Halo Effect — The Oral History of the First Hundred Dollar Skate Shoe

Collages by Requiem For A Screen

There’s no shortage of talk about a deck’s notorious resistance to inflation. But what about shoes? While something like a Lebron in 2019 is substantially more expensive than a Jordan in 1999, skate shoes have hovered around the same average $70-80 price tag for the better part of two decades, even as skateboarding itself has grown and adapted to new trends, technologies, and customers. Meanwhile, every fashion house in Europe has been raking in the money these past few years, pushing puffy sneakers reminiscent of old skate shoes.

We tracked down the principal figures behind the first three-figure skate shoe, released in 1997, and got their story on what was as much of an anomaly as it was a watershed moment for skateboarding as a cultural phenomenon, and style of footwear design. (Keep in mind that, adjusted for inflation, $100 in 1997 is the equivalent of $156 in 2019.)

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What was the skate shoe landscape like at the start of the nineties?

Don Brown, Chief Brand Strategist at Sole Tech: Airwalk, Vans and Simple were the only other shoe brands. They had become so mainstream and rigid — and there was a dip in the economy, so they scrambled to get sales wherever they could. Pierre [Andre Senizegues, founder of Sole Technology] was doing the distribution for Etnies at the time, bringing it over from France. When skateboarding crashed, vert and freestyle were pretty much eliminated. There was a whole generation of upstarts, like Rocco and them, and everyone in skateboarding rode for Etnies at some point.

Chad Muska: There were a hundred riders on Etnies, or something crazy like that. Even that High Five video had so many people in it. The shoe industry then was like, “Oh, this company is going to give you free shoes. Maybe there’s a chance you get paid.” It was so secondary to boards. There were early pro shoes, like the Half Cab, the Natas, and the SLB, but I think the real start of the skateboard shoe industry being serious was when they began making videos.

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Double Back on the Double Back

Diego Najera with the first trick in last week’s #1 QS Top 10 line. 125th Street. Photo by Mike Heikkila.

Diego and Tyshawn are leading everyone else in 2018 for tricks that leave phone screens and comment sections, and actually enter conversation between IRL humans.

Check the full Humble Laboratories commercial from Conor and Genny (2x as long as the Instagram one) + then go support the boys.

“Midtown to us was really just like 5 blocks though. Like 50th Street to 54th Street on 6th Avenue.” Village Psychic catches up with R.B. Umali for some stories about skating Astor, Pyramid Ledges, Union, Courthouse Drop, Flushing, etc.

Tufty showed up and surprised us in Paris on our first day, then we didn’t see him for the rest of our trip because he was doing grown man shit, like waking up before 1 P.M. to go skate spots before they get too crowded.

Here are seven minutes of recent-ish Sean Pablo footage loosies.

Antosh uploaded a quick montage of all our friends out in Vancouver, aptly titled “Hiatus.” You can also pick up his zine from a summer 2017 tenure in New York at the Stussy store on Spring Street.

Like everyone else, our first thought was, “Whoa, they still do X-Games Real Street?” Bobby’s entry is all Pulaski footage.

Posting “2017 in Review” content the day before May 1 is pretty dumb, but TWS has a quick recap of Cyrus’ past year over on their site, so why not? ♥

TWS also uploaded 411 issue #2, which features a Tom Penny “Wheels of Fortune” section filmed exclusively at the skatepark that Palace’s winter pop-up park, Mwadlands, was based on. Fwiw, 411 creator, Josh Friedberg, said that the Penny section was one of his favorites ever from the video mag’s run.

Staletape is a 28-minute long Philly scene video by Joe Ostrowski.

“Whereas Torey Pudwill’s arm motions often hit the red while balancing on history’s most drawn-out backside smith grinds and backside tailslides, Magnus Bordewick’s flapping generally coincides with rocketing pop and crater-making impacts.” Boil the Ocean re: the state of arm movements in skateboarding and Magnus’ new part.

7-minute iPhone clip of Tyler Pacheco and the Crailtap dudes skating New York.

Popwave” made me want to go skate not-so-good skate spots with all my friends.

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Donovan Mitchell should be fun to watch for like, the next decade-and-a-half? Who does everyone have for Sixers-Celtics?

