by Sandy Dover / @San_Dova

Style Corner KICKS: Because you can’t rock basketball shoes all of the time.

***

SUPRA has been a leader in the footwear industry for a good while now; not necessarily a “mainstream” brand when it comes to the usual suspects, SUPRA has gained its fame from being a niche label for its focus on skateboarding. Long seen as a leader in performance, the company has grown with its increasing emphasis on building a name based on its trendy lifestyle design and edge. With apparel in alternative sport and now in music—with artists like Lil Wayne, DJ Premier, and Prodigy—SUPRA has become quite chic, which means that crossover appeal to athletes of other sports is almost guaranteed. And SUPRA brings that chic feel in the S1W.

Named for pro skater Stevie Williams, the SUPRA S1W is a dual performance/lifestyle shoe that aims to appeal the smooth operators who like to go to the club, but possibly might enjoy doing a few kick flips along the way—and that’s the point of the S1W. With an increased emphasis on style, the signature sneaker fits the lifestyle aspect of basketball players perfectly who want to hang out and chill, but don’t necessarily want the relative discomfort of a traditional dress shoe—but what makes it so appealing?

A good reason for the appeal of the S1W is its materials sourcing. Introduced with a standard black upper and white bottom, the sneaker is dressed immaculately in premium leathers—first, a true suede with a medium nap that wraps both sides of the shoe and around the toe, while a smooth, matte full-grain leather works the majority of the toebox, eyestay, ankle, and heel of the shoe; particularly these days, with the cost-cutting measures implemented by some companies to keep profit margins high and the advancement of non-animal-based materials that hug the foot, getting true, high-quality leather is a great find. A thickly padded tongue, medial and lateral malleoli pads, and a Lycra/mesh Achilles heel pull brings even more comfort and refined detail.

My favorite aspect of the shoe (next to the premium leather upper) is the SUPRAFOAM sockliner. The SUPRAFOAM itself is literally a lightweight foam-based insole that is sculpted to fit inside of the S1W’s full-rubber sidewalled outsole. A unique characteristic of the sockliner is that it is thicker and higher in the heel for maximum comfort while on the board, but tapers significantly to a thinner thickness in the forefoot so that the S1W maintains good flexion while walking or running (accentuated by three deep sipes cored out of the bottom of the S1W’s outsole).

Truly, the Stevie Williams signature is designed for comfort and aesthetic pizzazz, though the shoe itself is weightier than what might be seen as a typical lifestyle sneaker. With its quasi-hightop profile and high-grade materials, the S1W isn’t the kind of shoe that will make you feel like you’re wearing nothing (and it wasn’t designed with that in mind), but it is a shoe that very cushioned and comfortable and adaptable to any activities that don’t involve a basketball or a gym. Simply put, it’s the kind of footwear that today’s baller wears afterhours for chill time and lounging—easy, comfortable, stylish, and understated.

Sandy Dover is a feature writer and published author, multi-platform consultant, and a SLAM web columnist & print contributor whose work has been prominently featured and published by Robert Atwan’s “America Now”, Yahoo!, ESPN, and STACK. You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline and contact him via his website at about.me/SandyDover.