[Photo by Marcus Hart]
Melbourne skateboarder/tall t shirt durability tester Josh Hodge has been skating for 11 years now. The first shoes he ever skated were a pair of old boots and since then he has pretty much skated every style that’s been released. Even suckers from the bargain bins at Payless Shoes. Luckily for Hodge, he just missed out on the whole fat shoe trend and has always been a flat tongue dude. Here are his top 10 skate shoes of all time:
10. Bucky Lasek Vans
Only had one pair, but I remember I had these when I’d just started learning how to ollie stairs. I rocked em til they fell apart.
Overall rating: 2 and a half kickflip mctwists out of 5.
9. Dustin Dollin Vans – No Skools
Had about 2 pairs of these and they were so dope and punk as fuck! Dollin was the man at the time. My friends and I just wanted to do all the gnar shit that he did, which also included wearing tight black jeans and white dress shirts, you know you did it too ! Haha, wear and tear were great with these. Cushioning was a lot better back then too.
Overall rating: 3 shots of Jäger out of 5.
8. Jamie Thomas Fallen Chiefs
A new shop called Land Speed Skateboards had just opened in [Bendigo] town and back then companies would only supply core skate shops, so they were the only place that had Fallens. LSS ended up being my first sponsor so I had at least 4-5 pairs of these bad boys. I would just work at the shop for product so these shoes were money in the bank for me! I hope they re-release these one day. Also had my first major injury in these suckas, plus a broken ankle.
Solid wear, great shape and cushion.
Overall rating: 4 and a half one more try’s out of 5.
7. Chris Cole Fallen Reapers
Now these were some bad boys!!! Had about 3 pairs – always purple and had the matching hoodie. These were the days! Was about round when these shoes came out that I started trying big shit. Best shoe for impact I don’t ever remember having a shit skate when I had these. Lost one to a cop one time running away, even he knew they were dope haha. Also need a re-release. Think I broke an ankle in them too. Was comfort over longevity with this shoe.
Overall rating: 4 blizzard flips out of 5.
6. Stefan Janoski Nikes (originals)
Ahhhhhh yes we all know these ones, but before you trendy fucks were rocking all the styles of these – the original was the business! Got my first pair when I was 18, second hand off a dude at a skate park that was going in for surgery. They were still pretty new so he kicked em to me and I was stoked! My mates with cash had em but I was a broke ass. Eventually got my shit together and ended up getting about 13 pairs over a couple years. I reckon you roll your ankle more in these so I stopped skating em after a while – plus they’re now super trendy. Never the less a damn good shoe. Never had a pair fall apart, comfy after a couple days.
Overall rating: 4 top hats out of 5.
5. Lakai x Chocolate Griffin
Now we’re getting a bit more modern, no cool story behind these – just a really well made shoe. Filmed a lot of clips in the 2 pairs I had. Definitely recommend. Lasted long enough, excellent board feel too.
Overall rating: 3 drunk Marc Johnson’s out of 5.
4. Fallen St Archer
These should be number 1 to me at the moment really. Have had 3 pairs in a row, every pair felt good to go straight away – no busting em in. Just change the souls to padded or any of those fancy new insoles and you’ve got a comfy board feel pair of shoes. Real low cut, so ankles might get a bite here or there but you’ll be right princess!
Great feel, wear and tear minimal.
Overall rating: 5 happy Hodge’s out of 5.
3. Mark Appleyard Globes
Had a few of these. I picked em all up for like 20 bucks a pair – maybe that’s why I liked em so much! But yeah good shoe, good times, good price. Weowwwww bargains. Comfy till death but only lasted a week.
Overall rating: 2 Nollie flip 50-50s out of 5.
2. Emerica (can’t remember the style)
Before the Janoski was huge, i’m pretty sure this was the shoe everyone rocked at least once. Haven’t had em in years. I think they still make this one. Grab me a pair if you find em and I’ll give you a hug or something. These tear up pretty quick, but were a cheap shoe so they were easy to replace.
Overall rating: 3 and a half frontside flips out of 5.
1. SHOE GOO!
All the above shoes were doctored with this magical creation. I don’t use it anymore, but when you knew you weren’t getting a pair of new kicks for a while – this stuff was a life saver! By the end of my shoes back in the day, it would be at least 70% Shoe Goo wrapped around my feet. Only $9 to make your shoes last another month or 3 ?. You go Shoe Goo!
Overall rating: 5 busted right shoes out of 5.
Would love to hear what your favourite skate shoes of all time are. Let us know in the comments section below.