Best For: Skaters that prefer low top cupsoles
Key Feature: An improved Lunarlon insole
Weight: 365 grams
Pro skateboarder Eric Koston is known best for his incredible skating, but it's also no secret that since he's been riding for Nike the folks in Beaverton, Oregon have been soaking up his sneaker knowledge, and applying it throughout their skateboarding footwear line. The results have been great for skateboarding and have even extended into basketball (see Kobe Bryant's Kobe System). For the Koston 2, Koston and SB designer Shawn Carboy borrowed aesthetics of the Nike Golf Swingtip for the exterior and internal components of Nike Running's LunarGlide for the fit.
The upper is based off of a saddle shoe, and it's a pretty tall order turning a dress shoe into something that would appeal to skateboarders, but they pulled it off. Believe it or not, the Oxford style that influenced the Koston 2 actually applies to skateboarding. Ripped and frayed laces are the worst but here, because of their location away from the ollie area, your laces will last longer. The toe box doesn't feel as narrow as it looks, there's great flexibilty there and with the outsole.
On the inside is a one-piece booty that is sewed into the tongue and it is more breathable and better-fitting than the TPU-lined interior of the Koston 1. In the Koston 2 your foot feels like it's in a sock which is what skateboarders want, and for that sock to remain cool is what skateboarders need. For optimal airflow there's also a mesh exhaust system on the outside of the heel as well as perforations in the side panel.
You'll enjoy the internal heel counter which is there just to hold your foot in place. Runners' feet crash with every step they take and heel counters stabilize their feet and keep them in position. When shoes easily slide off in action it causes blisters. The reason why having that heel counter matters is because now your shoes won't come off when you're skating and you have a bad bail.
The improved sockliner is a few millimeters thicker overall and it's made out of a firmer kind of Lunarlon. It is less bulky in the forefoot for maneuverability and thicker in the heel for impact protection. Another improvement with the sockliner is that now it is shaped to the contours of your feet, with a rounded heel area so you're better supported. This makes such a difference when it comes to comfort and responsiveness.
The best part is the outsole, because it's not as stiff as the one found on the Koston 1. Outsoles are very important and Nike really went far to make it more flexible by adding more grooves and making those grooves deeper. The reason for this was because the sole on the Koston 1 would lose shape and wear down before you blew up the upper. Now the sole and upper are built to wear down at the same rate. It's also cool to know that the ridges on the sole and sidewalls aren't just for aesthetics. They're there for stability and arch support.
Bottom Line: Spending $90 on a pair of skate shoes for them not to last long is criminal. However if they look good and feel even better than they look and then skate better than they look and feel, that's not a bad investment right? No matter your reason; whether for style, comfort, or performance— you're winning in the Koston 2's.