Getting your name on a skate shoe is one of the biggest highlights of a pro’s career. It’s a benchmark that few reach. Even fewer still create a shoe that stands the test of time. Koston and Reynolds were the first skaters I saw with several iterations of shoe designs. We all know that Janowski broke down the mainstream barrier with a shoe that gained popularity around the world. With this latest release from adidas, the Busenitz shoe comes full circle and incorporates some of the best components of a design that is over 10 years strong at this point.
Going back over a decade to when adidas was still trying to break into skateboarding, the original Busenitz model was their first major success.
“To be honest, what that thing really did do was launch the Three Stripes in skaters’ minds,” said Adidas’ Mark Holcomb, who was a product line manager at the time they signed Busenitz. “Just the fact that you saw the Stripes with an athlete you really like and respect just made the brand more acceptable.”
According to Sole Collector, when they were designing the first shoe designers didn’t have a budget to fly back and forth to where Busenitz was to go over prototypes in person. Instead they had to ship sample sneakers to him, let him skate them, and wait for them to get sent back with feedback. This process would continue for a full year and a half before they came to a final version.
Over the next ten years, the shoes would evolve. The oversized tongue that came with an option to cut it down would be replaced by a more standard size. The sole got flattened out with a reinforced vulcanized exterior. Here’s a look at some of the changes from Busenitz’s anniversary party a few years ago in Manhattan.
I’ve had some of these in the past and can honestly say they have been one of my favorites to skate. When I received the updated release in the mail I was excited to try them out. If you’ve got a wide foot, you should know adidas run a little slimmer than most. What I noticed first was that the arch on this pair was a little high for my taste, but after walking around in them I got used to it pretty fast. They fit snugly, I walked around in them all weekend and have no complaints about comfort. In fact, as far as board feel goes they feel broke-in right out of the box. That’s always a good sign when I get a new shoe to skate in. I took them over to the new Substance Skatepark for a trial run. I still can’t skate because of two herniated discs in my back but I rolled around on the mini-ramp and was excited by how natural it felt in transition.
One thing I’ve always paid attention to in my shoes are the stitching around the ollie area. What I like about these shoes is that they borrow from adidas soccer heritage and use stitching that is really hard to rip. Like I said, I won’t be doing any flip tricks for a while, but for those of you who are out skating on the daily these seem really durable. You can’t put the shoe goo away with these and just go shred.
Overall, Busenitz Vulc II is a solid addition to the long line of shoes that carry his name. Personally, I prefer the old sole but it’s not like I absolutely hate the new one. Durable, comfortable, and practically no break in period. I’d definitely recommend these to anyone. The colorway adidas sent with the gold stripes is pretty classic, and speaking of classic the other versions of the shoe are still available online. You can get the Busenitz Vulc II retailing for $70, out now.