2009 was a year of a few very iconic new skate shoe releases. Here are my personal top 3 in no particular order.
Adidas Busenitz Pro
The first pro model of Adidas Skateboarding was maybe one of the most successful shoes of 2009. The soccer inspired style with the characteristic long tongue set a new standard and showed that a cupsole can offer as much boardfeel as a vulc sole while being way more comfortable. Remarkable is that Adidas completely trusted Dennis Busenitz’ taste and released the shoe with the soccer tongue, something that has never been seen on a skate shoe before. The not so usual soccer/skate shoe crossover design combined with excellent performance and great colorways makes this one of my favorites of 2009.
Nike SB Janoski
The second pro to ever get his own model on Nike SB was Stefan Janoski. On first sight it looks like another chukka low inspired shoe that virtually every brand has in his collection right now. The difference that got the Janoski on this list is the great construction. This shoe manages to be one of the thinnest skate shoes ever produced but it is still offering enough support and cushioning, a balancing act that no other model on the market right now does as well as this one. The fact that almost every skater supported by Nike SB wears them since they released in May 2009 just underlines how well these skate.
Emerica Reynolds Cruisers
Like the Vans Chukka low the Vans Era is one of the most copied silhouettes right now. Most companies on the skate shoe market have a model that looks more or less like the Era, but Emerica is one of the few ones that actually improved the performance of the Classic. I own both models, the Vans Era and the Emerica Cruisers and there’s no doubt which I would chose to skate in. The lighter and because of the Soletech insole way better cushioned Reynolds Cruiser manages to be better than the original while most other Era inspired models are just average vulc shoes with weak support.
Honorable mention: Gravis Dylan Rieder low
One of the most controversal skate shoe releases of 2009 was without a doubt the Gravis Ivsk8 Dylan low. Described as “ballet slippers” to “most comfortable shoes ever” the completely new design attempts at Gravis turned heads wherever they appeared. They might not be the best performing skate shoes if you have a realistic look at it, but it’s nice to see that some companies aren’t afraid of going new ways, which definitely should be rewarded in a year where exchangeable skate shoe designs where the standard.