The First Shoe I Skated In As a Pro is an ongoing series that focuses on the sneakers worn by skaters when they first became professional athletes. Sneaker caught up with pro skater Kenny Anderson to see what sneakers he chose to kick off his career in 1998.
Kenny just released his latest shoe with the brand, the CONS KA-II, so it's the perfect time to take a look back at his first shoe with Converse.
Interview by Nick Schonberger (@nschon)
When I turned pro, in 1998, I was riding for Converse. I was skating…I didn't have my shoe at the time. Converse wanted to be above and beyond back then, technically, and it worked. There was helium in the shoes! It was called the CS Pro 1 [Ed. note: it was Chany Jeanguenin's pro model]. It had welded rubber allover. It had Helium. They wanted the most durable, most technical shoes…and they succeeded. It had a rubber toe. It was big and bulky. I skated those a little until my first shoe, the Kenny Pro 1 came out.
I actually wore the Pro Leathers more regularly at first. But, they weren't in the skate line. Which is cool to see now, with everything coming back to the classics.
It is fairly easy now. You take a Chuck, you do a suede upper and you put Lunarlon in it. You are good. You don't really need much. Even with the Pro Leather, you just take the sole down a little and put Lunarlon in that. The shape is already there. There is a reason everyone skated Converse before the brand made skate shoes—they are just good. The fact that you can make it more durable and better on the feet is great. That is where we are going now, which is really cool.
Back when I first turned pro, I just asked if we could make a skateable Chuck Taylor. That would have been a dream for me back then. To see it now, to see it in all the stores is really cool. Initially they just said, "we already have a Chuck Taylor." I get it now. I was just a stubborn little kid. I skated Chucks as a kid.