Before we start introducing the Janoski Mid, let’s try and introduce who Stefan Janoski is. The face behind the shoes. Born and raised in northern California, Janoski began skating in his hometown Vacaville. But it was a very different scene when he first started skateboarding in the early ’90s.’
By his own admission, the scene consisted of around 15 neighborhood skateboarders, and most of them were children of immigrants like him. However, things changed, in the mid-’90s and skateboarding exploded into the mainstream culture. Video Days was released at around the time Janoski began skateboarding, and the rest is history.
But it was his later success as a skateboarder that prompted Nike to offer him a professional collaboration. Ten years ago, Stefan and Nike released his signature shoe line, but the 2019 spring edition of that offers The Mid model. A glimpse of his roots, and a great homage to the glory days of skateboarding.
But what precisely Janoski Mid has to offer? Is it a great skateboarding style pair? What’s it made of? What are the specifics and the characteristics? Find out about the pros and cons in the post below.
Hope you’ll like it.
Having a rubber outsole is great. But greats aren’t made with the use of a simple and basic style of rubber. No. This is a skateboarding style of footwear and dexterity, firm grip and high levels of stability are needed. Oh and balance. Lots of balance
. Look, when you’re on that board you’re going to need all of that, and then some. So, thick sturdy and uniformed rubber outsole is really your best friend here. It will keep you firmly on the skateboard and on the ground as well and will help you tremendously with the traction.
But don’t think that it’s your typical plain and boring rubber outsole. Oh hell no. All the fun is really on the bottom part. While the side looks white and unappealing, the bottom is truly a work of art. And what a colorful work of art it is.
Not only that the bottom of the outsole has a fantastic mix of color. White, blue, and an interesting salmon color is speckled on the bottom of the outsole just to make things more fun.
The thing is… The outsole made things fun in a more visually pleasing way. The midsole does that with a heavy mix of outstanding materials and technologies. And they’re all put in good use. Let’s start with the Phylon used in the midsole. What is Phylon
you might ask? Well, it’s a special material used by Nike, that’s compression –molded, extremely lightweight and highly responsive to the foot.
Which is all you need really you need in this particular type of shoes. When you’re jumping up and down on that skateboard you will definitely need something light, and that keeps your feet relaxed and rested. But that’s a midsole that’s specifically located to any part of the foot. It’s a general type of midsole that caters to the comfort of the entire foot. The Janoski mid has a great trick up the sleeve. And that trick is called The Max Air cushion unit. Unlike the midsole mad out of Phylon, the Max Air cushioning unit is located specifically in the heel area of the midsole. It gives the heel a nice lift, boost and plenty of support. But if you had enough reading about cushioning - tough luck. This is one padded sneaker, and it’s not too shy about it. The cushioning is in several areas of the midsole, and it can be found in the insole as well. Say hello to the sock liner filled with the good old EVA foam.
What does it do? Well, it provides the Janoski mid with an additional cushioning. Because one is never enough really. Some of the models come with a cushioning that’s made out of the all-natural cork, but in some of them, EVA is the only option. It all depends on the model that you choose.
Which brings us to the upper. It may come in different colors and patterns, but one thing remains the same in each and every pair. The use of high-quality suede leather.
The suede occupies the entire upper, but the details in the upper may vary also. For instance, in some of the pairs, the stitching can be made with a strong textile
thread, while in the others it can be done Moccasin-style. A hand-stitched thread is put on the toe area that should simulate the moccasin pattern. It looks less formal and it’s done with leather, instead of textile thread. And speaking of leather, depending on the pair that you’ll choose the shoelaces will also be made out of leather. Just to blend nicely in the leather theme, and confirm the strong and steady nature of the Janoski Mid. The laces are flat, in order to land nicely on the upper surface and to tie them more efficiently.
Oh, and last but not least… Just like the name suggests the Janoski mid is exactly that. A mid-top style of sneaker that sits just above the ankle. It fits nicely, and because there’s an eyelet at the very opening, it means that the shoelaces can be tied and secured all the way to the collar of the upper. It provides a nice grip and a nice fit and it secures the foot more firmly.
