Skateboarding and weed have always maintained a relaxed relationship.
It’s simply a known and accepted thing within our community, regardless of how you personally feel about a plant. Some brands have chosen to embrace it, some to ignore it and others to straight capitalize on it. However it came about, some of the most iconic shoes in skateboarding were designed with weed in mind somewhere along the process, and we very well wouldn’t have ever seen them in the form we did without it. Cheers to skate shoes that said “I’m high”, either quietly or loudly – you’ve gone underappreciated long enough.
The Muska has been ahead of the game since stepping into it, and that statement is only further solidified with his CM901 from C1RCA. When you skated back in the 90’s- early 2000’s, you were automatically labeled a pothead, and chances are whoever was judging you had a 50-50 shot at being right. But with Muska’s popularity being at an all-time high (pun intended), any product with his name on it was an automatic best-seller. In fact, we can’t think of another pro that could’ve marketed their pro shoe directly to weed heads in 2000 without looking like a kook – but that’s just how amazing Muska is.
Outside of every April Dunk release, there was not another paneled-toe skate shoe that openly celebrated weed until Biebel’s third Lakai pro model. Sporting a physique and energy that screams sativa, Biebel put his resources into making a simple skate shoe with some unique branding qualities- y’know, like a giant fucking weed leaf front and center on the tongue. There were no subtleties about it. If you had these, chances are you were asking for people to hit you up for a dub on the street or where they can find specific strains. Sadly, even at the peak of skateboarding’s obsession with weed-related items, these missed and chances are even Ross thought they were too risky because of the tongue.
Every year, you can expect Nike SB to outdo themselves from previous years with their latest 4/20 offering. In 2010, they did an exceptional job of that with the release of their Skunk Dunk High. Designed by legendary artist Todd Bratrud, the Dunk High had weed and skate shoe enthusiasts anticipating the drop like coyotes would a drug mule. Most notably, the Skunk Dunk’s attention to detail was amazing – from the fuzzy suede that replicated brittle weed to Bratrud’s insole art, this was probably their best weed-related release to date.
Professionals at branding weed, the plant purveyors over at HUF have constantly upped the ante since their inception. Not that leaf-inspired attire wasn’t a thing before, but HUF somehow found a way to capitalize on it like no other skate entity had prior. “You know HUF?” “Who?” “Weed socks.” “Oh, yeah!” It’s uncanny how well it’s worked out in their favor. The Hupper 420 carried on their proud tradition of working weed imagery into usable everyday apparel in a sorta-tasteful manner, ensuring only those who for sure partook would trade a 20 for some slightly used ones.
No shoe has ever made sheltered, sober suburban kids feel more toke-friendly than the Ipath Cats. It was perfect – other skaters might’ve thought you were down, parents had zero idea about the implied stonerdom that came with the very nice-looking moccasin upper, there was a stash pocket to casually zip and unzip… everything about the Cats screamed “haf” without a word needing to be said or anything weed-related emblazoned anywhere on it or in its marketing. We remember some who even went so far as to co-opt a Rasta phase for the duration of their pair. Promoted by the perma-smiled Matt Rodriguez, Karl Watson, Matt Field and more, even if mom or dad caught on, all you had to do was point out these fine, upstanding professionals. And the shoe skated super well for an all-around win-win.