Posts Tagged "sneakers"


Red in the face

‘Bout to take these new HUF joints for a trial run. Only I won’t be running in them, I’ll be skating. Duh.

huf southern Red in the face

The white eyelets are a pretty nice touch. And am I alone in liking ollie patches for whatever reason? Sure, they usually rip off, but what in this game of skateboarding do we not destroy?

It’s been about 2 weeks since I’ve gone skateboarding, a fact I am not only ashamed to admit, but will surely pay for in a certain bodily fluid that matches my new shoes. Sometimes, breaking in new shoes hinges on them not breaking you first. Plus, this is the first non-Vans shoe I’ve skated in… uh, ever, actually. So it should be an interesting, and potentially painful, experiment. Which is kind of skateboarding in a nutshell, I guess.


All Star Status

Jason Jessee wears Chucks now? Weeeiiiird. It feels like the delicate firmament above the skateboarding world just collapsed, a little bit.

I was never a Cons man. They didn’t make sense to me, since I’m a skater, not a basketball player from the 1920s. That’s why I always wore Vans, another producer of quality, slim, low-profile shoes with classic sentimentality oozing out from between the stitches, only their involvement in skateboarding beat Converse’s by two decades. And today, Converse has been owned by Nike since 2003. Sure, people have always skated in Cons, some of our great early style leaders, like Natas Kaupas, were known for it, but the thing is, Vans were made for skateboarding. Granted, both brands are now celebrating widespread mainstream popularity, but historically speaking, Vans were skate shoes, not just basketball sneakers that people chose to skate in. And this is why, I assume, Jason Jessee had a longstanding partnership with Vans, collaborating with them on one of the finest releases in the Vans Syndicate line to date…

jason jessee vans syndicate All Star Status

Apparently, that relationship fell apart sometime between then and Jason turning 40. His announcement of his age is a revelation that almost knocks the wind out of you, considering he’s the closest thing skateboarding has to a Peter Pan. And that’s saying something considering all skateboarders have a little touch of the Pan as it is. So if Jason Jessee can’t stay young, surely we’re all doomed.

jason jessee motorycle cons All Star Status

I get it. It’s hard staying young for 40 years. Moreover, it’s expensive staying young for 40 years. And if somebody wants to pay you to basically just, continue being you in your pursuit to stay young, only while wearing their sneakers… fuck it. You win. But I think that kind of decision making automatically makes you a grown up. You may be a man-child, but you’re still a man now.

jason jessee rowing boat alcatraz All Star Status

In any case, Jason Jessee is still significantly cooler than you or I can ever even dream of one day being. If anything, we should be thanking him for lowering the bar a little bit. And, at the end of the day, there are a ton of incredibly legit dudes skating for Converse — so don’t mind me, I’m just being a purist. If you were an Aerosmith fan, imagine how you felt when Steven Tyler became a judge on American Idol, and then multiply your pain by a thousand because Steven Tyler, on his best day, has less coolness in his entire body than Jason Jesse has in, like, a single pube.


Got my Vans on but they look like sneakers

Personally, there hasn’t been anything from Vans this spring that has really tempted me to spend some money, and not even just because I own far too many sneakers as it is. Nonetheless, these are super sick.

vans vault sk8 hi zip lx Got my Vans on but they look like sneakers

vans vault sk8 hi zip lx black Got my Vans on but they look like sneakers

Not sure if I’m sold on the zipper on the back yet though… kinda weird. But the combination of nubuck and leather looks great, anyway. The leather laces are a nice touch, too. A simple update on a classic — can’t go wrong. Well, except for maybe the whole zipper thing. Although at least then you might not have to untie your shoes to take them off, which would actually be kind of awesome. Almost like Sk8-Hi clogs… cool! I think!


Wall to wall

Despite a long-running affliction at the hands of sneaker and hat collecting, to date I’ve managed to restrain myself from writing about consumer interests on the blog. Today, my will has broken. Or perhaps apathy just took over. Either way, there’s no denying it. A deep-seated obsession with sneakers is a part of me — a lame part that will keep me forever unfulfilled, perhaps — but a part of me nonetheless, so why not air it out on Dedleg with the rest of my dirty laundry?

alex olson wallride1 Wall to wall

I shot this photo of Alex Olson doing a very apropos wallride on a Vans ad at the DQM demo last month. Shooting skateboarding is hard! Unfortunately, I cut Meza’s feet off… so much for that skate photography career I’ve been pursuing so passionately.

Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I’ve only ever skated in Vans. After having happily destroyed a decade’s worth of sneakers, I can honestly say I’m something of a diehard Vans aficionado. And as I got older, and occasionally felt compelled to not look like a total fucking dirtbag, my sneaker collection expanded well beyond the realm of strictly functional skateboarding footwear. A simple pair of Half Cabs or Sk8-His will always be safe choices for the aging skate rat, but between the OTW, California, Syndicate, and Vault collections, Vans has a fucking treasure trove of classy models in quality materials for anybody looking to get their grown-ass man on.

vans vault sk8 hi lx premio Wall to wall

This fall’s Vans Vault releases are some of the label’s most fearsome offspring to date. Indeed, it was the Sk8-Hi LX “Premio” pack that pretty much forced my hand to publish this post. Maybe I’m still a little afraid to come out of the closet when it comes to my sneaker collection, but for this pair of shoes, I think I could do it. The Sk8-Hi is a classic, dress it up in rich burgundy leather and even the grimiest skater bois will be impressing girls’ parents.

vans vault priz laced lx Wall to wall

The Priz Laced LX is a new style in the Vault collection out this August, and offers a silhouette a bit more refined than what you might find amongst their core line. Between the toe-cap and two-tone design they’ve almost got a European-look to them, only without the track suit and lost expression on the Subway.

Anyway, I think that got dorky enough for one day. And I swear, I’m not just posting this shit because Dedleg’s birthday is coming up or anything… icon wink Wall to wall


Observations about Go Skateboarding Day 2011

sneakers with holes in soles Observations about Go Skateboarding Day 2011

I finally had to retire my Rowley Style 99s — but if a pair of skate shoes has to be sent to the grave, as they all inevitably do, it might as well be on Go Skateboarding Day. It’s kind of like a tree dying on Arbor Day… actually, was that a lyric from Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic”?

Anyway, this particular retirement was especially hallowed as it was prompted by my earning Skate Stigmata on this most sacred of occasions. With both footbeds touching griptape, my bigspins politely begged me to do something about my homeless-looking footwear situation. And by “politely begged me,” I mean, “repeatedly clocked me in the shins.” Obviously, I had to oblige.

vans versa Observations about Go Skateboarding Day 2011

So I ended up going with the Versa in their unofficial “bowling shoes” colorway, mainly because it was, apparently, the only pair of size 9 Vans left in the entire borough. Fortunately, initial tests came back extremely positive. Their effect on your ability to dominate a 7-10 split remains to be seen.

Okay, moving on to my very short list of observations. Sorry, I would have made more but I was concentrating on skateboarding most of the time. Go figure.

  • People sure seem to take this more seriously than Talk Like a Pirate Day. Weird.
  • Where are all you assholes the other 365 days a year?
  • It seems like it stays light out later than usual on the Summer Solstice. What up with that?
  • Free Red Bull is not nearly as effective a thirst-quencher as free water is. But until P-Rod is rocking a Dasani logo on his New Era, I’m afraid we’re going to have to settle for promotional beverage hand-outs that, while capable of giving you wings, aren’t actually all that refreshing.
  • Somebody really ought to vacuum the BQE lot.

bqe lot Observations about Go Skateboarding Day 2011

Regrettably, that photo is sourced from a largely inactive rollerblade-centric Tumblr, which sounds like basically the worst thing ever. Nonetheless, it provided adequate documentation of the state of affairs under the bridge here in Williamsburg. Basically, picture the DIY-oriented spot to be in a state approximately 100% more disgusting than this, and not only because that ledge went missing months ago.

Although, to be honest, when I first rolled up today I actually thought to myself, “Wow, it’s surprisingly clean down here today,” but upon further inspection realized that was merely due to a strange absence of usual mainstays like pigeon carcasses and vomit. But, no matter what a sweaty, filthy mess it is skating down there, it still beat managing the crowds over at the McCarren skate park, where just about everybody who’s ever even thought about riding a skateboard in the past year was eager to spend the day standing around in a giant mob, waiting for somebody to throw them a free t-shirt.

So yeah, it was a pretty typical Go Skateboarding Day by all accounts.


Not out of control, just out

This is probably the first and only time I’ll re-blog something from Crailtap that everybody hasn’t already seen. Lakai released this commercial yesterday for Mike Carroll’s newest pro model pretty late in the day by East Coast standards, so chances are good you were already out on your board or, more likely, drinking. Either way, Lakai comes correct per usual with an innovative concept and top notch editing. To be clear, there’s very little real skateboarding going on throughout, but it’s fun to watch regardless so… good job marketing dudes. Go treat yourself to a protein shake or something.

Nonetheless, it’s a bit unfortunate that Carroll himself is shockingly absent from his own shoe commercial. I mean, for fuck’s sake, they even got Rudy Johnson in there, and most of the kids who will be buying this shoe were probably still in the womb when he was last pro. I know Mike is a busy guy, between running multiple companies and making it to as many Gaga tour dates as possible, but seriously, if you’re going to try to sell this shit by boasting his remarkable board control, it might be nice to actually see some of it.


