Kenny Anderson's a skater who's just fun to watch.
Just re watch his parts in 'Hot Chocolate' and 'Sixth Sense.' He's got that slickness that few possess that guarantees he stays a fan favourite, plus he's a nice bloke too. His history in footwear's had some surprising twists and turns too, but he's proved that he can shift units in that department via his Adio V1 pro model. But now he's on Converse Skateboarding alongside the likes of Eli Reed and Angel Ramirez as a veteran with longevity — a wise signing as an ambassador.
But this isn't Kenny's first time on Converse. Long after the late '80s Rad collection, they attempted to get back into the skate industry in an official capacity. Between 1995 and 2001, Converse amassed a team that included Kenny, Guy Mariano and Chany Jeanguenin. Advertising in 411 Video Magazine and Transworld, the byproduct seemed okay, but in the pre-SB era, who could explain to the designers that they'd prefer a take on the All-Star or Dr. J to skate in? Kenny Anderson's 1999 Converse Pro Model was as far removed from the model pictured here as it gets, with an admirably advanced "Shoe-In-Shoe" construction, ridged protective panels and tank-like build that was a little too gimmicky to really make a mark. Thus Kenny ended up on Adio.
Fast-forward a decade and the Star Player Skate XLT is a significantly more self-assured, Kenny-appropriate shoe. He's back with the brand and this is a flagship Converse Skateboarding release. For some reason, the Converse Pro Model's simplicity lends itself to reinterpretation nicely. The Star Player EVO basketball was one of last year's best, and taken from the court to the board it works equally well. As the name suggests, this one's extra light, aided by that co-moulded unitsole, moulding the midsole and outsole together that reduces the rubber, adding flex and trimming a few grams. Just as the Dunk had a crash diet for the new year, the Pro Model's a contender for slimmer of the year too.
Whereas the Pro Model went all Mad Max on us, the Star Player's reinforced toe bumper, TPU toe cap, Durafoam, rubber rand, microfibre synthetic suede is a more subtle route to durability. Minimalism won't annihilate your feet either, with a new last, padded collar, memory foam and Stroble construction that removes the sockliner but increases boardfeel. The "COLORWAY INSPIRED BY KENNY ANDERSON" text behind the tongue hints at a more confident irreverence that indicates Converse have finally found their winning formula in this field. Don't let the lo-fi look deceive you. The Star Player Skate XLT is heading to core skate stores right now as part of a particularly strong collection.