More than a hundred years after, the Converse Skidgrip are back in a high-level collaboration. We have to thank no one less than Jerry Lorenzo and his brand Fear of God ESSENTIALS (@essentials) for their comeback.
Converse and Jerry Lorenzo teamed up to deliver a new version of the emblematic Skigrip, the model that debuted 110 years ago and that, according to the designer himself, didn’t receive the deserved attention. Its history begins in 1910 with the origin of the Converse Circular Vamp Oxford (CVO), which specially ruled over the skater world, over boats, basketball and tennis. It wouldn’t be until the 60s when they would be renamed: Skidgrip, in reference to the non-skid soles designed for boat decks. Twenty years after, the model would become one of the favorites in the BMX scene and the surf world.
A cultural mix
The Converse Skidgrip Hi-Top from 1987, known as Con-Rad, featured striking colorful and fresh prints as a result of a collaboration with JAMS, which defined their way to become an even more iconic pair, an absolute pop icon. “In South Florida and California kids surf and skate”, affirms Lorenzo. “Those cultures naturally blended”.
It is time to give them a new life. “We picked the Skidgrip because it was a show that I loved when I was younger. Our aim in bringing back a silhouette that has been perhaps overlooked is to bring it a fresh relevance”. This contemporary version is a careful re-edition, implementing a 30-degree slope along the midsole, from toe to heel.
“The sole is the biggest takeaway when you look at the sneaker”, said Lorenzo. “It feels very much like our main line, the Fear of God 101, and gives it the same feeling looking down as looking down at the Skidgrip in the late 80s”. The truth is that the pop colors on the upper are also present in an abstract and eye-catching graphic that combines green, blue, purple, red, black and white. Features that also are worth a mention are the padded heel, the ESSENTIALS and CONVERSE labels on the tongue and the round cords.
The Converse Skidgrip Fear of God ESSENTIALS come out on August 27th. You can get yours at Foot District!