It's not like people weren't buying skate shoes. The Vans Half Cab — still widely recognized as the best skate shoe ever — was introduced in 1992, and Airwalk was moving units, even amongst the non-skate crowd. And it's not like the pro skate crowd was against mainstream brands. The Bones Brigade famously burned through a huge stock of original Air Jordans while filming Animal Chin, and Chuck Taylors were always a popular choice for their combination of low price and excellent board feel. But the days of companies like adidas and Nike trying to break into the skate market were still a long ways off.
Big Sneaker Companies Didn't Take Skateboarding Seriously