Skateboarders are idiots

This is perhaps trivial in the larger scheme of things, but I found it completely fucking mindblowing, and in light of yesterday’s comments on racism’s continued dedication to being horrible, it seemed “appropriate” to share this particular colorway of the chronically-confused Jim Greco’s pro shoe.

jim greco thunder black kid skin Skateboarders are idiots

Who came up with this atrocious name, and more importantly, who were the dumb dumbs who agreed to produce a colorway named Black Kid Skin?! Wait…hold on — ?!?!?!??! Okay, sorry, I was just feeling a lot of “?!” when I saw this shit. Granted, kidskin is a type of leather made from the hide of a young goat, but I would argue that black kidskin and black kid skin (two words) are very different things.

I don’t know if the morons over at Supra HQ are just oblivious, or if they actually think it’s funny and that they get a free pass since they sponsor a number of skaters with “black kid skin”, but, uh, they don’t. Ironic that Lil Wayne’s blind obsession with Supras has probably netted them considerably more income from the urban youth demographic than they ever made off skateboarding, and they repay their faithful fans with a weird, racist colorway. What’s next? The Little Lesbo Cut Tank Top from KR3W, “honoring” their sponsorship of infamous Lindsay Lohan ex, Samantha Ronson? Actually, let me know if that ever comes out because I’d like try one on.

Anyway, I doubt I have to even say this, regardless of this astounding screw up, but do not buy Supra sneakers. Sure, they might not have a corny surf division, but I think it’s about time we let these bozos sink anyway.


Ego Rippin'

Happy retirement, old friend. May your last days be spent relaxing in one of New York State’s fine luxury-class landfills.

torn skateboard shoe Ego Rippin

I tend to skate my shoes until they’re little more than threadbare socks, mostly because breaking in new sneakers is the worst, and breaking in a new model that you aren’t used to is worse than the worst. But when the padding starts exploding out of the tongue, it’s time to face the facts and stop showing up at spots looking like a urine-soaked garbage-picker. Most city spots have more than enough of those as it is.



It’s been a couple weeks since I posted up a pile of pictures taken out of my old apartment’s kitchen window. And yeah, you’ve seen it all before, but the days of Chicago sunsets are in their twilight (see what I did there?) Savor them while they last, since just like an actual sunset, they’ll be gone before you know it.

colorful sunset Kaleidoscopic

colorful sunset silhouette Kaleidoscopic

light reflected in window moon Kaleidoscopic

For the sake of diversity, I threw in a shot of a shoe filled with spoiled food and/or barf. Kind of the same thing, I suppose, just in different stages of its life.

disgusting sneaker Kaleidoscopic

I woulda taken them home, since they’re pretty fly kicks (aside from the, you know, actual flies), but unfortunately they weren’t quite my size.

mental 312 tag Kaleidoscopic

To make matters more random, here’s a picture of a metal grate with one of Chicago’s most active young vandals, Mental 312. He’s sort of like Austin 3:16, only without the Biblical nonsense and steroids. Although, to be honest, it’s really not all that random… it’s all loosely related to color, which is particularly relevant given the subject matter of sunsets. And that’s how you box your way out of a corner.


Dirtbag Baby

These promo videos for HUF’s new line of footwear have been popping up all over the Internet for a few weeks as a staggered release, so I figured I’d post the whole collection of them for those who haven’t seen them yet.

Netflix, TiVo be damned. You will sit through commercials, and fuck it, you will like them. What does it say about a culture when commercials become a primary form of entertainment? I don’t know, or rather, I don’t feel like flexing my occasionally useful Communications and Media Studies degree at the moment.

More importantly, I’m concerned for the skateboarding subculture. There was a time when it was more insulated from the horrors of money. Of course, that’s ancient history, and now we are witness to an industry where amid a constant deluge of generic clips, a handful of 20 second sneaker commercials seem like some of the most valuable viewing material. Then again, maybe that’s just the strange voodoo of Keith Hufnagel. I always figured there were some kind of dark arts to blame for that legendary pop. Read More


Whatever Wednesday

So it’s not quite the Jolly Roger, but we’re working on it. What can you assholes say? Do you have a flag? Work on that, son.

heart painted shirt hanging from window Whatever Wednesday

thrashed tnt 4 Whatever Wednesday

Sadly, I also recently had to dispose of my long-time friends, the TNT 4s. They served me well on the great battlefields of the streets. Easily my favorite skate shoe in recent years. Pretty lightweight, and the suede ones I had were incredibly comfortable with great board feel — low on padding though, so if you’re a baby, I guess take that into consideration. Best of all, they were super durable, with some kind of thin space age rubber reinforcement underneath the ollie area. I hadn’t even worn through it before I went straight through the sole to the footbed. Shit was about to be touchin’ socks. Unfortunately, their successors, the Rowley Shambles, are not filling the old shoes’… uh… shoes.

A Geoff Rowley vs. Tony Trujillo smash up would be this years’ true Clash of the Titans… although, when it comes to transition, there is no contest.

Dude just released the Kraken all over Burnside’s shit.

kraken clash of the titans Whatever Wednesday

The Kraken in Clash of the Titans (1981)