To watch twenty-two-year-old skateboarder Cory Juneau compete at last summer’s Olympics in Tokyo was to watch history be made. It was the first time the sport was included in the event’s official roster and the San Diego native made waves for his smooth, confident style on the board. He went on to medal bronze and solidify his position in the annals of skateboarding lore. The win was a momentous occasion not only for Juneau and his sport but for his shoes as well. In the wake of his victory, everyone wanted to know about the unexpected choice of footwear he had chosen to wear as he skated his way into history books.
For his appearance at the 2020 Olympics, Juneau collaborated with the Italian heritage sneaker brand Golden Goose to create the perfect pair of shoes to sweep the competition. While the choice may seem like an unlikely one, the dream of Golden Goose to create a competition worthy skate shoe proved worthwhile. With the help of Juneau, Golden Goose’s first foray into the world of skate footwear has become instantly iconic. Meet the Ball Star Pro, a shoe that marries Juneau’s skating ambitions with the brand’s trademark aesthetic.
Golden Goose has long had a reputation for finely crafted sneakers with a distinct distressed look. At the heart of the brand is its Italian heritage, one that greatly informs its commitment to well-made, authentic products. Over the years, Golden Goose has championed originality. Its signature look is one that feels lived in—as if the shoe itself has a whole host of stories to tell. It was Golden Goose’s love of creativity that first connected the brand to Juneau and his sport. The shoemakers at Golden Goose worked with Juneau to craft a shoe that not only fit a skater but looked good as well. After an unexpected but wildly successful collaboration, the Ball Star Pro has drawn attention. Getting taken seriously in the skate space is no mean feat but the Cory connection has brought some much needed authenticity to the venture. In equal measure Golden Goose also got heads turning with its Venice skate stunt whereby they erected a floating skate park in the famous Venice Lagoon in Italy.
The shoe is made with all the Golden Goose signature lux treatments and materials, featuring a red suede upper with a white leather star detail on the side. The sole, replete with an ultra-cushioned insole, is made to withstand impact and built for all the jumps a skater withstands. There’s also a special white rubber half-moon on the back of the shoe for extra support. For a final, Juneau-inspired touch, Golden Goose has etched the words “A Dreamer from Venice” along the edge of the sole in what looks like handwriting. The effect is one of effortless, California cool—these are shoes that feel just as at home on the half-pipe as they do on in the hall at work. Think skate shoes you can dress up with a suit or throw on during a day off.
For the extended release of the shoe, Golden Goose has planned a special cross-country trip that sees the Ball Star Pro reimagined in four distinct locations. The brand will continue its collaboration with Juneau, solidifying its unexpected but very welcome entry into the pantheon of skate sneakers. The journey starts in Milan before moving to Copenhagen, then hopping across the Atlantic to visit Austin and finishing up in Portland. In each city, Golden Goose plans to release a limited edition version of the Ball Star Pro inspired by the mood and feel of the location. The essence of each city will be packed into the design and build of each sneaker and only a hundred of each will be available to the public. The four new unique colorways will be released throughout the year with the first, the Milan sneaker, dropping on March 23. Four stories, four cities, four sneakers.
If you’re unable to make it to any of the local events, fret not. Golden Goose plans to capture the action with a mini-series that documents Juneau’s international travels and each phase of the shoe release. Titled, Cory’s Way, the feature will be able to stream on Golden TV, part of the brand’s innovative social media initiatives. The first episode will debut in March.