Melvin Gapido (Shoe editor for Handle Mag)
"Ol Skool - been there done that" ... Oh was I wrong!
I heard that Hops had re-released a new improved version of their classic Ol Skool sneaker. Now I know what youíre thinking of, new colour-way, extra padding here and there and some extra branding logo. Well those are what came to mind, but was I in for a surprise!
“ I'm now officially a big fan of the medial wing technology ”
As I held a fresh new pair in my hand, all the doubts and pre-conceived ideas simply vanished and in their place a rush of pure excitement. Visually you can see that this was not the same sneaker, the leather used in the upper looked and felt so much more durable, the shoe had a nice weight to it that screamed quality. Even the landing gear with its trademark medial wing technology felt much more solid than the previous Ol Skool version. All these emotions and Iím yet to lace her up.
As I slid my foot in, I was overwhelmed at how much different it feels, itís generously cushioned everywhere, including the toe box which is an area often forgotten. It was nice and snug as if it was especially made for you. The mid-foot region felt nice and solid which had been a cause of concern. Ankle support is minimal, but itís no different to any other mid-cut sneakers especially in todayís market.
On court performance didn't miss a beat. There was very minimal side to side movement. Heal support and stability were just exceptional. I'm now officially a big fan of the medial wing technology. You can truly feel the support as you make hard directional changes. On a few occasions I decided to use my ankle support brace and I had no issues getting the sneakers on. My only complaint would be ventilation, but in fairness I had played for an excessively long period of time before I started to notice it.
I cannot explain the transformation from the original this shoe has taken. It is something you will need to experience for yourself to truly appreciate it. Hops Ol Skool has now officially entered my personal in-game sneaker rotation, and thatís no easy achievement especially when itís competing with over 300 pairs of sneakers. If you are after value for money, high quality sneaker that will hold its own against the bigger names, thereís no better option in the market place than the HOPS Ol Skool.
Dollar for dollar the BEST sneaker out.