Shoe Siblings: Different Hoes That Dress The Same


As skateboarding becomes more popular among mainstream media, all companies are fighting for a bigger slice of the pie by creating a quicker turn around time. As with skate videos, the popularity of skateboarding has created an over saturation of sorts within any skateboarding category- the most recent being skate shoes. Shoe designs are either leaping forward or falling behind drastically, where no aesthetic or silhouette is any different from another. More and more we are seeing skate shoe siblings rather than individual designs. In other words, companies are releasing shoes that look so similar to one another that we’re often left wondering…which company is still creating original models? Not to say there isn’t room for recreations but at the very least, add some taste to it #plz. For instance, how often has the Vans Era been remade by other brands? Let’s not even open that discussion…we’ll be here all day.

The key for these brands are to inspired, improve, and to look forward for designs, not sideways to the competitor. Think of what Chris Cole said about his models in our latest Then and Now. At the very least, get inspired by the past. The following are shoes that have caused us to give their respective companies an eye roll, knowing that they’re just trying to up sales with an already popular model from another brand. Be that as it may, we’ll take into account what differentiates each one from another….or at least try to.

Nike SB Janoski:
This is the prototype for the comparisons we’re bringing up. Of course you can argue that this shoe isn’t an original design (it’s not) because much of its similarities are borrowed from Vans silhouettes. Regardless of the fact, we can’t deny the ripples its made because quite honestly, they’ve been endless. We’ve talked about how the Janoski has become the best selling skate shoe of all time and if you’re at a skatepark, you know you’ve seen at least one 10 people skating a pair at any given time. Why is this? Is it because Stefan Janoski’s switch skating is smooth as fuck? Maybe. Is it because Asphalt Yacht Club is the future…not if it looks like this. More likely, its because it’s simply a good looking shoe. It’s simple and if you’ve skated a pair, you know that you’re going to sacrifice durability for some perfectly balanced boardfeel and flick. And now, in 2014, Nike is revitalizing their most popular skate staple and are giving it a runner model and the infamous cupsole treatment. We hear the foul cries of a generation brought up on this shoe after laying their eyes on these recreations but you’ve got to admit, at least Nike is pursuing other avenues of design and creativity instead of just playing it safe. Sorta.

Lakai Carlo:
Lakai, why?! This model is a blatant clone, down to the piping details. The difference lies in the less pointed shape and fairly lackluster design. Worse yet, many people are not fond of the shoes skateability, reporting the durability is less than great. Lakai has created some great models, like the immensely popular Griffin model, Alvarez model, and the soon to be smash hit (#2014Predictions) Owen slip on. So why does this model perform so poorly/even exist? More likely than not, its an attempt to ride the Janoski craze all the way to the bank…and it probably worked.

NB# Brighton 344:
Although the similarities here are not as distinct as they are with the Carlo, many have already labeled these shoes as the Janoski of NB#. These two shoes definitely share a similar silhouette and both happen to be vulcanized. The Brighton also has deco-stitching  that mimics the piping lines on the Janoski’s #sus. On the brightside however, it seems like most skaters have been hyped on the functionality of these shoes (and their unhatable team), even if they aren’t completely backing the corporate side of NB#. It seems like New Balance Numeric gets a “get out of jail free” card, thanks to their execution in marketing and quality of this particular skate shoe. They even have a midtop version, so it’s pretty hard not to make the comparison.

Honorable Mention: DC Mikey Taylor S (Even if just for the piping detail…)

With more companies jumping on the rubber toe cap and runner toe craze, we can only hope that they’ll can continue to advance the shoe culture, and not just create clones in hopes of making a quick buck. Shoes like the Emerica Westgate, Nike SB Project BA and HUF Dylan Pro are all standout models of today that took a chance in the market, and we’re happy they did. What’ll be the next big craze? Sick airbags, a la Kalis’ Centric S model? #PrettyPlz #LetUsPray


  1. Goldhan

    May 6, 2014 6:01pm

    Should add the Vans lindero to this… Just a beefier janoski… Still vulc, same stitching/piping, same silhouette

  2. Duke

    May 6, 2014 6:09pm

    Recently checked out the Adio collection, everything was a Vans classics rip off. Damn.