The comfort shouldn’t present that big of a concern. The Janoski Mid is truly bursting with comfort and it’s hard to tell which area provides the most of it. The thick and uniform in size leather outsole ads volumes to the comfort, but then again so does the firm leather in the upper. However, the double style of cushioning is truly outstanding in the midsole. And that’s what great about the midsole. The padding comes from the amazing Max Air type of cushioning and the sock liner filled with EVA foam. The former is special cushioning unit developed and applied especially by Nike
, while the latter is a special sock liner that ads a nice bust in the padding without feeling overwhelmed and suffocated from all that extra cushioning styles.
You might not think that a rubber outsole is firm and stable enough to be the main bearer of support, but this is not an ordinary model. It’s vulcanized and designed with the fantastic herringbone pattern on the bottom of the outsole. Yes, the primary source of support is the outsole, but you can’t underestimate the power of Max-Air cushioning. The padding unit is located in the heel area specifically and while the sock liner takes good care of the entire surface of the midsole, the Mix Air is in charge of the heel area. The Janoski mid has both localized and all-around padding, which accentuates the support.
You can’t really fault a specimen that’s made out of suede leather, vulcanized rubber now can you? Even the shoelaces
in this particular model are made out of leather. They’re slightly different than your average shoelaces, but then again this is a slightly different shoe. It’s specially made for skateboarding and every single part of it is reinforced, strengthened and padded for extra grip, comfort, and protection. But the use of the material is not the only criteria for durability. No, how it was made, and which technologies were used is also important. And thankfully, Nike excelled once again on every level. The Zoom Air is a fantastic addition in the durability because it preserves the condition of the shoe in the riskiest area. The heel.
That rubber outsole really shines through in this part of the review. The vulcanized rubber with a distinct herringbone type of pattern will not only allow you to have the highest possible flexibility, but also the best possible traction.
In most other cases, in most other types of sneakers stability
isn’t really a priority. Sure it’s an important quality to be had, but it’s not essential. However, because this is a skateboard style of a shoe, it’s a really important quality. In fact, it’s probably of the highest importance. Not only you’ll need the stability while you’re firmly on the ground, but you’ll also definitely need it while you’re on the skateboard. And over here, that stability is allowed by the fantastic rubber outsole and the firm but very comfy suede upper. You have comfort coming from the top and the bottom, and you best believe that it could be achieved from the moment that you put this pair on your feet.
Don’t worry about the airflow. Yes, this is a specialized style of a sneaker with a mid-top opening, which means that the airflow is pretty restricted. There’ no perforations, no mesh cutouts, and definitely no other way of a sufficient amount of air to penetrate. The only way that this particular pair can be ventilated and air can penetrate through the suede upper. The leather used in the making of the upper is highly supportive of the air fluctuation, and you can rest assured that the Janoski mid will be sufficiently aerated.
Oh the traction. While in most of the cases, the traction will just not be enough with the vulcanized rubber used in the outsole. Here however it’s reinforced with herringbone style of pattern on the bottom, and it’s precisely that pattern (topped with the rubber material) that allows you to have better traction both on the terrain and on the surface of the board.
Ranging from 100 and going all the way up to 280 dollars the skateboard style of sneaker can get quite pricey. However, a huge factor on the hefty price tag is, of course, the decision to use high-quality materials and to have the best possible technology into the making of the model. And when you know that only the best of the best was used in the creation, then you’ll understand the high price.
Minimalism is the key to the style of Nike’s Janoski model. The mid-top opening allows you to have a better fit overall, while the leather used in the upper contributes greatly for stability and comfort. And there’s the vulcanized rubber on the bottom, which accentuates the flexibility and stability, but the clean lines and nostalgic homage to one of the greatest shoes all time speaks volumes about the style.
Although a bit pricey, this is a great pair of sneakers. Made from fine, high-quality materials and great attention to detail, the practicality outweighs the style here. That’s not to say a bad thing since this is a structure used for the days spent on the skateboard. However it’s a great purchase, and should be part of your shoe closet.