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.
JJanuary 7, 2010
Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Reynolds’ Cruisers a re-make of a Sperry shoe? I think there was an interview of him talking about how he skated them but wanted something a little more skate-able.
Clemens DyckmansJanuary 7, 2010
I saw the interview as well, it’s a video in his garden right? I’m not really sure if it was a sperry shoe he showed, it looked like a cheap quality sailing shoe, which basically looks like an Vans Era.
D.stroyJanuary 8, 2010
Isn’t it curios how in your top three plus one best shoes of 2009, all the shoes aren’t really skate inspired shoes? They’re rater skate-adapted shoes.
I’m not criticising your choiches, but i’d rather skate a shoe that has a skateboard look and feel than one than makes me look like any soccer jock, even if it’s the tenth half cab rip-off.
Maybe they all look the same because that’s a shape that works best on a skateboard.
I started to think about it when, a few days before the release of the Busenitz’s, a guy at the bar was sporting the non-skate version of that shoe, and i couldn’t tell the difference.
Clemens DyckmansJanuary 8, 2010
I have to say I don’t really get your point…well you are right, the Busenitz is a soccer inspired shoe, but basically every skate shoe has been inspired by another sport somehow. Shoes like the Blazer and the Dunk used to be basketball shoes to just name an example.
Appart from that the Emerica Cruisers are based on a classic skateboard shoe, the Vans Era. Even the Janoskis and also the Busenitz are “skate inspired”. The design is related to other sports, in this case soccer and sailing, but they have been adapted and designed specifically for skateboarding. My attempt was to pick the in my opinion most important, unique and best performing skate shoes of 2009. In my opinion many designs work great for skateboarding if they are build in a proper way, not just the classic halfcap look.
ricardoJanuary 23, 2010
Hi, i’m thinking to buy a pair of janoskis and i don’t know what size order… in dunk lows (fat tongue) i have 8’5, in prod 2 8’5, in dunk high 8… plz help me and sorry for my english…
Clemens DyckmansJanuary 23, 2010
I’d say get 8.5 , but if I where you I#d go to my local shop and buy them there, the izing of Janoskis is difficult because they are slim and the sizing depends on the width f your feet.
ricardoJanuary 23, 2010