Nobody appreciates a throwback like rising skateboarding star Kyle Walker.
So when the 22-year-old designed his first namesake sneaker range for Vans, he looked to the past for inspiration — and then gave it an upgrade.
“The shoes are based off older shoes — they are thicker and have more padding meant for jumping and durability,” Walker explained to Footwear News at the Vans Off the Wall Skatepark in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Friday.
The event celebrated the launch of the sportswear label’s Kyle Walker Pro sneakers, available online and select retail stores on Saturday in four colors.
Describing the footwear as his dream shoe, Walker added that it was important to have a thin toe and a design that resembled the brand’s classic style.
“When you think of Vans, you think of the stripe,” he said. “I added the O.G. back loop as well.”
Among the unique treatments, Walker’s kicks include a stylized nameplate on the tongue.
“The side diamond, I had that idea for a while,” he explained, “And the two pins — you have to add some gold to it.”
But for Walker, he’s most proud of the balance between style and performance.
The sneakers include Vans’ revolutionary Wafflecup technology, which helps to enhance his footwork.
“The Wafflecup helps for jumping,” he said. “As soon as you put it on, you’re ready to go.”
The outsole technology adds the support and stability of a cupsole shoe while helping to maintain an optimal boardfeel and grip.
Other performance-enhancing features include polyurethane-based sockliners, which provide the highest level of impact cushioning, and a vulcanized cupsole.