REVIEW: Defining the Nike SB Hybred

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Image via Complex Original
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The consensus about the Hybred was confusion because of its appearance  and I had plenty of questions of my own.  Are they sneakers? Are they skateable? Are they more style than substance? What I learned once I wore them is that they're a mutant species of skate footwear because their defining quality is versatility. Yes they are sneakers and yes they are skateable, but they also can work for you when you need a less athletic-looking option on days where your skating is sandwiched between meetings. This is why the name is so fitting.

The upper is a mid profile, neither sneaker nor boot, and looks like a dressier version of the P Rod 5. The interesting detail is that the swoosh is completely mesh, with a coating around it for durability. The cupsole is springy and light and the outsole tread is like a mix of the P Rod 5 LR  vulc and the Koston 1.  It is stronger and much longer lasting than some of the outsoles Nike has recently produced.

On the inside is where things get technical. Notice I didn't mention much about reinforcement beneath the suede? That's because the padding setup is different here. The tough suede is thinly reinforced but a mesh interior provides a custom fit. When you pull on the laces, the mesh envelops your foot. The mesh is for breathability and it is effective at keeping feet dry.

The lunarlon insole is great too with this cupsole. The knock on the Koston 1 was the sole would wear down and I did deal with this, so I can tell the difference. Lunarlon is most effective when it has a supportive outsole to sit on.

Skating in these shoes is a lot of fun because they are durable. I thought they couldn't take a beating because they looked dressy, but I was wrong. What won't happen is you ripping a hole through the ollie areas, because the suede is strong. As the sidewall wears down it will eventually separate from the upper which also gets a bit blown up and bumpy-looking. Online I saw pictures of these shoes looking totally destroyed and all I could think was it would take the average skater, a minimum of three months  to get anywhere close to obliterating them. The Hybred is a lot tougher and comfortable than it looks. The price reflects the quality, however. At $110 it seems expensive, but if you're looking to diversify your shoe collection, this is worth purchasing.

Bottom Line: This is a stylish shoe for stylish people who like to skate in shoes that aren't necessarily so athletic-looking. At the same time, you can wear them out on a date and they'll earn you points in the character department. She'll think you're a different breed of man, something of a hybrid.