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MADE FOR SKATE

How many skateboard companies today are making their own shoes? Well, back in the day it was almost expected of brands to carry the entire range of equipment for whatever sport they were specializing in. So in 1976, Makaha Sportswear introduced their first skate-specific shoes – the Makaha Radials. The shoe’s main promise was to “break the deck / shoe barrier“. Or in other words, allow for a barefooted skate experience while keeping your shoes on (Makaha was a surf company, after all). To achieve this, the grippy rubber sole featured a radial pattern, remi- niscent of the suction cups on an Octopus’s tentacles. According to a 1978 ad for the Radials, this sole design was adapted directly from shell ski boots, allowing a direct transfer of motion energy from sole to board. The shoe was available in three colorways: red/white, blue/white and green/yellow. Next to the trademark radial edges of the sole, Makaha Radials featured reinforcement in critical areas exposed to excessive wear and tear during skating, like a double-layered toe section to withstand knee slides on pools and ramps. And with nylon as the main material for the top section, the Radi- als may have felt a bit stiff and unwieldy – but man, did these shoes last! The pair we received for the exhibition has aged time- lessly, withstanding the onslaught of griptape and concrete with hardly a scratch. Nevertheless, nylon and radial sole patterns have long since disappeared into obscurity. But who knows, maybe they could be the next big thing. Makaha Radials - for the sole

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