelon XLKs instead. Sure, the pair cost me half the amount of a normal pair of Janoskis but they were terribly painful to wear. The leather uppers were also below par as they easily gathered nicks and wrinkles (you’d think they’d look better longer because they were made of leather but no). Even the craftsmanship of the shoes was terrible because the pair I got had a lot of excess stitching and glue. The only saving graces were the XLK cupsole and insole. I never experienced issues like the ones I mentioned when I bought Janoskis because I did get what I paid for. Janoskis are really well made considering they’re just simple vulc shoes with seamless toecaps and specialized insoles. Heck, they even last long. And they don’t hurt to wear everyday.

    In this scenario, I’d still pick the Janoskis, rubber toecap or not. I rather get a pair of simple vulc shoes knowing that the basics are handled right and that they would last longer than a pair of cupsole skate shoes whose only selling factors are that they are cheaper than the rest and they have a rubber toecap.

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