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Skate Shoe History Part 1

Greeting everyone. It’s been awhile since our last post. We’re sure you have all been waiting anxiously for something new from us to read. Since we are in the skate shoe saving business why not delve into a bit of history about them. There are so many brands out there now and they all had to evolve from somewhere. Well here is a bit of that somewhere.

In the early 1960’s is when skateboarding started gaining popularity. Because it was an adaptation of surfing most skaters didn’t wear shoes. You don’t surf in shoes why should you skate in them. If they did it was whatever was available at the time. We think it might have been Keds or Converse.

In Massachusetts in 1965 the Randolph Company had a “wicked awesome” idea by creating and marketing the first ever skate specific sneaker, The Randy 720˚. It was a low top, canvas shoe much like the Converse we see today. Due to it’s popularity The Randolph Company created a high top version called the Kort King a few years later. The Kort King had additional rubber reinforcement around the toe and a fishbone patterned sole.

Lets fly over to the left coast, Anaheim California, 1966 when brother Paul and James Van Doren along with Gordon Lee and Serge D’Elia open The Van Doren Rubber Company. Their first day they sold 12 pairs of deck shoes (today known a “Authentics”) priced between $2.49 and $4.99. With there flexibility and signature waffle sole, Vans quickly became the top choice for skateboaders. A decade later skate legends Tony Alve and Stacy Peralta helped design the Style 95 shoe. It featured vulcanized rubber sole and a padded ankle collar.

Honestly there is such a vast and rich history to Vans that we just can’t write about it all in this one blog. Maybe we will write a full history in a later blog but for right now let’s move on to the final shoe for this lesson.

Still in California, 1976, Makaha Sportswear introduced the Radial. What made these sneakers different from the others at the time were the octopus tentacle style suction cups on the soles. The Makaha Radials also featured total reinforcement to all the critical areas that were subject to excessive wear. They might have felt a bit stiff being that nylon was the main material but the Makaha Radials were said to be nearly indestructible.

As you can see skate shoes have a vast history in it’s early years. There are still quite a number of companies making innovative strides in the 1970’s but this post is getting a bit long. Until next time, have fun, go skate and save your shoe with an Ollie Flap because they don’t cost $2.49 anymore.


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