After a brief back and forth with our friend @grimcity, its become even more evident that some skate shoe manufacturers are fucking up. The demand for a Hi-top cupsole has been needed and prolonged beyond our expectations. Not since Emerica’s Reynold’s Mid has a brand shown interest in giving consumers a fair shot at skating a protective and durable skate shoe with actual ankle protection. We emphasize on the word “actual” in regards to ankle protection because upon receiving some so-called Mid’s, you’ll find out that the collar of your latest purchase will barely reach the ball of your ankle. Our frustrations only turn into temperamental tantrums at that point.
— Neal Boyd (@grimcity) May 9, 2014
Perhaps the biggest obstacle surrounding this niche market could be that 1 brand has already collectively conquered this age old problem. If you think about it, why would any other brand risk their resources and funds with a hi/mid-cupsole shoe when the Nike SB Dunk has never had a day off. Obviously, the Dunks allure has suffered since their designs mainly target hypebeasts but nonetheless, you can’t deny its strong performance values. It’s also one of the last, if not only, mids/hi to feature a supportive strap that’ll add extra stability. More so, since the untimely passing of Lewis Marnell (R.I.P.), no one skates Dunks anymore anyways (but that’s entirely another article waiting to be written). If a brand does come out with a mid or hi-top, as you’ll find here, the likelihood is that it’s padless around the ankle and is only constructed in this design for popularity value over performance. We still don’t understand the fascination behind this shoe, but whatever.
This subject doesn’t necessarily end with hi’s and mid’s either. Even consumers who are looking for a reasonably priced low-design skate shoe have been filling their needs elsewhere. When it comes down to it, if you’re broke, you’re going to buy the most affordable skate shoe possible. This week, we were blessed with Connor Kammerer’s Tengu part and we couldn’t help but notice his interest towards the shoe wall at Payless and/or Goodwill. If you’ve seen this part already, you can’t deny your interest in his choice of footwear aside from his unique tricks. Someone put us in touch with him so we can ask him about how well his shoes actually last/skate and maybe we could publish the photos here.
As a whole, skateboarders are actually reverting back to their old ways. It’s all really coming full circle. Bucket hats, sweatpants and the resurgence of runner toes should’ve come as a fair warning but as with those trends, the hi/mid demand is back in a big way. The days of patiently waiting for a suitable pro model are over. If your product is good and reasonably priced, then we’ll bite. Otherwise, you’ll find more skateboarders siding with the “Fuck it” mentality, as they skate away with something that feels good and does not support skate shoe brands.