In HOLY CRAP news, Eric Koston announced his new footwear sponsor yesterday, Nike SB. Koston has been a skate hero forever, and with the way the Berrics is popping off right now, this couldn't have been a better get for SB. Koston has always been a Nike head, but he's also been a trend leader in skate shoe design since his start.
In an interview with Retrokid for SOLE Collector back in April of '08, when he was asked about P-Rod's deal with Nike, Koston said, "I think they ripped him off...I think a company like Nike, they should be paying out the fucking ass... Somebody of Paul's ability and marketability, he deserves more. LeBron's getting a $100 million deal, it's just not comparable." If one were to extrapolate off of this quote, he could safely say that Eric Koston is chilling. So, in celebration of one of skateboarding's greats, and to mark what will undoubtedly be the start of a flood of awesome SBs with his name on it, we've compiled Eric Koston's greatest signature shoes from his start with éS to his move to Lakai. Hit the jump and get schooled about the dude, and his design process.
éS Koston K1 - 1997
• Skate hero Don Brown teamed up with a then soon-to-be skate hero Eric Koston to design Koston's first signature skate shoe in 1997. It was the first-ever pro model to feature an air system, plus an exposed polyurethane midsole, making it an immediate success. The shoe is such a classic that Lakai released it last year as the Kost-One, and is living proof of how multi-talented and straight up awesome Don Brown is (he is the VP of Marketing at Sole Tech now).
éS Koston K2 - 1998
• Sorry for the shitty "early" pics, there wasn't a whole lot of Internet going on in 1998, and especially not with skateboarders. The Koston 2 was the first skate shoe with an EVA midsole cushion, allowing you to be more awesome and bruise your heel less (even if you couldn't feel your board for shit). Imitators rush to cop and copy.
éS Koston K3 - 2000
• In 2000, Eric Koston won the Globe World Contest in Dortmund, Germany; X Games in San Francisco, California and Gravity Games in Providence, Rhode Island. These are all good things, and they'll get you a re-vamped signature. Also—holy crap this sneaker is awesome. I mean, it might not be pick #1 for skating now, but how cool is this thing! Ball in that sucka.
éS Koston K4 - 2002
• In 2001, Koston got P-Rod on the éS team. We doubt Paul Rodriguez had much to do with convincing Koston to move to Nike this time around, but it's funny how history repeats. As far as sneakers, the K4 was considered dope, but expensive. But that's what was cool about éS, they wanted to push the envelope, not just create some crap that kids would get hurt in.
éS Koston K5 - 2003
• éS Footwear introduces the first-ever official éS Game of SKATE at ASR the same year the K5 dropped. Appropriately, éS team riders Eric Koston and Paul Rodriguez battle it out for the top spot, but P-Rod takes home the $10,000 1st place prize. At some point in here, it became Eric Koston's game of skate, which he re-claimed and continued to destroy for a few years.
éS Koston K6 - 2004
• In 2004, people started talking about a "secret indoor training facility" that Koston was using to get awesome (and to land all of the crazy tricks in Tony Hawk's Underground 2). Ah, if only there was Twitter back then, there would be 30 Berrics across the country by now.
éS Koston K7 - 2005
• Koston's final éS sneaker. The Sole Technology crew sheds a tear, and the man moves to Lakai...
Lakai Koston series - late 2007/2008
• It took Lakai a bit to get their Koston's signature shoes out, but when they did, it was dope. A nice vulc signature, a re-make of the classic ESK-1, and all around good times. The worst part about Koston leaving was that there was a high top version of the ESK-1 coming out for this Fall. It was the most awesome-ugliest thing you've ever seen, but oh well, now there are a butload of SBs that we can get psyched on.
• Who the eff knows, but we can safely say you'll see a Kost-Dunk, some Kost-Bruins, a Kost-Blazer, and once Omar's sneaker drops next year, there will be a Koston signature shoe (just 'cause you have to). We're going to go with the over/under on Fall 2010 for the Nike SB Eric Koston, but what do we know.