As promised we now take a look at the P-Rod collection that’s coming out this fall. Read on to see where P-Rod and Nike are heading towards in 2011. Shoes, clothes, the whole nine yards.
Â P-Rod is a big player for Nike. In fact, he’s up there with a very selected group of Nike athletes: He has his own brand within Nike. Since this was announced people have drawn comparisons with the Jordan brand. Season after season it actually seems to be moving that way. Although itâ€™s not completely separated from Nike SB, itâ€™s surpassed the LeBron and Kobe â€˜levelsâ€™ and is now up there with Tiger. Like Tiger, P-Rod has a big collection of clothing, mostly featuring a custom logo instead of a Swoosh. With the bigger distribution of the P-Rod brand Iâ€™m wondering when we really start seeing two different catalogs, adding the P-Rod brand as its own brand within Nikeâ€™s action sports family.
But letâ€™s talk Fall 2011, starting with the shoes.
Like all the other Nike athletes P-Rod has a new shoe out every year. Nike loves using pro-models to introduce certain technologies to a new audience. The Omar brought Flywire into skateboarding, the Koston brings the Lunar technology in the insole and P-Rodâ€™s fifth pro-model introduces Lunarlon to the outside of a skate shoe. The Lunar technology debuted during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing but really took off in 2010. The original Lunarlite has been developed into Lunarlon, which lasts longer. This has made Lunar a lot more interesting for non-athletes. Like the Free technology Lunar has been used in a lot of hybrids including classic Nike models (like the Air Max 180 and Mariah) a good amount of new models (including some great ACG’s) and recently even on a Cole Haan shoe.
Lunarlon is incredibly light and shock absorbing with a background in running, just like Air and Free. This will radically reduce the weight of the shoe, maybe even to the point where a pair of 5’s will weigh as much as one shoe of the OG P-Rods. The P-Rod 5 features a upper of TPU inforced suede. TPU stands for Thermoplastic polyurethane and is very good in withstanding tough wear and tear, which means it’ll take a lot longer before you have to break out the Shoe Goo. Another new feature is the insole, made out of foam that molds to your foot for the perfect fit. The sole features a diamond pattern that flexes on stress points and has a good amount of boardfeel. Technically this shoe seems to be top of the bill, which makes us kinda curious if this shoe will be available at the new P-Rod dealers. Tech footwear is quite rare in skateboarding nowadays and kids that visit mall shops usually donâ€™t care about technical specifications of a shoe. Could the P-Rod pro shoe stay exclusive to SB dealers? The colors are nothing special, the standard issue black and white (or in this case Sail) versions are there and those that are looking for a more colorful shoe can settle for the Varsity Royal/Black version (un-J-Pack?)
We like the P-Rod 2.5. The 2 was too bulky for most but the slimmed down 2.5 has a great look and is a cool no nonsense skateshoe. The colorways have been solid as well and this season is no different. The classic Takashi colorway returns once again (also used on the 2, where it was a carryover as well) and there are two colorways that we reminds from other solid SB releases (Team Red/Yellow Ochre â€“ USC Blazers, Obsidian/Team Red â€“ Obsidian/Team Red Dunks) and another â€˜Tiffanyâ€™ like colorway (itâ€™s Azure, but to most that qualifies as â€˜Tiffanyâ€™ these days). To end it off thereâ€™s the classic (carry-over) black/white colorway that will go well with any outfit. The Azure 2.5 is the first of its kind to experiment with color blocking, and also the first 2.5 to use leather. Though we are bigger fans of the one color upper this shows that thereâ€™s things you can do with a 2.5 we havenâ€™t seen before. Not a lot we can say about these, except that Nike keeps bringing out quality colorways on these and we feel theyâ€™re kinda slept on.
Everybody loves Janoskiâ€™s, even P-Rod. Of course Nike prefers him walking around in his own shoes so they gave him a Janosk-esque shoe: The V(ulc)-Rod. It kinda reminds us of the Emerica Reynolds Cruisers. But in the end itâ€™s just a simple everyday shoe. Not made for heavy skating but more for after a session or just riding your board around. With a pricetag of $65 itâ€™s also the cheapest P-Rod to date, which is great for the younger P-Rod fan (and he has quite a few of those). It will also help push sales at non-core skateshop accounts,Â the Swoosh still has a coolness factor and sometimes people want something else than a pair of Vans. The V-Rod will probably reach a big audience, much like the Janoski. Nike bets heavy on it as well, releasing three colorways and two carry-overs, bringing the total to five. Another thing that reminds us of Janoskiâ€™s is the colorways. Though the V-Rod has a few more two-color upper versions itâ€™s all very simple, basic colors that can be worn with pretty much everything.
The clothing line-up for P-Rod is huge. Almost every piece of clothing you can currently find in a skateshop has a P-Rod version. Tees and hoodies come in a lot of colors, the icon tee topping the list with a whopping six, not counting the slightly different â€˜Metal Iconâ€™ tee, available in two colors. Thereâ€™s a chino, shorts and a denim, a soccer jersey (fit-wise based off the Manchester United jersey), short and longsleeve button-ups, hoodies, crewnecks,Â a Â¾ sleeve, a longsleeve, a coachingjacket, a bomberjacket and multiple hats. We will properly preview the clothing collection in the first week of 2011, but trust us, itâ€™s quite a line-up. Only a few items feature a Swoosh on the outside, the â€˜PRâ€™ logo is very dominant throughout the collection. The t-shirt graphics are pretty much all variations on the â€˜PRâ€™ logo (except for a few) We do feel the logo is a bit â€˜cheapâ€™, it will never reach the iconic status of the Swoosh or the Jumpman, or even Tigers â€˜TWâ€™ logo. In hour opinion itâ€™s nice as a one time t-shirt graphic but too simple to carry a brand. The P-Rod brand is working on becoming more independent from Nike SB. The shoes have always been â€˜differentâ€™ but the clothing still feels like you could easily slap a SB logo on it and no one would notice. Itâ€™s like the P-Rod brand is still trying to find a unique identity.Â