The easiest and the hardest thing to learn in skating has to be the ollie. Along with the ollie comes the fact that you are about to embark on a lifetime of wearing through your shoes. So, you begin to play around with different stuff to see what works and what doesn’t what feels natural and what feels awkward. Finally you arrive on the shoe that works for you.
I’ve seen friends purchase up to 15 pairs of a shoe once they get a model dialed in. This isn’t some sneaker head collecting thing, no, these are guys who are afraid the company may discontinue that shoe and they refuse to let go of it…by any means necessary. That includes dropping all their beer money for three months to preserve their paws in the correct footwear. Skaters are weird like that.
The last shoe I really felt dialed in was the Vans No Skool back in 2005. This was one of Dustin Dollin’s first pro models and while I’ve got better things to do than follow the career of Australian skaters the fact remains … it was a solid shoe. When I caught wind that Vans was updating the No Skool I jumped to attention. The first shoe was good. Simply put: it was a beefed up Style 36 (old school). The No Skool 2 appears to have cut down on some of the bulk of the first shoe and incorporates Vans latest version of board feel. Overall, right out of the box these were skate-able with no break in period. I still get a little weirded out by how much I can feel the board in these shoes. The end result is a blend of high tech and old school into a shoe that is as much a look to future as a nod to the past. That’s a real good thing. Vans has managed to combine R&D with classic style for a shoe that is amazingly functional on multiple levels of skating.
Vans is rolling out two models: a low and a mid. The latter of which is based on the Vans Mid Skool that was made popular by Tony Alva back in the day. You’ll be able to find the low in about 10 color ways and the mid in about five. The version that really caught my eyes was the red/green/black checker and how it paid homage to one of the first Supreme X Vans Half cab collabs from several years back. The extra style nod is quite the stylish nod but at the end of the day you can get these as plain or as flashy as you want. At minimum you’ll get a thumbs up when you rock these to the local Italian joint for dinner or while cruising through Little Italy on the Lower East Side. Not to shabby.