Quote of the Week
11-Year-Old Scooter Kid at Le Dome: “What’s the best trick you can do?”
Adult Skateboarder at Le Dome: “Pop shove it.”
11-Year-Old Scooter Kid at Le Dome: “…you’re kidding me, right?”

This is the first semi-late Monday Links post since we vowed to swear off them in honor of the queen’s 30th birthday. BUT — in our defense, the entire office is a bit lagged from traveling back to New York yesterday. We don’t deserve a Gucci polo, but at least it’s not going up at like 4 P.M. ♥

Living Every Day Like It’s Spring Break

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Had some leftover footage from the past couple trips + a few things that might’ve potentially ended up in the now [probably?] defunct QS Drop Offs series. Threw this # feel good # clip together :) It’s a spring-themed fall video, and though it has summer footage from foreign counties, we limited it to places where the summer feels like it does in the city right now (66 today!) Heard a new skatepark that took thirty years to complete just opened up, maybe see you guys over there later ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Features: Johnny Wilson, Josh Wilson, E.T, Tyler Warren, Vincent Touzery, Max Palmer, Matt Perez, Tyler Tufty, Charles Rivard, John Franco, Pad Dowd, Adam Zhu, Tico, Hjalte Halberg, Louie Lopez, Jack Greer, Andrew Wilson, Daniel Kim.

Contributing Filmers: Pad Dowd.

Also, gonna just leave this here…

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‘That Dirty Spirit 2’ — QS + PDX

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Below is a quick video of our weekend trip to the land of Lunarlon, “Matt Beach did this here”-anecdotes (never forget), insanely good food, gorgeous mountain views, bad [face] tattoos, and strippers dancing to MF Doom.

Naturally, DS2 A.K.A. “That Dirty Spirit 2,” as it is known through Matt Perez’s Snapchat, did not leave the CD changer throughout the duration of the journey.

Features Finn, John Gardner, Cyrus Bennett, Dom Travis, Ty Lyons, Rob Sissi, Tyler Tufty. Video by Johnny Wilson, of Space Heater fame.

Alternate YouTube Link

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Back in the Office…

bandwagon

On the bandwagon since 2013 :)

Had a rough past week for site updates. Just spent a lot of time trying to figure life out, yaknow? (No, not returning to the dark days of 2006-2009 where it was updated three times a month — the modern news cycle couldn’t handle that, r u crazy?)

New teamrider on Mother Collective.

Nieratko interviewed Peter Sidlauskas over on Vice.

What a week for wheel company videos! If the future of skate videos isn’t in a Shorty’s Guilty VHS tape or fifteen-second IG edits, maybe sub-two minute wheel company videos could be a guiding light? Jordan Trahan for Autobahn with the non-IG angle of 2014’s 360 Flip of the Year / leading practitioner of boardslide-tech, Jesus Fernandez, with a quick part for Bones Wheels (sidebar: I was recently informed of a weird sect that swears by Bones over Spitfires…is this real?) / Michael “Top 3 Person to See Skate in Real Life” Mackrodt with a part for a potentially unsubtle drug front.

Lurker Lou came through with a wear test for the Osiris D3. Apparently, it’s not much different than skating a foamposite.

Tyler, the Tufty has the opener in the D.C-based “Alley Bar 9.”

New iPhone edit via Rob Gonyon with a bunch of the Bronze guys, and one of the highlights off Barter 6.

A half-minute of J-John the Don footage from the Krooked Korea trip.

This video got e-mailed to us more that pretty much any other video ever throughout the past week. It’s good for a few laughs.

There are a lot of new things to skate in Milan, beyond just the train station.

Brief Ray Barbee sighting, who also probably earned the loudest cheer of the night at the Propeller premiere, just off an intro appearance.

Oh wow, another Colombia skate clip with a missed #musicsupervision opportunity.

They made one of those “oral histories” about Redman’s Cribs episode. “The reason I was on the floor was because the couch — you know how it is when you’re sleeping on a leather couch and it gets all hot? When it’s too hot to sleep on the couch, I just go right to the floor. It’s a cooler situation.”

If you borrowed money to go to school, and need a reason to cry and/or begin planning on how to fake your own death, have fun reading this.

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Steph beat James Harden MVP voting. Fingers crossed for a Clippers-Warriors Western Conference Finals.

Quote of the Week:

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Nah.

Still some items left in the webstore btw ;)