Look At What You Made Us Do: Buying Non-Skate Shoes

Skateboarders are resorting back to their "Imma buy skate shoes from outlets and Salvation Army from now on" mentality.

Skateboarders are resorting back to their “Imma buy skate shoes from outlets and the Salvation Army from now on” mentality….again.

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.

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.


  1. feelingofstoke

    May 10, 2014 9:09pm

    Those Reebok high tops actually look like they would skate nicely. If the cupsole extended up a little less at the toe, and came in black with gum sole, they would be a perfect skate shoe!

  2. Han

    May 10, 2014 10:20pm

    The Osiris Bingamans are the closest thing to Dunks with straps, plus there is a single piece toe box instead of the million panels on the Dunks. Of course being an Osiris carries its own stigma, but at least the colors aren’t the usual gaudy Osiris.

  3. Tyler Dombrowski

    May 10, 2014 11:20pm

    That New Balance at the top looks freaking indestructible! I share your feelings, good fellows at Ripped Laces. After destroying the ball of my ankle doing way too many Fakie Big Spins, I can say proper mid tops are definitely what I’m rockin now, unless my Accels come back haha. Seriously though, it’s like most companies forgot what what actually good for your feet long term. The Reynolds mid will be my nest purchase. Nothing like driving 100 miles to skate some dope spots and then rolling your ankle… buzzkill! By the way those Reeboks look pretty good, take out the flashy paneling, give it a high-impact capable air bag in the heel and I’m a customer!

  4. Tyler Dombrowski

    May 10, 2014 11:24pm

    Forgot to add this- If Supra’s shoes weren’t so Ghetto Fabulous, I mean look at Lil’ Wayne’s shoe (wouldn’t be caught dead skating it even if it’s good) I’d be a customer. The skytop 3 looks good and clean. I can do whacky, I cannot do “this looks like somebody got a clay mock-up and took a chainsaw to it”. Glad I got some old Westgate’s!

  5. SC

    May 10, 2014 11:50pm

    I was just talking to a friend about this today. We were lamenting the loss of the Nike SB Blazer CS, and how we can never find a mid/high SB dunk anywhere for a reasonable price.

  6. Adam

    May 11, 2014 6:15pm

    I’m skating Nike Dunk Mid’s…

    Anyone? No? Okay.

    But honestly, I bought the mids back in like 2009 or something and just wore them for school/hanging out. They were sitting in my closet for so long (I got preoccupied with a few Huf and Gravis shoes between then), so I decided fuck it I’m gonna shred these this summer. They actually skate really well! I went out and bought Nike SB’s Chronicles 1 and Lewis Marnell’s part got me really hyped on dunks again. Probably won’t buy another pair after this, but I don’t see why skaters only favor the Janoski’s and P.Rod’s. I’m not even much of a cupsole person and I’m psyched on them.

  7. Warlock

    May 12, 2014 3:27am

    The real question is, does anyone actually know the model for those New Balances? Like Tyler said, those things look like they might go for awhile. And maybe for the cheap. Just throw a set of the insoles from your old kicks with actual impact resistance and you’re good to go.

    • Lee

      June 13, 2014 7:37pm

      Those New Balances are called the Pro Court, but unless you get highs they seem to only come in canvas.

  8. Anthony Wylie

    May 12, 2014 6:51am

    shit, I’ve been on a dunk hype for the last few months. They skate really good!!! I have a pair of the highs, and lows. Idk what everyones problem is with them.

    • big al

      June 14, 2014 10:50am

      hey man, I normally skate ellingtons (super legit) but i feel as though they might be in the ‘phase out mode’. do these have good impact protection (i.e. not like janoskis or any other bullshit slim shoes)?

  9. Chris

    May 14, 2014 5:12am

    I think a really good example of this phenomenon is in the lurknyc crew, Jason Byoun in particular.

  10. hihope

    May 14, 2014 6:16am

    working on it

  11. Andrew

    May 14, 2014 4:35pm

    ive enjoyed having non skate shoes opposed to so called real skate shoes. Minus of course es and axion shoes. might have to go back to doing this unless a miracle happens and a sweet cupsole mid-high skate shoe comes out when i finish these axions. they can beat nike with the price tag, after taxes dunks can go up to around $150. if i can buy shoes that go for 60-110 youve got my vote i know youre most likely a shoe that will last. Supra has great designs but again is too expensive and just a notch down from nike prices. the new reynolds high looks great, but just the toe shape looks like it was not made for me just a little bit off.

    • big al

      June 14, 2014 10:52am

      thats how i feel as well (about the reynolds whack toe shape – bring back the sky top 3)! i am super down for some mids because i reckon that they are totally underrated and i cannot understand why more people don’t skate them.

  12. steve

    May 14, 2014 7:01pm

    What about the DC Crisis and Nyjah highs? Both legit high tops with a cupsole

  13. Finnish

    May 21, 2014 7:53pm

    GOD DAYUM! those NBs are looking good. You better give a message to black box to start working on those! They look good in all aspects and I think they would last and skate well also..plus the all white coloring is a huge turn on! Wanna get my hands on those asap!

  14. Justin

    June 13, 2014 6:58pm

    I actually copped a pair of those REEBOK bb4700’s today at Ross for $25.00…


    They’re really comfy and not alot of bulkiness in the sides. Conform right to your feet, and excellent boardfeel. Less padding than a Skytop 3, but more than a Vulcanized shoe.

    I excited to see how they skate, starting tomorrow!!


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