For a long while, the east coast really got the ass end of skate coverage. The internet helped in spades as far as getting the word out that the east coast has plenty to offer, not to mention a little video that was both wonderful and horrible turning the skate world on to areas further up than NY. East coast companies, shops and skateboarders brave harsher weather and harsher terrain than anywhere else in the U.S., and skateboarding is all the better for it. Now, rather than getting the tail end of the deal, some would argue that the east coast sets the skate trends and the rest of the world has to keep up- feel free to disagree in the comment section *grabs popcorn*.
The collab shoe and the east coast came up in the same time period, marking an interesting and well-encompassing era in both States coverage and limited run footwear – some extremely limited. While it’s never made a shoe inherently “better”, there’s something special about two (or more) skate institutions openly appreciating each other. Being an east coast-based entity ourselves, we felt it was only appropriate to take the opportunity to collaborate amongst our location-varying ranks and appreciate the greatest, the strangest, and the least expected.
10. DC X SHUT
DC went full out with a collection based off their Shut Lynx Prestige S, and the colors for this shoe are strung together in a way that stands out enough on a shop’s wall without being too loud and overbearing – we can appreciate some subtle branding. Not too many companies are more east coast than the New York-based Shut, and the original Lynx model has strong ties to Love Park in Philadelphia, so this crossover brings different pieces of the east coast all together for a revamped 2015 model. While we miss the OG Lynx with the runner toe, the significance of these two companies for east coast skating is difficult to parallel.
9. DVS X UXA X HUF
Prior to leaving DVS for his namesake company and their emerging skate shoe division, Keith Hufnagel was really good at collaborating HUF (the shop) with whoever he felt like, including Nike and Adidas. Taking the DVS Huf 4 Hi and incorporating branding from NY crew UXA and HUF, Keith sealed the deal with two distinct colorways bi-coastal colorways. A SF Giants inspired colorway, and a NY Mets colorway. Certainly not his most skateable model, the Huf 4 Hi was popular amongst shoeheads, and the gaudy chiller doesn’t seem to be going out of style anytime soon. The 3-way collab is always fun, too, and we can get behind the full wrap strap assimilating itself into skate shoes a little more often.
8. NIKE SB X SUPREME
An enormous advantage Nike has over a lot of other shoe companies is their catalogue of shoes that they can pull back from to rerelease at their convenience. Between the Koston Three, the One-Shot and all of P-Rod’s recent models, the Swoosh has had a lot of tech models on shops’ shelves; perhaps that’s why when Supreme teamed up with Nike for their Tennis Classic model, it stood out so much. This cupsole shoe wasn’t too flashy apart from the snake-skin heel, and was by all means extremely limited in terms of quantity. The Tennis Classics also stand out as a nice break from the omnipresent one-piece toe-cap. These shoes have since been deceased in their production, but you can try to snag a pair from eBay for a few hundred bucks.
7. HUF X BRONZE
Has there been a bigger enigma in the last few years besides Bronze? It was only a matter of time before a shoe collab happened. Lucky for us, HUF delivered. Embedding the Bronze Windows B on the Classic Hi, weed socks and a hat felt almost too simple, but then again Bronze never does anything that the norm would expect. We suppose that’s why they added a reflective windbreaker and warmup pants into the collection. Just when you think Bronze or HUF have gotten predictable, here comes some bright silver-clad ’90s steez, the likes of which will undoubtedly become the norm again at some point in the near future. Skateboarding’s beauty is cyclical like that.
6. VANS X KCDC X NECK FACE
If you blinked when this shoe came out, chances are you missed it. 3 of skateboarding’s varying institutions merging for a signature Chukka Low colorway seems only appropriate if given the space to ensure they all get their shine, and the plain-faced Chukka Low doubles as a canvas for Neckface in his signature bloody style… just in case you didn’t see the label on the tongue. Straying far outside their usual white or black midsole, the 3 opted for blue, with Neck and KCDC logos in varying spots. Vans has a history of NYC collabs, including the illustrious Supreme, but this one is so weird and awesome that we had to include it
5. EMERICA X ROLL FOR ROB
This shoe makes the cut for its clean design, but more importantly, it shows the power of what collaborations can do. Throughout 2015, Deluxe and Theory Skateshop held a few events titled Roll for Rob, in which local New England skaters would raise funds for Rob Pontes, a Deluxe sales rep who was diagnosed with ALS. Emerica jumped in on this, providing the fundraiser with a sleek, black colorway with white and red accents of the Westgate CC. One of Emerica’s cleaner designs of late, it boasts a one-piece toe-cap, fulfilling a much-needed void of cupsole models, all the while supporting someone who caters to New England skating. If you want to cop a pair, you can purchase them here.
4. éS X 5BORO
Jimmy McDonald deserves more shine. In 2011, éS slapped his name on the insole of the Square Two Fusion model with a 5Boro tag on its tongue, giving the east coast institutions equal branding. éS has always pushed the envelope with shoe technology, and this was one of their last models to do so prior to going on their temporary hiatus. As a skate shoe, it went too soon, but it looked simple and different and it’s fair to say we miss it. Note: we’re always hyped on a full part to accompany a shoe release.
3. Dekline x Wu-Tang Clan
This is easily the least likely collab on the list. Dekline took on an identity as the diet team handsome shoe company in its later years, but this shoe came out in 2009 when Matt Ball and Patrick Melcher were still on the team. Another leather shoe, this collab sports perforated leather with yellow accents to give it the signature Killa Bees look on a vulc sole. The shoe is a stand-out, but it is a mystery to figure out who on Dekline would wear the shoe, as this was the time where fedoras and skinny jeans dominated clothing catalogues. Either way, if you land a collab with the best east coast rap group of all time, then you’ll be spotted pretty high on our lists.
2. LAKAI X JENKEM
The MJ Mid was a simple, unexpectedly great shoe. With a slim, low-silhouette covered with an oiled-suede, its multi-functional appearance more than likely saw as many weddings as sessions. Our friends over at Jenkem have been bringing an air of much-needed straight shooting for awhile, and in teaming up with Lakai, we weren’t at all surprised when they marketed skating’s first “sex friendly shoe.” The ad campaign behind this shoe shows what the new age of internet media can do: not an outlet to simply depend on funny ads, they released the best unboxing video of all time (not that the standard was all that high before). To pair that ad campaign up with such a great looking shoe, it’s a no-brainer how this ended up here at #2.
1. NIKE SB X QUARTERSNACKS
If you happened to catch QS via varying social media platforms on their Quickstrike release day, you’ll recall those shoes went fast, in a very QS-inspired pop-up shop scavenger hunt. A simple black Dunk Low was gifted to NYC’s cleverest and most comprehensive sports/Jeezy-inspired site with a skateboarding problem, and then they were gone. Snack has been overly diligent in keeping tabs on the various goings-on throughout the city/world, and skateboarding collectively thanks him. We weren’t sure what to expect from a QS-endorsed shoe, but weren’t at all surprised that it’s clean as all hell. A model like the Dunk has a lot of potential with its paneling and silhouette, but to keep it simple with a small, red insignia and minimalist branding, an all-black upper, a white midsole/highlights and a gum sole was the best decision both parties could’ve made.