We’ve been skating the Emerica OG-1 for a while now, so before you buy a pair read our review to see if they are for you.
Marc Johnson pushed the original release of these kicks to the limit in Modus Operandi.
So alongside our review, we will be sharing a series of our favourite clips from Marc’s section that he filmed in them too.
Check out how we found the OG-1 to skate through our wear test and keep an eye out for our posts on MJ putting the classic silhouette through its paces with a series of his signature stylish moves in one of his most iconic video parts.
(1.) – The OG-1: ‘A Reissue of a Modern Classic’
Firstly you need to know that the OG-1 is not a reissue of the original Marc Johnson 1 Emerica shoe.
The OG-1 are a reboot of MJ’s original low-top pro model. In this version the ‘MJ’ branding on the tongue has become a reimagined ‘O’ wrapped around a ‘G’ and a series of modern tech features have been added to update skateability.
The OG-1’s were released after Marc left Emerica but due to popular demand have been re-released twice, in 2009 and most recently in 2023.
(2.) – Fit: ‘Big But With a Lot of Board Control’
The OG-1 is fully padded from the toe to the heel but it’s not overly thick. So you get a great amount of boardfeel while also giving your feet the protection you need to withstand the inevitable knocks, drops and mishaps, we all experience out skating the streets.
Big shoes can often heat up quickly but the OG-1 stays true to the major key design features of the original shoe with its mixture of a hardwearing suede and breathable perforated mesh upper, that is also extended on to the puffy tongue, which gives them an overall relaxed feel.
The airholes on the side provide your feet with the ventilation you need to keep rocking these for an entire session and long after.
They’re a dope homage to the original shoe’s puffy looking aesthetic appeal that never feels too chunky or compromises your board control.
(3.) – Sizing: ‘Runs to Size’
We wear-tested these in a UK 8.5 (US. 9.5) and they fit comfortably with no issues.
(4.) – Out of the Box: ‘Flexible in a Few Hours’
The OG-1 has an overall solid construction and a high level of durability against skate wear and tear. They become flexible and readily skateable pretty much straight out of the box. Within a few hours of popping them on you will feel like you have been skating in them for a week already.
(5.) – Skateability: ‘Solid Cupsole Support’
If you’ve been skating vulcanised shoes and find that you’ve been getting bruised feet after a session, the OG-1’s rubber cupsoles are going to put an end to that. They do a solid job of protecting your feet where you need them to.
The thick layer of padding inside the shoe collar cushions your heels and ankles and makes pushing from spot to spot feel more comfortable and its smooth leather lining is rad. There’s plenty of reinforcement on the heel and adding to that there’s a stylish leather heel tab with emblazoned Emerica branded embroidery.
(6.) – Skateability: ‘Well Flicked Flip Tricks Without Ripping Laces’
The OG-1 are sick for flip tricks. They’re pointy but rounded enough to help you to guide your flick and will get you throwing out steezy Frontside Flips in no time.
On top of the triple stitching around all the wear zones on the shoe, another great design feature for durability is the high placement of the lace holes. They really are miles away from the toe.
So if you are the type of skater who finds yourself replacing your laces after every session, you definitely won’t have this problem with these shoes.
(7.) – Tech Features: ‘Tongue Lace Loop Lock’
The elasticated lace loops of the OG-1 lock right into the puffy tongue. This keeps the shoe centred and stabilised, so your feet will always stay locked in place on slides and grinds.
The last thing that you want to happen if you’re skating at a gnarly spot is for your feet to suddenly move around unexpectedly and this handy lace lock strap gives you the security and confidence that it ain’t going to happen.
(8.) – Tread: ‘Grippy’
The OG-1’s swirling pattern and Herringbone sole tread pattern, decked with white outsole base layer looks dope and grips very well to your board. With this tight tread, you’re going to get the most out of your session. Sometimes making a trick can take just one more push and you definitely will get that in these kicks.
(9.) – Creative Design: ‘The Wavy ‘M’ On The Side’
The embossed suede ‘M’ on the side of the OG-1s gives this model a crisp visual look that stands out stylistically but also acts as a well-placed piece of padding that protects the side of your feet while also looking tight too.
(10.) – Colorways
The OG-1 we skated came in black & white but they are also available in the classic Navy Blue & White and White & Burgunday colorways, offering even more character to the overall design. But judging by how good this shoe is to skate, we’re confident there will be new colorways on the way for the OG-1 soon.
(11.) – Price UK and USA:
These shoes pay homage to late-90s nostalgia, reinforced with modern skate technology, give a solid skate experience with long lasting durability with an iconic design. So with a great offer of plenty of potentially satisfying skate time from every session make these definitely worth the price and purchase in the long run .
(12.) Rating – ‘8/10’
Overall we would give the Emerica OG-1 an 8 out of 10 for overall skateability and style.
We would recommend this shoe to everyone looking for a solid skate shoe and anyone who wants to reconnect with some of the finer features of late-90s shoes and experience some puffy shoe nostalgia but with a revamped modern feel and performance.
Recommended Retailers – UK