If Bruce Lee’s quote “Be Like Water, My Friend” had any physical manifestation in this day and age, it would be Ishod’s unbelievably effortless style of skating. From skating huge handrails, to big sets, to technical ledge tricks, then to tranny, Ishod Wair is the whole package when it comes to depth and style. Anytime some footage of Ishod comes out, it’s evident he gives it his all. It’s also crazy looking back on some of the documentaries filmed of Ishod ten years ago when he came onto the scene, and seeing a goofy kid from New Jersey that loved skateboarding, tie-dye t-shirts and cars. Nike SB Ishod
Since then, Ishod has become an integral member of the Real Skateboards powerhouse team, released a number of incredible skate parts, and also part of the hugely broadcasted Street League competition, showing the world that his “go-to” tricks were enough to nab Top 3 placements against some of the world’s best skateboarders. The most respectable thing about Ishod is that he’s always down to film; either from the early days with Ant Travis and the east-coast Sabotage videos, to Davonte Jolly’s Godspeed video, Ishod’s always with homies who are serious about stacking clips. With that said, it was only a matter of time that Nike SB gave Ishod, a long time veteran on the Nike roster, his very own signature shoe. Read on below to see how the new Nike SB Ishod fared in our wear test. Nike SB Ishod
The Nike SB Ishod fits true to size.
The Nike SB Ishod is a shoe built to last and has a good durability for several reasons. For starters, the shoe features a clean one-piece toebox without any supportive stitching, which means there were no overlapping materials that need to be hold together. This takes away the critical seams that may tear apart after multiple sessions of griptape contact. Secondly, although the midfoot section features some overlapping materials and stitched layers, the high quality suede material was stiff and rigid, which helps to prevent the suede areas from softening out, especially in the mid foot patch that includes the holes for the first three lace loops. Lastly, the sole pattern of the shoe turned out to be very durable as well, especially for how thin and boardfeel-oriented the shoe’s design was. One impressive feature noticed after our 10-hour test are the options for lace protection. Certain lace loops are protected with lower positioning and the first three lace loops had the option to use hidden loops where no ripping is possible. Nike SB Ishod
The area with the most sign of wear were the sides of the sole, primarily in the forefoot and midfoot area. The Ishod features a special sole construction which Nike SB calls vulcanized cupsole. It’s as if Nike SB added one vulcanized rubber layer to the upper first, before assembling the cupsole onto the shoe. When it came to wear and tear, the forefoot area of the shoe where both the cup-and vulc layer were, got worn down to the suede quite quickly. However, the aforementioned high quality suede made up for it, and provided an additional line of defense. One flaw of the shoe would be the collar in the heel area. Although comfortable, the material got destroyed very quickly by the griptape; this doesn’t affect the overall performance of the shoe, but does make the shoe look untidy and seem like it was worn out quickly. Nike SB Ishod
For the Ishod, Nike SB used Nike’s React cushioning technology for the insole. As you can see in the lateral cut, the bottom part of the sole consists of just the shoe’s profile and a few extra millimeters, with the common difference in height between forefoot and heel area being created entirely by the shape of the drop-in insole. Based on that special construction, it is possible to achieve both excellent boardfeel and cushioning abilities in one sole construction. The Ishod can cushion relatively tough landings which noticeably reduces the danger of heel bruises. All in all the Ishod had extremely good cushioning characteristics.
The shape of the Ishod is a mix between a SB Dunk and a Blazer GT. The model features heel and midfoot sections that run parallel to each other and then narrow down towards the toe to end with an arrow-shaped toebox with a clear peak. Overall, the shoe is more of a slim cut.
The contact between foot and board when wearing the Ishod is almost perfect. As you can see with the lateral cut of the sole construction, there is direct contact in the forefoot area, because the sole materials in between the foot and the deck have been minimized. Based on that design, the Ishod can easily compete with vulcanized models, but with the risk of injuries being heavily reduced by the thicker heel cushioning. The impression given by the insole of the model is of one that provides excellent cushioning and great boardfeel, which not many other models can offer that simultaneously.
With regards to the grip, the Ishod is between average and good. The rubber composite used held up well during our wear test and provided a solid abrasive flick.
The most important features for a comfortable skate shoe include weight, ventilation and a well-crafted inner shoe area. Overall, the Nike SB Ishod is lightweight and the inner area is crafted very well, featuring locked-in tongue straps that are connected to the heel area and help achieve a comfortable feeling for the feet.
A highlight of the Ishod is that the shoe features exceptional breathability. After reading some of our other shoe reviews, you will see that finding a breathable skate shoe is extremely difficult. As soon as breathable mesh materials, holes or other options are used, it sacrifices the shoe’s stability and performance. The Nike SB design team found a smart way to achieve breathability without giving up stability. The rubber reinforced mesh window in the midfoot area for easy airflow is actually quite flexible. However, underneath is a blue midfoot strap which is connected to the lace system through a loop in the upper. This strap can be used to tighten the laces and adjust the stability of the mesh window sidewalls. Next to the mesh window in the midfoot, the material is also used in the tongue and the toecap also features holes to increase ventilation.
The stability is good and very well balanced, ensuring a secure feeling on and off the board while maintaining boardfeel. The heel area is very stiff because the vulcanized cupsole is reinforced with another rubber layer (in blue). The padding in the heel area makes the shoe comfortable and also helps secure the heel when skating. The suede material of the shoe did not stretch out during our 10-hour test and held its rigidity. Due to all the elements that helps the shoe retain exceptional stability, the Ishod feels quite stiff in the first two sessions before breaking in.
The shoe’s design found a perfect balance of exceptional cushioning and great stability/support, without sacrificing boardfeel. The shoe needs some time to break in, and the durability is good but with some flaws such as the aforementioned heel collar. With that said, this is probably the best all-round skate shoe currently available in the market.