by chad muska

If you do something out of passion, because you simply love it and can ignite this fire, then it becomes natural and contagious. Chad Muska became a legend in skateboarding by just doing what he loves and feels good, enjoying the moment and inspiring generations to come. 
We could catch up with him for our latest issue Dropout, had a moving talk about life and the different creative fields he’s channeling his energy and creativity into. His latest stunt is the Skytop V, which is about to drop and we were intrigued to hear more about this promising joint.

. Tell us more about the Skytop V.
I’m really exited about this one. It was something I had in my head for a few years, but it took a little bit longer to get it out. We’ve seen the shift in footwear over the last few years to a sort of slip on, comfy, urban walking wear. I wouldn’t call them runner, because most people aren’t running in those. People are gravitating towards comfort. To me some of the Y3 shoes or the Nike Prestos are good examples of these comfy and booty inspired shoes. I applied this concept to skateboarding to create a shoe, that is snug, flexible in the toe area and goes with the contours of your foot. It was tricky to utilize a material beyond suede, leather or canvas, that allows your toes to move, while still supplying the structure of a skateboard shoe. We experimented with a rubber coated neoprene material that has flexibility and some wear and tear protection for skateboarding. Creating a shoe like that was very unique to me in a time when we’re seeing the resurgence of technical footwear again. In the nineties it was about airbags, sonic welding, and molded paneling… Sure some of those looked pretty ridiculous, but I think there were some great ideas left behind while everything went sort of retro, clean, and simplified with vulcanized soles. It was very exciting to go a more technical and experimental way. In my Circa days we were experimenting with a neoprene inner bootie construction fit, but it still felt like those shoes had this hard shell around it. Now the concept was to create this shoe with itself being this booty-based structure while adding some supporting elements like the rubber side cage, and the protective two layers of bonding rubber on the neoprene toecap. It’s definitely a shoe you would like to skate in and continue to wear in the eve. They are so comfy, I’m stoked on them!

. What was the inspiration for the silhouette?
It’s about booty slip on footwear, inspired by some silhouettes that Yohji was creating for Y3 and the Prestos. The shoe is comfort based, snug and goes with the contour of your foot to create a natural silhouette. We only added the rubber side cage for protection. It’s an unique concept for skateboarding. We wanted to create a skate shoe, which doesn’t just take the skate shoe upper and put it on a runner sole. 
It’s basically a lower Mid Top, that has a lot of the similarities from the Skytop designs: From the Sidecage of the Skytop I to the holes in the tongue referencing to the Skytop II and the back heel tap which has been on all the original Skytop models. It’s very different to the other ones, but the design aesthetique connects them.
Maybe, it’s a bit experimental for skateboarding, but I’m sure, that these are just the beginning stages of furthering this idea and learning from this one. I’m really happy with it, especially after wearing the vulcanized shoes, cupsoles and traditional skateboarding shoes for so long. After I put the Skytop V on, I can’t wear the other shoes anymore. They’re just so comfortable and have this flex in the toe area.
.. especially for back problems ..
Yeah, for old men (laughs). I’m really excited about them. The hard part was, that the idea has been done for a couple years and we’re just getting it out now. There was little bit of lag time from the idea to the release, but that might work for our advantage. Maybe the timing is better now and people are prepared for this. 

. What was the process like on the Decade X collection?Footwear is a long process, with some dead time in between. You start with the idea and the development of the shoes, which leads to designing the shoes. The actual product was started over a year ago and I worked closely with Adam Contreras - our inhouse designer and we came up with concepts and bounced ideas off each other. Then some samples came up and months went by until we created the marketing assets. I had a good time doing it and proved to myself, that I can execute my concepts from start to finish. Taking photos, editing, graphic design, and the video assets I worked with Rick Kosick (a good friend of mine from Big Brother & Jackass). I had a blast doing all the assets, even though it was a limited time frame.