Since its release earlier this year, Chad Muska’s Skytop V has been turning heads. From high-fashion sneaker heads to hesitant-yet-interested skateboarders, the 5th installment of Muska’s avant-garde design process exceeds expectations.
Tracing back the Skytop’s lineage, it all began with a high-top construction, a simple vulcanized sole, and a wildly experimental upper that skateboarding had never been exposed to. Fast forward 10 years since it’s original release and the Skytop V still carries much of the same DNA – with the exception of a vulcanized sole and a now-vmid design.
While the upper’s design rightfully reserves the initial praise, the Skytop V’s outsole design deserves just as much, if not more attention. The complex outsole features multiple tread sections, each one equipped with a different density for a unique purpose. The lateral side of the shoe has a harder form of rubber, making it ideal for flicking, while the medial side features a softer rubber ideal for grip directly beneath the ball of your foot. There’s no discussion when debating how fashionable the Skytop V is – it certainly is, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this shoe wasn’t made for skating because, by the looks of this outsole, there’s no doubt it was designed by a skateboarder.
Beneath this supportive outsole comes a soft PU insole that sits atop an EVA midsole. The shoe is cushy and is surprisingly ideal for large drops (if that’s what you’re into). The upper, while highly unconventional and in some ways intimidating, fits and feels like an extension of your foot thanks to the TPU cage system (popularized on the Skytop 3) and it’s internal neoprene bootie. After playing around with uncuffing and cuffed pants, we noticed that the shoe took to most looks. It simply came down to coordination. The shoe fits exactly like a slip-on with the laces allowing for more support fit if needed.
Fittingly, as if it weren’t as aesthetically special upon first glance, the Skytop V utilizes an incredibly undervalued design element in skate shoes: the runner toe. The oft-overlooked runner toe is sided next to a fused TUF toe that holds up well when in contact with griptape. The vamp is surprisingly low in comparison to previous Skytop models, but only makes for a better overall fit.
Muska’s always set ablaze his own trail, and the Skytop V is no different. With SUPRA upping the technological advances in each of his models, there’s no doubt that this normally high $125 price tag actually mirrors the benefits of lacing these up. Find them at your local skate shop or at Suprafootwear.com.