Royal Elastics was established in 1996 by Tull Price and Rodney Adler two young skaters in Sydney, Australia. These skaters witnessed shoe laces being problematic, the duo then considered the practicality and need for shoelaces at all. Along with the wheel, sliced bread and the computer, the shoelace-free-sneaker seemed to be one of those inventions that was inevitable.
We at Western Sydney Hip Hop (WSHH) thought how can something so practical be comfortable? WSHH were given a pair of Men’s White/Red (02263-001) Hydras to wear and review on the WSHH blog. Despite the interesting prospect I was still very doubtful on the practicability of the sneaker. As the Australian manufacturing industry is known for many great manufactured goods, sneakers however, are not one of those revered products, so my skepticism grew. When my colleges found out about WSHH partnership with Royals, I was quickly informed that Royals were the footwear of choice by many prominent graffiti writers and that Royals had a connected history with the Australian Hip Hop scene. After hearing all the hype from colleges my curiosity levels started to rise. I originally had no preconception or expectation of what Royals were, so when the shoes arrived my levels of anticipation increased and the feeling was similar to, your team making the grand final. It was evident the romanticism of the product got to me and I couldn’t wait to try them, despite not knowing anything about the product.
After the unboxing (video available here) I could not believe the soft support of the inlay, they were easy to put on, light weight and ultra-comfy; I was genuinely surprised at the comfort levels of the sneaker. The aesthetics were amazing, and they just felt divine, it was like walking on clouds. I was also impressed with the variety of designs available on Royal Elastics website www.royalelastics.com. A wide range of product lines, such as Icon’s, Icon’s Washed, Hydra’s and Adelaide’s are available in Men’s, Women’s and children’s sizing. The best part about Royal Elastics is the price. The least expensive pair of Royals start at A$60 and the most expensive A$120, Royal Elastics signature line appropriately called Icons range in the A$120 category, which is affordable fashion. Don’t forget Royals are currently giving WSHH Listeners $15 off every $90 you spend if you use the promotional Code ’RoyalSydneyHipHop’, Bargain Right? This might sound like a shameless commercial plug, but, the price and practicality of this sneaker is Royals bestselling point in our humble opinion.
Despite being impressed by all this; I was still sceptical on how durable the sneaker was, considering how inexpensive they are. My first and immediate response to Royals affordability was the shoes soul must wear out easy. In order to gauge the sneakers quality, I wore my Royal Hydras for two months solid after the unboxing. I did this to demystify the dogma that Royal Elastics use cheap material in their designs. It became evident quite quickly that the materials used in Royal’s weren’t cheap at all. As you can see my pair of Hydras look just as good as the day I pulled them out of the box. I have not washed them or polished them or repaired them in any fashion. Now granted; I did not go running into any puddles or walk through mud, but, I used them in the average capacity of my day to day life and this was the result.
In conclusion would I recommend Royal Elastics? Even thought Royal Elastics is a sponsor of WSHH, yes i would and why would I recommend them? I would recommend Royal Elastics over ANY OTHER SNEAKER brand. 1st reason is Royal Elastics is Australian and just like Wi-Fi, the Hills Hoist and the Esky before it, Australian inventions and companies need our support to exist. Reason 2, Royal Elastics is connected to Australian Hip-Hop culture, Royals give Australian Hip-Hop culture a fashion brand to call our own. ‘Hip hop purists’, talk about rappers needing to sound ‘ more Australian in their lyricism’, yet hypocritically wear American and European sneaker/clothing lines. How many of these ’purists’ actually own a pair of Royal Elastics and proudly wear them every day? Reason 3, Aesthetics: - Royals look and feel great there is a plethora of designs and product lines to choose from and you can never get bored with Royals’ designs, Reason 5, and final reason is affordability. I can’t understand why people spend $200- $1000 on a pair of sneakers that just gather dust in the closet!
For a scene of people who are supposedly against ‘capitalist interests’, support ‘collectivism’ and are about ‘equality’, this is a very unique conundrum to have and there is little awareness about the issue. That unawareness is the main reason why I am in love with Royal Elastics. Royals serve as a reminder of the conundrum ‘put your money where your mouth is’. Royal Elastics subliminally put out a fashion statement asking Australian Hip Hoppers are you for real? If you talk the talk, walk the walk, this subconscious fashion statement is the real reason I love royals and why you should too.