Sneaker News Talks Nike Skateboarding with Eric Koston and Stefan Janoski

October 4, 2012 BY

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Sneaker News: The “2” for signature shoes – the Air Jordan, the LeBron, the Penny, the Kobe – has been typically been the most scrutinized shoe, and the success of the Koston 1 makes the task of building something even better is that much more difficult. What about the Koston 2 separates it from the Koston 1?

Eric Koston: Think of a Porsche – like a 911 compared to a Carrera – you see the similarities, but also the evolution of the design from one to another. You see the subtle changes, like one is more aerodynamic and such, but you know for a fact what car it is. When we begin a new signature, we look at it from beginning to end. We look at the Koston 1 and we build upon it – we see what’s good with it and what needs to be improved. The Koston 1 served its own purpose for performance, but also laying the groundwork for the entire line.

Shawn Carboy: We look at the shoe like it was a car – we look at the guts of it and see what made it so great, but we also have to inspect what wasn’t so great. The Koston 1 didn’t breathe too well (Koston nods), so we slimmed down the sock-liner, and we also made the insole a bit firmer.

SN: I think everyone remembers that video when you took Lunar insole out and basically bent the shoe in half.

EK: Yeah! And you can actually do that with this one too, but the Lunar insole on the Koston 2 is just a bit firmer.

SC: (Removes insole) Check out how hard that is – it’s much firmer than the Koston 1. But the lightweight shell is still there, only we made it much more breathable.

SN: So just looked at skate shoes in general, when we look back to the first Koston with eS and Airwalks of the 90’s and compare them to now, clearly the shoes have slimmed down so much more to what the Koston/P-Rod/Janoski is. Is that a reflection of the evolution of skating as a sport, or is that something Nike has pioneered on its own?

SC: Funny thing is, back then, nobody really knew how to make skate shoes. Nike was doing it…forever, so they had the performance aspect of it down, but they were definitely learning as they were going.

EK: For my first show, I wanted it small, I wanted everything slimmed down instead of having all these extra pieces and bulk. Back then, those skate shoes weren’t all about performance and technology, but about the ‘wow’ factor because skate shoes looked so distinct. But when were designed the first shoe, we realized, sh**, we don’t need all of this extra stuff.

SC: Going back to the 90’s, you see skaters wearing Dunks, Converse One Stars, adidas Shell-toes, and they started to make the tongues puffy because their feet would start hurting. From there, shoes just got bulkier and bulkier because these brands just thought that’s what was needed, and it’s really not. Right now, it’s going back to the roots of those shoes – that more slimmed down approach – because if you’re gonna get chopped at the foot, it’s gonna hurt no matter what!

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