You may remember back in 2017 when Alex Ovechkin was the first player to lace up custom hockey skates. And if you know Ovi, then you know his ingenious style. Yellow laces, smoked-out visors but hey, at least he tucks his jersey in.
Those skates were designed in Buffalo by Napoleon “Polo” Kerber and Nicholas “theheyyman” Avery, who built their reputation on custom cleats for NFL players. It was their collaboration that sparked fire to this journey.
"Alex is a very creative person," said Ovechkin's agent, David Abrutyn, who helped coordinate the design and production of the custom skates in conjunction with the Capitals, the NHL and Ovechkin's skate supplier, Bauer. "It's no secret that he's passionate about where he's from and where he plays, and these designs reflect that."
Although Alex was only allowed to don these skates during warmups, he chose to auction them off and donate the money to the American Special Hockey Association
Fast forward three years to 2020, it was only days ago that the NHLPA released their annual player’s poll with an underlying question, “Would you like to see player’s personalities expressed on their equipment, and if so, how?” Nearly 600 NHL players were surveyed and 53% checked yes. The breakdown was led by skates at 40.57%, followed by sticks at 4.72% and helmets at 3.21%.
If you know anything about Just Dishin, just know that their sneakerhead skate concepts have been making noise in the hockey community (@justdishin). The most recent design was picked up by hockey podcast mogul-group Spittin Chiclets, which collected over 23K likes on Instagram. Which was appreciated by the games biggest stars, Auston Matthews, David Pastrnak, Alex Turcotte and others.
Just Dishin has always found success by thinking outside the box, breaking boundaries and setting trends that only few can acknowledge. “Custom skates have been something we’ve been scheming up for over a year,” says Matthew Keeler, owner at Just Dishin. “We wanted to give players a creative outlet like you see in the NBA & NFL, I think it’s the only way our game can advance.”
Keeler and his team have continued to mold their idea into a universal product that is available for all hockey players. “Through diligent research & development, we are excited to provide players with the creative freedom our game has been missing. Skate Skins are a way for teams or players to customize their wheels. Our mission is to provide one-on-one customization for each player & team.”
Skate Skins are constructed to provide protection, while giving the player the matching style that comes with it. Backed by a trusted & tested material that is shock-absorbent, water resistant and light-weight, they set out to change the game and allow players to show expression, on & off the ice.
Available now: officialskateskins.com
Follow the journey on Instagram @officialskateskins