Thursday, October 13, 2011

Supra Skytop 3 review

From top to bottom, Week 1 to Week 4

We posted the First Glance for the Supra Skytop 3 back in July and I never imagined that this review would be out 3 months later. Ideally, I wanted any review to be done within a 1-2 month period. The truth is, aside from being extremely busy, the Supra Skytop 3 has been one of the most difficult shoes we've reviewed yet. That's definitely not a back handed remark, the shoe just seems to be indestructible.

I won't spoil too much about the shoes performance before getting into the review but because of it's high grade of durability, I questioned myself on whether to extend the review any further than I had originally planned. The Supra Skytop 3 is a great example of the time, devotion and technology you should be expecting from your fellow skate brands. While taking a step forward in design and support, I feel like we, as an industry are stepping back in time where we test the standards and instead of sticking with what is safe and profitable, we go with whats risky and original. That, in my opinion, is truth essence of skateboarding. Let's get into the review.

The review was done using our month long format and the shoe was skated for a total of 20 hours. Check below after each section to view the grading system. We base our ratings from 1-10. 10 being the best and 1 being the absolute worst. Enjoy.

Sizing, Style & Support:
The question I've been getting asked frequently is "Whats the sizing on the Skytop 3's? Whats the fit feel like?" I'd like to address that and put you guys at ease. The Skytop 3's are absolutely true to size and fit very well. At first, if you are a person with a wider/flat foot, you will experience some discomfort but that is apart of the "breaking in" process. This discomfort comes from the TPR cage side walls. These rubber enforced sidewalls are designed to keep your foot in place at all times and lower the possibility of any sagging around the sides of the shoe. Normally, in any shoe, once sagging or "fat foot" starts to appear it not only looks unflattering but is also the tell tale sign of glue deconstruction. Once any unannounced pressure is added to the foundation, the support is lost and this will inevitably lead to rolling ankles and even more discomfort while walking. I thought I would experience fat foot because I was born with some unwanted wider and flat feet but after the breaking process was through, I didn't experience any pain from walking or skating in the Skytop 3's. The breaking in process approximately lasted 2-3 days. Now that we've tackled the Support aspect of the shoe, we'll move onto the style of the shoe. For all those sneakerheads out there, you'll see the Jordan inspired look but regardless of that the Supra Skytop 3 has it's own aesthetic. This mid-top offers a number of unorthodox designs that take some inspiration from the first Skytop but continually makes it skateable. The shoe offers so many features throughout this review that I can only imagine how hard it will be for the designers at Supra to top this stylish and performable shoe.

Sizing: True to Size
Style: A complex design that actually works and is fashion forward, 10
Support: All the ends are tied on support, from the smallest to the biggest details, 10

Comfort & Cushioning
The comfort aspect of the Skytop 3 is pleasing, functional and rare, much like the concept of the shoe. The Skytop 3 already has a full Eva insole with a sticky rubber heel but included underneath the insole is a Eva air pocket heel insert. It's removable for the worst case scenario of when and if you blow out the air pod but unless you're taking "Neen Williams" drops then I don't think it's even a concern. The air pocket heel insert actually has compressed air inside of it. This feature elevates any added pressure from large drops in order to give you smooth landings that are equal in pressure. This feature will divide any impact throughout the entire shoe instead of adding pressure in one controlled area. Impact and pressure in one area creates heel bruises and you don't want that. These two elements add extraordinary padding to the heel area and bring about a 1inch and a 1/2 of significant padding to the performance of the shoe. It goes without saying that the shoe is comfortable after mentioning these two features. While walking, you can actually feel your heel sink after absorbing each step. Although, while skating them I noticed that my heel started to come out of place. This problem didn't stay around for too long after realizing that I needed to lace the shoe up higher in order to decrease the movement of my heel during skating and walking. Aside from that, The Skytop 3's have standard foam padding throughout the tongue and collar of the shoe.

Comfort: 10, try it on and you'll know.
Cushioning: 10, for ingenuity and design.

Left to Right, Week 1 to Week 4

Boardfeel & Grip:
If you're still reading this review, you'll understand that everything has been kept in a positive light, not because of the millions I get paid for reviews but because this shoe is actually worth every penny. The only characteristic carried over from Supra is the flexible outsole pattern, excluding the heel support of course. It's the design Supra footwear has been using for a number of years since it's existence and works well. The outsole has a unconventional groove pattern to supply your fore foot with a range of flexibility right off the bat. With lines cut straight across the shoe, this "X" in the fore foot area creates sections designed for different uses. If you notice, you're only supplied enough space in the pinky side of the outsole and more room located on the ball of your foot for responsive skating. In the middle of the outsole, there is a divided line that separates the heel portion of the shoe for sturdiness. This was made to continually help secure your heel in place while skating and not allow it to move around. The grip during the first couple of days of skating is very slippery. It's the type of rubber outsole that gains traction as it's getting worn down. I'd say that after 2-3 days of skating with a fresh deck you'll start to feel the difference. The type of rubber used for the outsole sheds nicely and is hard to describe. It does have a smooth finish to it but is also on the hard side. I noticed that the outsole went from soft to hard once the signs of shedding started to appear. This unfortunately means that the upper of the shoe will always outlast the grip and outsole of the shoe.

