It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new pro silhouette released from the Converse CONS program, but now we see why. They’ve been working on a completely new pro model shoe, and earlier this year, they released the much anticipated Converse AS-1 Pro, a sleek and vintage inspired cupsole model designed specifically by one of the most stylish female street skateboarders, Alexis Sablone. It’s safe to say this pro model is well deserved; Sablone has had an incredible track record in the skate world, first showing up with unprecedented finesse and style with her debut part in PJ Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life. Yet this part was way ahead of its time, with Sablone putting skateboarding to the wayside by pursuing a degree in Architecture after being told there was no market for women in skateboarding. Fast forward a couple years, Sablone had finished her undergraduate program and continued to show up in the competitive circuit of skateboarding, winning enough contest money to pay off the hefty tuition to enroll into MIT’s master’s of architecture program. Since then, Alexis has been on a silent rampage, going pro for WKND Skateboards before switching to Alltimes, joining the Converse Cons program in 2019, releasing an iteration of the One Star Pro and claiming fourth place in the Tokyo Olympics. Not to mention, she had an incredible part in Converse Cons’ “Seize The Seconds” video. She’s literally done it all, and is still doing it. When we talk about professional skateboarders and their power of influence, Alexis lets her actions doing the talking, and it’s been incredible to witness. The AS-1 Pro is a testament to the legacy she’s built throughout her career, the icing on the cake, if you will. We got our hands on a pair of these, and put them to the weartest; read on below to see how they did.
The shoe fits true to size.
The AS-1 colorway was the classic black and gum silhouette with a suede upper. The toebox of the shoe features a double-stitched toe panel that is the main defense for ollies and flicks. After three sessions of skating, the stitching of the toe panel started ripping, yet it was more of an aesthetic flaw than a performance flaw. After a few sessions, the suede was worn in and lost a bit of structural rigidity. Thankfully, the side panel of the shoe features four “teeth” that helped drive abrasion from flicks towards itself and prolonged the shoe’s durability lifespan. The sole of the shoe held itself very well during the weartest, with no blowout spots. The shoe didn’t feature reinforcement layers or other panels, which isn’t a bad thing. The shoe was straightforward, featured what you needed and broke in very well to give you an exceptional 10 sessions of durable skating. Afterwards, the shoe started tearing and some blowout spots were noticed, but overall, the AS-1 had solid durability.
As a cupsole model, the shoe features two elements that help absorb the impact from skateboarding. As you can see from the side cut picture, the midsole featured small ridges to serve as structural stability but also contribute to cushioning by dispersing the impact. In addition to that, is the CX Foam insole, which is about 3-4 mm thick even from the heel all the way to the toe area is an additional year of support that serves as an immediate response for low to medium impacts. Overall this cupsole model was decent, and is one of the better cupsole models we’ve skated from their product portfolio.
The shape of the AS-1 Pro is quite interesting. Although the shoe looks and feels like it’s a bit wider, it was cut quite close the feet in all areas. The toe area of the shoe also features a more pointy shape than expected. This turned out to be great, with a feeling of stability and precision in terms of flicks.
As a cupsole model, the AS-1 Pro had great boardfeel. The insole and the sole of the shoe was well balanced. When it came to the toe area, there was an surprising amount of boardfeel and it was quite easy to find the pocket of the board for popping tricks. The grip of the shoe was also good; the AS-1 Pro features a classic herringbone outsole for grip, and could withstand a lot of abrasion without sacrificing grip. Initially, we though the shoe seemed like a wide construction and may feel loose or cut far from the feet, which would impact the boardfeel; but these expectations were well-exceeded after skating the shoe right out of the box.
One of the biggest pluses of this model was the comfort and stability of the shoe. When first wearing the shoe out of the box, the feet feel extremely secure, padded and comfortable. This actually got even better as the shoe broke in, since the suede absorbed the sweat and formed better to the shape of your own feet. The heel foxing was also made of a strong plastic that helped hold up the structure of the shoe. A drawback was the heel collar lining; although it does serve the purpose of stabilizing a higher part of your ankles and was quite comfortable with the leather lining, the inside of the lining consisted of a foam and plastic that would easily get stuck when stepping into the shoe. Another thing to mention, after ten hours of skating, the suede would absorb too much sweat and could change form while losing a tiny bit of rigidity. There could be improvements made to the breathability of the shoe; however this is a small detail.
The simple and vintage aesthetic of AS-1 Pro packs a lot more features than expected. Overall, the shoe excelled with grip, comfort, stability and cushioning, but more improvements could be made to the durability and breathability of the shoe. This was a fun shoe to skate, and congrats to Alexis on this well-deserved pro model shoe.