Tyshawn Jones has something a dwindling number of professional skateboarders can claim: a signature shoe.
Not that long ago, any pro who was remotely marketable signed a footwear deal that included an original silhouette bearing their name. The shoes these contracts yielded would run for a couple of seasons before new models replaced them. And so the cycle went.
But now, even the highest-profile pros—skaters who release influential video parts, skaters who win contests—are more likely to get colorways of existing models, sometimes ones that belong to other pros. It’s less risky for a sponsor, sure, but also less of a milestone.
Jones is well aware of the shift.
“A lot of people aren’t getting shoes these days,” the 22-year-old Bronx native says, “so I’m very grateful to be one of the few who actually does.”
This month saw the release of the Tyshawn Low, the second iteration of Jones’ signature model with Adidas Skateboarding. The first, a basketball-inspired, cup-sole mid, arrived in June 2019, about six months after Thrasher named him 2018’s Skater of the Year. The award owed largely to his part in Blessed, a video released by another one of his sponsors, Supreme.
Jones’ new sneaker is a cut-down version of the first, something he said he’d planned from the start. And while it arrived without a formal part to support it, Jones doesn’t feel pressured to produce one, preferring regular Instagram clips filmed with a friend instead. “I think that always shows the best outcome.”
We spoke to Jones about his shoe, his video parts, and why he doesn’t actually watch skate videos himself.