Raul Navarro interview from the Sidewalk Skateboard Buyers Guide 2013.

Ryan Gray Ryan Gray

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So Raul – adidas just dropped your Ronan pro model, along with a webclip to announce it – you must be pretty stoked to see your family name out there on a shoe, right?
It’s amazing to have your family name on a shoe for sure, especially on a company like adidas. I’m really stoked with it. I never thought that this was going happen for me and it’s really cool that the company that you ride for recognize someone’s merits during the years and make something like this happen.

It’s a remodel of the classic Ronan shoe – why did you choose that one and what major changes did you make?
I just tried to make sure that the shoe was in black and white to keep the shoe clean and classic because the shoe is already a good one.

You’re running a cupsole on there too – how does that work for you in terms of board feel and protection?
In my opinion the Ronan shoe is the perfect shoe for me, it’s a cupsole shoe but they are flexible and not too thick, so you can feel the board perfectly and keep your feet in good condition, plus the suede has more grip to flick the tricks.

You’ve suffered from ankle injuries a lot in the past – is that why you wanted a sock liner in there – for extra support?
I didn’t think about that, but it makes sense. I just wanted to feel comfortable when I skate and have all the board feeling at the same time, that’s why I choose the Ronan.

You’ve been skating for a long, long time so you must’ve worn hundreds of different skate shoes over the years – what are the most important aspects of a skate shoe for you personally?
During the years I’ve been skating, skate shoes have changed a lot, they used to be super thin then super thick and now they’re thin again. I’m always looking for a pointed nose and suede on every shoe I get, except for the Superstars.

How did you get involved in the design process on this one? Were you working closely with adidas on materials and design features?
Yes I did, the designers came for two days to Barcelona to make sure that I got exactly what I wanted, so every material and colour on the shoe was under my supervision.

Your own artwork is on the tongue too, right? That must be a trip when you see it in shops or on other skater’s feet…
Yeah, it’s quite funny to see it on other skater’s feet, but it’s funnier when people that don’t skate see me whilst wearing my shoe. First they look at the tongue, then look at my face, then look at the tongue again, and then start tripping with it. This has happened quite a few times, it always makes me laugh.

If you had to pick one, what would be your favourite shoe from over the time that you’ve been skating and why?
That’s hard, there’s too many! I’m gonna say the Kareem Campbell shoes from Duffs and any of the old Axions.

What about your favourite adidas shoe of all time and why?
Without a doubt the Superstars, it’s my favourite of all time. It’s a classic shoe that I used to skate a lot in the past, there’s too many reasons, RUN DMC, Beastie Boys, etc, etc….

BCN council are rebuilding Sants I heard – is that true? Are the ledges going to get fixed?
They want to rebuild it in the future, but at the moment everything’s still f*cked up. Well you know what I mean, not f*cked up at all because we skate there every day, but you need to get used to it, the holes can really f*ck you over if you’re not used to skating there.

What else do you have planned in the near future Raul?
Keep skating and filming for the FTC video, travel as much as I can and the most important thing, have fun!

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