Before the concept of a “skateboarding shoe” really began maturing and booming in the nineties, a lot of “skate shoes” came from discount stores. Nike’s GTS was a canvas tennis shoe that covered sales racks at Marshalls two decades ago. It has largely been forgotten, beyond the fact it made its way into a bunch of skate photos and video parts, mostly on the feet of dudes who paid attention to their gear as much as the tricks they were doing. Today, with about 1/5th of the kids at a peak-hour L.E.S. session trying to look like they stepped out a Marshalls in 1995, it makes sense to revisit a cult-classic — which in many ways, was a proto-Janoski.
Supreme is releasing a run of GTS Nikes later this week. In the lead-up for it, they got Brian Anderson, Kevin Bradley and Alex Olson to skate both the most iconic plaza spot that still exists, and the most photogenic new plaza spot to be built in the past ~three years. With so many new skate videos (at least the ones filmed in cities) taking a spots-that-aren’t-really-spots approach, there’s now something refreshing about seeing B.A. do his first-ever Love line in a twenty-year-spanning skate career, or Challex doing improvisational turn-around lines at Republique that aren’t far off from Stevie’s wandering Love lines in The Reason. And shit, when’s the last time a pro simply did a crook fakie on a ledge to start off a line? Like 1999? That was nice to see.
We got the shoes, now how do we bring the plazas back? :(