  3. Da Boi

    May 6, 2014 6:21pm

    I think Huf has been creating some great models that are slightly different, as well as DC. Although I hope the SB All court doesn’t become the new craze for every shoe company…Something tells me it will.

  4. Tom Hoffman

    May 6, 2014 8:04pm

    Perhaps the Carlo exists to give old men with lumpy wide-ass feet something to wear (now there’s a marketing slogan). Nonetheless, I hope they keep it around for that reason, unless New Balance decides that Numeric has to add EEEE’s to their line. Otherwise I might need to stock up.

    Actually though, a “skate shoes with guys with wide feet, high insteps, etc.” post would be quite welcome.

  5. bruno ottens

    May 7, 2014 2:39am

    you guys should take a look at the Vans Collins , they are like two drops of water ! damn , talk about trying to get a piece of the pie !

  6. whatevs

    May 7, 2014 3:01am

    you’re gonna make a list of janoski rip-offs and not include the huf ramondetta?

    • g

      June 19, 2014 1:53am

      wes kremers look just like the romandettas and neither of em look like janoskis

  7. Stephen

    May 7, 2014 5:07am

    It’s crazy how we’ve gone from overengineered moonboot looking monstrosities to boring minimalism. Maybe with the new techier looking models coming out that aren’t butt ugly we can finally find a happy medium

    • Leave a reply

  8. Chris G

    May 7, 2014 11:23pm

    I’ll be waiting for Dylan’s huf debut. Even if it breaks the bank. Also I hope it gets the runner toe, rubber cap, but not vulc.

  9. Ian

    May 8, 2014 9:25pm

    Should we talk about how the Vans Gilbert Crockett is essentially an updated AV6 as well? No need to copy another brand when you can remake a silhouette in your own line from just a few years ago.

  10. Jonathan S

    May 11, 2014 8:16pm

    Don’t forget the DVS Jarvis those are obviously not an original idea

  11. dummbert

    May 18, 2014 3:35pm


    first we have the janoski, which is a well-thought slimmed down ripoff of the vans chukka low.

    then we have offsprings like the lakai carlo, the also above mentioned new balance, which in my opinion comes closer to a janoski than the lakai shoe.
    then we have the vans lindero, a very offensive janoski ripoff.
    we also had the etnies maltos, one of the newer es models, i think even a dc shoe looked kinda similar. oh, and there was this one adidas model, too…

    and even nike rips off their own shoe: first the team edition 2, then the ultra ugly satire (oh, the irony behind this name), and lastly they even put out a lifestyle version coming real close to a janoski, dunno the name…

  12. bob

    May 22, 2014 7:10am

    I don’t know if the person writing these reviews knows what’s up but the Lakai Griffin bites off the Janoski even harder than the Carlo… The Carlo looks like shit… Dummbert was reffering to the Adidas Seeley which is also a direct rip off. All these styles, including the Janoski are a rip from the Vans chukka low

  13. Anderson

    May 26, 2014 3:40pm

    How about the Converse Sea Star LS and the DC Wes Kremer Pro shoes? Both are sporting that “boat shoe look” too.

  14. Roger

    September 3, 2014 2:44pm

    Honestly I’m very impressed with the Skatability of the DC Gatsby 2. They had a clearence sale in Thailand last year and I managed to nab up 2 of these. I dont know about the design originality, but it skates pretty well.

    Besides when the Janoski came out, I thought it was designed by someone who took a pair of scissors to a Vans Chukka Low and then slapped a nike logo on it. My last favorite pair of Lakais was a pair of Howard Selects, and I could even say that it [Howard Select] and the Emerica Leo were ripoffs of the Adidas Campus Vulc.

    Lets not mention the blatant ripoffs of Chuck Taylors. But then again I havent seen any company try to rip off the Adidas Superstar yet, and I know some skaters that swear by them

  15. Emerica

    September 27, 2014 1:54am

    Janoskis are a modified version of the Vans Moc 106