My First Paycheck
Yes, there was a point in time when you could go into your local skate shop and purchase a shoe that wouldn't require months of break-in time to actually be able to feel your board. The Jason Lee pro model by Airwalk, originally released in 1995, was loosely based off the Airwalk Sorry series (a favorite of Danny Way and Pat Duffy at the time) but was Jason's own creation: “I just wanted something super, super soft and gummy.” With margins traditionally higher on footwear as opposed to pro-model skateboards, the Jason Lee pro shoe was his first big paycheck: “I was impressed by my first check, but my second check was even bigger. For some reason–maybe because my shoe design wasn't 'cool enough'–the third check was dramatically lower, and then it pretty much died out.”
The shoe was extinct until Airwalk half-assed its rerelease in 2000 and renamed the shoe the “The Tribute” because of their inability to meet Jason's price. Not that it's any big surprise, the shoe never even made it to most skate shops, instead ending up on the shelves of major discount chain stores.
Where will we see Jason's feet in the future? Only time will tell. He does still have about twenty pairs of his original pro models in their boxes, some of which he still skates in, along with his favorite shoe, the Airwalk Jim shoe. And when he does get that new shoe paycheck, he'll be sure to spend it on the most important thing he spent that first paycheck on: “Lots of food.” Hey, maybe it's not just for nostalgia's sake.–Eric Stricker