2019 is a very, very strange time for skateboarding. In a shift that felt like it happened overnight, Nike SB raised the heart rates of old and new ’heads alike. Avid followers of the Swoosh’s skateboarding arm were split between welcoming and detesting the new visions for the line. Meanwhile, social media spats were aplenty, and they have continued to clutch the feet of the elite.
Instead of focusing on this, we want to shift your focus to some of the underachievers, general releases, and day-to-days that we once took for granted. After all, if there’s one thing that all skaters have in common, it’s the need to roll instead of walk. That reality often means you get caught out wearing inappropriate footwear. Next thing you know, the heat you never intended on skating ends up getting hideously beat.
So, without further ado, we present five shoes that you shouldn’t have skated in, but probably did anyway…
adidas x EA Sports Busenitz Gazelle
In 2007, as a reaction to the success of the Tony Hawks Pro Skater phenomenon, EA Sports released their console game: Skate. At the time of release, adidas tapped Dennis Busenitz to celebrate his appearance in the game by releasing a pair of black Gazelles that were limited to just 500 pairs. They sported a relatively plain upper and an iced sole. But the kicker was the ‘High Score’ scribed on the side. We doubt there are many of these still kicking around today, because people likely skated them, or wore them on the regular while gaming to their heart’s content.
Sean Cliver x Vans Syndicate Mid Skool Pro
It is our belief that the Vans Syndicate range came and left too quickly. Some of the greatest Vans colabs of all-time came under that umbrella, providing a true expression of the Vans professional skateboarding team. One of the unsung heroes in this line was prolific artist Sean Cliver. This Mid Skool Pro included a black suede upper and sported a maplewood-like checkerboard design across the side panelling. If that wasn’t good enough for you, the custom Cliver art on the insoles was the winner. Like, c’mon, who doesn’t want to step on a vomiting gnome?
Duffs x Kareem Campbell ‘Kicks’
Black and white skate shoes will never go out of fashion. That might explain why Kareem Campbell’s gum-soled Duffs enjoyed a nice little stint during the late 90s, when economic prosperity momentarily took a hold of skateboarding. Despite being fairly plain in appearance, these kicks spread across bedroom walls on skating posters, and filled skating magazines across the globe. Campbell’s talents were uncontested during that era, and it also didn’t hurt that he skated for World Industries.
DC Shoes Rick Howard 1
While Rick Howard certainly left his mark on the skateboarding world, in retrospect, his best career decision was to leave DC. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t wish we could still watch him rocking the USA branding across the heel. Even though we’ve seen a resurrection in the brand in recent times, we haven’t seen models sporting the oversized DC on the tongue. The Rick Howard 1 owned that style. It certainly was his pinnacle with the brand and, to be honest, we miss them. Every. Damn. Day.
éS Koston 2
Whenever we think back to the period that éS had a hold of the skate media’s attention, there’s so many shoes to ponder on. While Sal Barbier’s Sal 23s were iconic, you simply cannot talk about the success of éS without giving due credit to Eric Koston, the guy that spent his formative years with the brand before leaving to join camp Lakai and then, eventually, the Swoosh. Often referred to as the Michael Jordan of skateboarding, Eric isn’t just any man. He’s Eric Koston. So, when we started flicking through The Big Brother Book to reminisce on all the old Koston ads, the Koston 2 just kept catching our eye. That model always just manages to represent a seductive memory of skateboarding days gone by.
Header image via @johnny_tang