I know that there wasn't a "Axion review coming soon" hype but whatever, we do things crazy backwards and besides why make you wait? Lets just start things off with a bang!
The way this review starts is in philly. It was my 5 year anniversary with my girlfriend so somehow I had to manage to be "Romeo" & still the "uncontrollably sweaty" skateboarder I've always been.
We wanted to hit all of the great city spots that reminded us of our relationship 5 years prior, but before this gets all lovey dovey we knew that we wanted to go to Nocturnal skate shop. We hadn't gone 5 years ago so what better time to go then now. We had a rent a car and no sense of direction and somehow managed to get there safe and sound. But not before long the city was on our ass, before getting to the shop we managed to inherit a parking ticket for being parked for over two hours in a two hour limit zone. Damn...
Philly - 1
New Yorkers getting away for the weekend - 0
We get to Nocturnal skate shop & things are great, philly really showed us that brotherly love. Crazy enough when we walked in they had Brian Browns "Let do this!" part playing on their TV.
Side Note: Brian gets it in, don't sleep on him. I know the dude and "he sleeps cold winters, wakes up & spits summers" say something!
Anyways we're walking around the store & find out that they're changing locations so their having a damn good sale. (you know me, I'm down with the sale section) So I was checking the shoe section & saw some Axion "Mandelas." Right away I didn't think much of em' & kept it moving. As I'm walking around, still getting a feel for the shop I notice that practically everyone was wearing a pair of Axions. I felt like I really needed to hear something convincing enough to get them so naturally being a cheap Spanish person I asked "How Much?"
$40 beans later & I had some Axions on my feet, I felt really good...
At first their wasn't that "Instant Break In" feeling. It took a good 30 minutes to break in with some Ollies here & there. Best case scenario is if you have to, just style out in them for a day & they'll be your favorite pair of shoes, maybe you'll even find a shorty whop.
The board feel is another thing to mention considering most shoes that look like the Axion "Mandela" have no board feel what so ever & makes you feel you were much better off going to payless or k-mart & just getting some Route 66 shoes instead. These shoes have great board feel but the only reason they do have such great board feel is that the insole is that of a slip-on.
Overall, even the worst reason I just gave you to stray from gettin these shoes aren't even that bad because:
1. Your going to break them in no matter what. Walking, Skating or Running from 5-0. They're going to feel good.
2. As far as the insole goes, you could just do what I did & put in another good insole from any other of your skate shoes & your problem-o is fixed.
It's very true to size & unlike most shoes it grips to your foot just as well as you want to grip to your board when your trying to get those tricks. What unexpectedly blew me away about theses shoes was how both the sole & suede held up really well. Classic triple stitched cupsole, I still haven't managed to break the suede up.
The Axion "Mandela" are the kind of shoes that are good without having to tighten the laces or nothing. The tongue itself has a good amount of cushioning so it wasn't overwhelming, it was just right. The collar (the strap on the inside of the shoe) combined with the cushioning provides just enough to tie your shoes once & you're good. Meaning that you could be kicking down the street & your heel isn't going to come out of the shoe as if it were loose as a you know what. (Trying to keep it atleast PG-13, c'mon!)
The Wrap Up:
Overall I like the fact that Axions aren't falling in line like most skate companies, copying each others styles, color-ways and what not. A true original shoe. If I even had to compare it so that you, the reader, could get a good idea of how it skates, I could only think of the Emerica Herman 1's. Thats a classic one. So if all of this rambling doesn't convince you enough to support a good thing like Axion footwear then I guess there is only one thing left to do. You have to see them in action.
Shout outs to:
Shout out to Nocturnal, thank you for all the hospitality.
Phillys heaviest hitters like Red Man (not the rapper) the Filmer. Any footage you're able to see coming out of philly he's likely to be the man behind the lens. He even offered some of his sauced up wings to my girl, nicest guys out there.
Kyle Nicholson, I didn't get to formally meet Kyle but after seeing some of his footy I would have bought that dude a Cheese Steak with the works. Natural ripper & if Red Mans holding him down you know you can't go wrong. Thanks for letting us use your footage.
Philly police. (as we walked out of Nocturnal I had a ticket for parking in a "loading zone")
Philly - 2
New Yorkers getting away for the weekend - 0
More from the Axion Mandela to come this week.
Check in on Tuesday or Wednesday for the detailed shoe breakdown.