Friday, December 16, 2011

Converse Ka-One Review

First of all, thank you all for being patient while waiting for this CONS Ka-One review. It was suppose to be released months ago but wasn't because after filming with Sal Puglisi for a month straight, someone lost the tape. I still have no idea as to who has the tape because it was passed around like a blunt but thankfully Sal was down to film a couple of new clips at the 2nd Nature park and spared some time to get us some much needed street footy. I've been waiting for this review to be out for some time now and I couldn't be happier to post it. Thanks to Chase at CONS for hooking up the pairs for review & to Turk for filming all of this on his Iphone. Do you think we'll ever reach an age where we're strictly filming on Iphones? If so, we'll do a "Behind the Lens" with Turk to tell you more about how his Iphone is modified for skate friendly footage. It'll be the equivalent to the popular VH1 "Behind the Music" series.

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!

The Kenny Anderson "Ka-One" shoe is from the Black Flag division from Converse, not to be confused with the primary skate brand CONS. I'm mentioning this because both are world's apart in many aspects. Sizing being one of them. CONS has been notorious for being a half size smaller in all of their footwear and on the other hand, the Black Flag division from Converse is absolutely true to size. Meaning, if you are a size 8 in most of your shoes, chances are that you'll be a 7.5 in CONS and a 8 in Converse BF. During this review, I'll mention more about their differences and try to fit in as much as I can without going to far off track.

Back to sizing! The sizing in the Ka-One was pleasing overall. It appeals to those with wide feet without over bearing sagging from unstructured sidewalls. It also has a comfortable shape to it. While skating there was no blistering or discomfort from an annoying fit. This was a relief because it is a narrow shoe that can fit a large foot and you don't find those to often.
Sizing: 10, Comfortable with an easy fit & True to Size.

Comfort, Cushion & Support:

As I stated above, the comfort of the Ka-One is deeply appreciated. The shoe slips on easily for skating right out of the box. There is no delay of having to break them in and you can hit the streets right away. While the comfort is great because of it's smooth mesh lining, the cushion comes in second. You can expect minimal padding in this model due to the fact that it's directed more towards boardfeel and flick rather than protecting your feet from boards fighting back. It's a sensible thought though. If you skate like Kenny does, you'll never have to worry about fucking up on your board. You'll find the Converse popular memory foam padding in the tongue and a thin foam padding around the collar of the shoe. While comfort and cushioning have 1st and 2nd place, this unfortunately leaves support in 3rd place. The Ka-One is a great shoe from anyone without an arch in their foot. It's a flat model with a sockliner insole and it will not support any pronation. Be aware when buying certain models because in the long run they will fuck up your feet. Not all is lost in this review so stick with me & don't pussy out now. All and all, this model is ideal for people with flat feet.

Comfort: 10, No blistering in the toe area from a well constructed narrow shoe. This is a first.
Cushioning: 6, The memory foam in the tongue is the best but it would've work just as well on the collar.
Support: 5, After week 3, the padding in the insole was wearing thin and I started to use some King Foam insoles on top of the stock insole. This extended my skating time with the shoe and I didn't get as sore.

From Left to Right, Week 1 to Week 4

Boardfeel & Grip:
This review is going to have it's Bobby & Whitney moments, sometimes we'll be high and other times we'll hit out lows. For now, let's get high! For those of you who have skated this shoe, you'll know that it's boardfeel is amazing. This is all thanks to the unique outsole design developed by Kenny Anderson. It's a gum rubber outsole with a waffle-like design in the back portion of the shoe for traction. The forefoot portion of the shoe features a pressure point system that balances pressure in 4 areas of the forefoot. Each of these areas come with a variety of circles in different sizes. Between each circle is a cross hatching design that produces grip in the middle of each pressure point. With this type of insole, I felt a mass amount of grip on and off the board. The only time I found problems with the outsole were during skating smooth cement parks. While kicking in order to gain more speed, I'd notice some slipping but nothing to drastic. 

Boardfeel: 10, This is a no brainer considering how thin the midsole is.
Grip: 9,  Had a unique outsole that work much better than traditional & timed technology. Only slippery on smooth (cement) surfaces after week 3.

The durability aspect of this shoe is covered in all corners. From the outsole, to the suede & even the laces; each section of this shoe was designed with high quality material. The Converse high abrasion suede has always been a favorite among consumers and besides that, we're living in the shittiest economy in ages and the last thing you want to do is pay for a thin shoe and only have it last half an hour. You'd be better off saving your money and skating in your socks if that was the case but it's not. The construction of the sole is largely apart of what makes this shoe so long lasting as well. The outsole isn't made up of different parts or sown together, it's one large piece of rubber and is grippy. It's the type of rubber that grows stronger in grip the more you skate it. Also, the fact that this shoe is a low profile design allows the shoe to last much longer than expected. Because of it's low design, ollies and flips tricks are directed into the suede and toe cap area, allowing the sole to stay strong and sturdy. During week 3, I did notice the rubber started getting some action but this just added to it's potential. What I was also surprised by was how well the double stitched toe-cap held together. Truthfully, I thought it was going to fly off after a handful of tricks but the reason that didn't happen just accredits it's low profile design even more.

Durability: 10, Never showed strong signs of falling apart throughout the review and the low design was perfected in this  for longevity.

From Left to Right, Week 1 to Week 4

I realize that this review wasn't coming from the most technical points but thankfully one fact comes across, it's an affordable and durable shoe. For this fact alone, it speaks volumes. So long as you're somewhat flat footed, you should have no problem getting the bang from your buck with this shoe. The Converse Ka-One shoe is an enjoyable skate shoe that will last you long, look great on your feet and will provide the flick you need to stay as consistent as possible on the board. The shoe doesn't take much getting use to and has the same quality, if not better, than $90 skate shoes.

Thanks again to everyone who waited patiently as we got this review together and if this delay ever happens again, I'll sell you my first born child. Dirt cheap.

Next week, the Emerica Hsu 2 Fusion review will be release and I'm eager to show you the progression that STI has made with their quality.



  1. are the stock insoles removable?

  2. Ripped Laces:

    How are you?

    You saw this

    Take care there, Joao.