Boardfeel: 7, difficulties early on are normal for cupsoles but you gain control in a matter of days.
Grip: 7, I wish the outsole pattern would alter throughout in order to produce different degrees of grip.

If this review wasn't going to be a lengthy read as is, I'd tell you to just cop out and buy the shoe already because after you read this section you'll have no choice. You're sure you want to go on? Okay, cool but just know that one day I'm going to have those alternate story changes like in the goosebumps books from back in the day.

If you couldn't tell from the photos already, this shoe will not die. It's the T-1000 of skateboarding shoes. I did have intentions of shooting it with a shotgun and eventually burning it in lava like heat but am scared of the outcome. It might just be fine and chase me down with some golf clubs. I'm just reiterating above to get my point across. You should also know that during the duration of this review, I actually had to get another deck and I think that says enough about it's durability. The Skytop 3, unlike most of our reviews, went through two brand new boards. The strangest thing about it's durability is it's thin suede toe cap. It is common for most one piece toe caps to now include a rubber cap insert underneath but obviously couldn't have used some normal suede technology. I only make this claim considering how thin the actual fabric is and the amount of abuse it could take.  To add even more to it's pros is the rubber side panel cage system. This is essentially what protects & solidifies the shoe overall as a force not to be fucked with. Perfect for heelflips and other variations, the cage system showed great traction while skating and never really seemed to get in the way.  

Durability: 10, look at the photos! This shoe is indestructible!

From Left to Right, Week 1 to Week 4

With every review, it's always a  challenge to remain bias but also remain respectful to the brands that support Ripped Laces. Normally, I don't find it very hard to be bias and enjoy picking apart other peoples hard work but clearly I've been stumped. The craftsmen ship and construction that went into this shoe is not only rewarding but should be an example of what we should be doing. I can't express how hard it is picking out skate shoes to review at times because most shoes nowadays look practically the same. I know that some skateboarders have been looking down upon Supra for it's functionality and risky designs but that in it's essence is a characteristic missing from skateboarding at the moment. I actually shouldn't even have to summarize this review, the fucking shoe won't cave and it's unGodly durable by any standards. It's nice to know that Supra is continuing to push the envelope both in technology, construction and fashion in order to be recognized as a force in skateboarding.

What I liked most about the Supra Skytop 3's is that every piece of technology put into this shoe was used frequently. I used everything, nothing was an accessory or extra bells and whistles that force you, the consumer, to spend any extra money. I guarantee that you'll even be using the back shoe strap for easily putting on and taking off this shoe. I guess if I had to narrow it down to one specific aspect I enjoyed the most,  it'd probably be the fact that the Skytop 3 continued to bring originality to the table and revolutionized every category involved in this review.

Thanks to Sally Braid @ Supra for being a completely amazing and helpful individual. This review would not have been possible without her help and hard work.

Thanks for checking out the review. We've been stocking up on some great new material to last us through the winter so make sure to check back for more articles and up & coming reviews.



  1. Another solid review deff wanna cop these when I'm ballin!

  2. Good review. Very detailed and informative

  3. nice review, i wanna get these, if only i had the money, probobally wouldnt even skate them until like a year though aha, you should do a review of the erik ellington avengers later, that shoe looks like it would be pretty good to skate in

  4. Wow I deff gettin these tanx !! And one question does it feel like a basketball shoe then u skate it ?? (It looks like one)

  5. When* srry I messed up

  6. What I'm curious about when it comes to Supra as well as other skate-shoe brands, is the shoe-upper technology trends. Particularly, the suede enhancement materials being used, with Supra's TUF-material or others such as Vans tuff-tech. How well do these really perform compared to the suede standards? There isn't really any process/inquiry information out there anywhere online to go off on .Besides the word-of-mouth type of testimonials that these companies provide (which claim that they're the best), I haven't seen anyone do a wear test review on them. I've noticed Neen Williams use them, but that's about it. Is there any chances y'all can give us a review on one???

    1. supra tuff last a hella long time, i usually skate the low top vaiders and the tuff was really durable i blew out the sole before the actual upper, i would like supra to make a more durable rubber with their shoes thow

  7. I got these today £110 down to £60! :)

  8. Ripped Laces, did you use normal suede or Supra Tuff. By the way, how would nubuck compare to suede on this shoe?

  9. Micky, this model was the regular grey suede. You could go for the TUF model but it'll be extra $$. I think you'd be fine just getting the suede joints, you could see how much they last in this review.

    Thanks for checking out the site.

  10. @ Anonymous 6

    You're absolutely right. They are hardly any tech-tuff/synthetic reviews out their and we definitely intend on doing a review on one very soon. Thanks for the comment.

    If any of you would like to recommend another shoe for review, let us know at

  11. I'm on my second pair of skytop 3s after reading this review and they are really good solid skate shoes once you break them in - my only grip is the damn laces are a mile too short to do the things up even at the 6th hole let alone the top ones, and because they're waxed you can't stick them back together with a lighter when they break.
    That said they're a much welcome break from vulcs and my feet haven't stopped thanking me for putting them in a shoe with some impact absorption in the sole.
    I skate blocks and flat mostly and I went through the toe cap section way before putting any real wear on the sole or even busting a stitch anywhere else.

  12. I ride a skateboard for many years and this was the best shoes I've used! This is dope, thanks Muska!