words // Brandon Richard
Designed and tested by Texas-based pro rider Aaron Ross, the etnies Number Mid is a premier BMX model that encompasses everything he wanted in a shoe.
Featuring synthetic construction, the Number Mid sits atop a grip-bottomed cupsole with System G2 in the heel and a STI Foam Lite level 1 cushioned footbed for comfort. Incorporated into this BMX-specific outsole is a herringbone tread pattern designed to grip pedals, while releasing when needed without tearing. Providing extra pedal protection is a dense EVA shank in the arch, while softer EVA overlays the toe and heel for extra flexibility. A removable strap was also implemented for stability and style.
Meeting your fall riding needs, we have two black-based colorways of the Number Mid. One is accented by orange on the inner lining and a suede overlay near the forefoot, while a purple translucent sole sits below. The other is splashed with a healthy amount of contrasting red.
Pick up your new pair of Aaron Ross etnies BMX shoes today.
words // Luis Sanchez
Catering to all the long-time etnies fans out there is this latest release from the California-based skate brand. And it’s not just any pair of etnies shoes; the popular Fader Metal Mulisha style is finally back. An etnies favorite, the Fader Metal Mulisha utilizes several key components for an amazing skateboarding experience.
A “trubuck”-constructed upper provides us with one of the most durable models etnies skate shoes has to offer, while the STI Foam Lite level 1 footbed and the 400 NBS rubber outsole come together for maximum comfort. This particular pair maintains a classic etnies feel, working with a predominantly black upper and immediately visible etnies branding on the lateral side. Lime green adds some life to the look, taking care of the outsole down below.
The etnies Fader Metal Mulisha is now available for purchase from Eastbay!
Earlier this month, Ryan Sheckler made his comeback complete from an ankle injury the that kept him from competing for nearly nine months by winning gold at X-Games 16. Shecker edged out Nyjah Huston (yeah the same Nyjah Huston that lost a heart breaker to Chris Cole), to complete his long journey back to the top of street skating. Sheckler has made the most of his latest signature shoe model from longtime sponsor Etnies to grab his third X-Games Gold.
The same Etnies Sheckler 4 is now available at Eastbay. Unlike many skate shoes, the Sheckler 4 features a full-grain leather upper. A padded tongue and collar combine with STI Foam Lite and System G2 Platinum to make these shoes comfortable, while a one-piece toecap offers up the ultimate in board control.
Available now: Etnies Sheckler 4
Appearances are everything. We want everything to look good from our clothes to our gadgets, because those things reflect a part of who we are to the world. But do looks take a backseat to function when you want to do a higher ollie, a cleaner kickflip, a sicker trick? In a world where looks are strongly tied to identity, do you really have to choose? Luckily, this doesn’t have to be a black and white question. Since skateboarding has always been a more of lifestyle than a look, any skater you ask will have a different opinion.
Skating is about more than the board and the tricks, it’s about music, lifestyle, attitude, the whole enchilada. Within “skate style” there are different kinds of people, each with different needs and wants in a skate shoe. You have the casual weekend skater that listens to the music, hangs out at the skatepark with buddies, and knows some decent tricks; this boarder is interested in a blend of looks and modest durability. Then you have the hardcore, ankle-breaking, skate-vid-making, sponsor-seeking skate fiend who practices moves hours a day to stick the tricks just right every time; he wants the kicks that stand up to rigorous practice, provide support, and cushion against the shock of the concrete. And let’s not forget the emerging group of fashion-conscious, “skater friendly” folks who don’t skate but hang out in the scene; these guys (and gals!) relate to skateboard culture in many ways, but primarily express themselves through skate fashion. Where you fall on this spectrum factors into how you’d answer the question of “fashion or function.”
The hottest brands like Vans, etnies, DC Shoes, LRG and plenty more help bridge skate shoe fashion and function with their cutting-edge technologies. Most skaters would agree that shoe weight and durability are top requirements for a quality skate shoe. Modern production processes make it possible to create lighter-weight upper materials that can withstand shredding, stomping, and scraping while allowing shoe designers flexibility of design. This benefits those hardcore skateheads and the fashion conscious at the same time. Other specific performance technologies like heel air bags, lace protectors, sticky rubber soles, tongue straps, and above-and-beyond cushioning are necessary for the serious skater while providing nice perks to the casual skateboarding enthusiast or style-minded individual.
Judging by the flood of great-looking pro model skate shoes on the market from Adio to Zoo York, pro skaters care about both looks and function, and go to great lengths to bring equal status to the fashion aspect without sacrificing the technologies skaters benefit from. Pro skater Mike Vallely, who has a line of pro model shoes released through Element, says, “I think skateboarding is more fashion than function. It’s more aesthetic than anything else. It’s more rock and roll than athletics.”** Porter, Justin (2008, September 5). Woosh! Another Shoe Destroyed. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/25/fashion/25skates.html.
So what do you think? What establishes a great new skate shoe and keeps the most famous decades-old models flying off shelves? What features do you demand in your skate shoes?