Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Well-Trodden iPath

So apparently IPATH, hippie purveyors of footwear both hemp and fur-lined (and of course, both at the same time—and Rasta), is entering the BMX shoe market. They've built their instant team—a rather good one, actually (not that other skate shoe companies haven't had killer teams before)—and one presumes they'll be churning out BMX-specific shoes soon enough.

“Adding a BMX team into the mix is a natural extension for IPATH,” said IPATH team manager Dave Smith, apparently unaware that BMX has been around for nearly 40 years, and they could have jumped in any time. Forgive me for being cynical. Obviously IPATH hasn't been around quite that long, but they've been making shoes for at least a decade. Why only get involved with BMX now?

Two thoughts: 1) Will IPATH dump BMX the second it's not profitable? And 2) How will their reception be? Now that companies like Lotek and Orchid are somewhat established, is there really any need to have yet another skate shoe company taking their own small piece of an ever-shrinking pie? I know they're green and all, but how do the people at IPATH feel about bikes in skateparks? Will IPATH actually get involved with BMX on a level deeper than giving Mike Ardelean some cash and making a BMX-specific shoe? Will they do more than, say, Nike?

We'll see, I guess.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Timberland bought them out, gayness.

wade said...

Gatekeeping at its finest, Russ. Like customs. Don't let them in so easily. Hassle them. Harass them. Let them know that they are suspect. Then let them in and keep watch over them.
Maybe they will be good citizens? Be nice to them only then.
We won't get fooled again?

Anonymous said...

Nike bought their way into bmx. we all know that right?

wade said...

6th time was the charm...

Nick Ferreira said...

grand weedians

sshhhemp said...

Might as well just say "IPath is now sponsoring the Lavar team"

Anonymous said...

Why would Jim Bauer need or want a shoe sponsor? How about sponsoring a rider who, you know, doesn't have a well paying job in the industry already.

Drew K said...

If this is like any of the other things Mike has been involved with he will quit after a year or so. This dude changes sponsors and jobs more than I change underwear.

Mark Westlake said...

In fairness to Nike, they've been doing more and more on the BMX side of things. They've helped out by running comps all over Europe and the US (Albeit in a similar manner to Red Bull, but I'd still rather they do all their own kinda comps than just purely pay to have their name plastered on the next X-Games course), they treat their riders well and ultimately have the money to invest in their shoe ranges. Without wanting to name names, I've had some pretty awful shoes from BMX rider-owned shoe companies. I appreciate they don't necessarily have the money to pump into R&D like big corporations, but I don't really see how that gives them a right to rip customers off with inferior products that then almost immediately get upgraded to the typical "v2" model after a few months of negative feedback from customers. Ultimately, Nike do deliver a better product for the most part, even if their past (And in some cases, present) worker ethics have been questionable.

Either way, the only point I wanted to get across was that I've been to some of the events Nike have put on that, without their support, wouldn't have been run. I know it's all promo for them, but I'd rather have comps and jams to go to rather than not, if that makes sense?

Anonymous said...

what exactly has nike done r&d wise for their shoes that make them better than whatever anyone else presents? the morgan's have airbag stuff borrowed from their basketball shoes. but tons of skate shoes have airbags in them, so what else? are they doing anything like sti labs?

right now it just looks like boring shoes with shitty colors. i'd rather wear black vans.

Maxime Rousseau said...

@anon in the post above.

Compare some Loteks with a pair of Nikes. I've had my Lotek Enns for something like 3 months and they already look like they need a change.

Nike has easier access to better materials, better designs, and better shoe-making slaves. End results are therefor better.

The one shoe that really has me going these days is the Aaron Ross signature from Etnies.

Beau said...

I had a pair of nightwolves for about a week before the sole started to tear off the bottom of the shoe. I got this pair of 6.0s for 30 bucks from an outlet store and they look pretty much new after a month of beating on them. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather support Lotek, but the quality is just horrible. I think ideally dudes like Rich would get hired on to work at a company like Nike and still maintain a lot of creative control, but have access to better materials and sweatshops so the consumer doesn't have to suffer. Of course if I really had a choice I would be rocking the Boks, aren't they the TRUE bmx shoe?

robbosstache said...

when fallen puts back what it's taken out, i'll bench the salt.

Anonymous said...

"I had a pair of nightwolves for about a week before the sole started to tear off the bottom of the shoe. I got this pair of 6.0s for 30 bucks from an outlet store and they look pretty much new after a month of beating on them. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather support Lotek, but the quality is just horrible. I think ideally dudes like Rich would get hired on to work at a company like Nike and still maintain a lot of creative control, but have access to better materials and sweatshops so the consumer doesn't have to suffer. Of course if I really had a choice I would be rocking the Boks, aren't they the TRUE bmx shoe?"

No one cares about your opinion.

Anonymous said...

^^^^^^^^^^^^
Just stating the obvious.
*bustin*

Anonymous said...

This discussion was dead 10 years ago. It's an open market, get over it.

Anonymous said...

everyone compares loteks to nikes as if they're the only shoes for bmx. what are the better materials nike is using? are they even offering a canvas shoe?

nike isn't offering anything new or different other than large sums of money.

aids blood said...

i got the air mogans and they are literally the worst shoes i have ever ridden in. i got them because of the supposed air bags and jesus juice and all the other bells and whistles that are supposed to come on a nike shoe. fuck that shit. if anybody wears 9.5's you can have them.

and on the lotek subject...i have had a pair of nightwolfs for over a year and a half. i got the nikes because i thought it was time to retire the faithful wolfs. nikes sit in closet, loteks sit on my feet. im not even a big lotek fan really, or trying to pump them up, just stating facts.

and come to think of it, the shoes i had before my bad ass loteks were a pair of bad ass ipaths that lasted me over a year.

i would much rather have a company like ipath come into bmx than a company like nike. they jump into a "sport/scene/lifestyle/image" so fast, then pump a couple mill into it, then realize its not making the return on their investment and then they jump ship. they are doing it to so many subcultures that its sickening. fuck you nike.

JETT! said...

Buy Duffs.

Anonymous said...

Fuck Mike Ardelean. He's trying to convince people Ipath is a small company. Dude is straight up lying, they are owned by fucking Timberland.

Why the fuck does he always point out how much more discerning his fashion sense is than the average BMXer? Didn't this pole smoker ride for Huffy and have corn-rows?

MWM said...

Fuck corn rows!!!
Nike SB P-Rods shits on all these "BMX specific" shoes

Anonymous said...

seems no one on here is old enough to remember shit. So here is a little help... Nike were sposnoring bmx riders 20 yrs ago. and that lot of Loteks were screaming... 'make me money' ... they were piss poor.

Ipaths brought a bit of thinking into the skateshoe industry and to be honest, regardless of who owns them now (cause if you idiots were really so bothered you be doing something about it and not just wasted net shouting), if they can bring some decent shoes into bmx i'm ok with it. Lok at what we have right now.... piss poor all of it, and Nike just hammering money into bmx and lap dogs that we are sucking it up. At least skaters got some back bone even if they are media whores.

Ty said...

Bring back the Foster Bros Airwalk!