So, Element have decided to pierce the shoe market, and Crossfire were on the receiving end of their first batch of skate shoes for a thorough testing. Here is what happened over the space of 2 weeks:
Day 1: I pick a brown leather and suede pair of Stratus Element shoes. I don’t usually wear leather shoes for fear of slippery abrasion surfaces, but these grip my board like a gorilla. I could skate the Stratus straight out of the box which is always a bonus. So far so good…
Day 5: The Stratus is a very flexible shoe so my feet aren’t hurting from pinching or strain. It is also an incredibly light piece of footwear with good board feel so you can trust your board to do what you tell it to. However, the leather ollie area is turning white, not only on my forward foot, but the switch side is also beginning to look scratched up..?
Day 10: Well, that worn leather got worse and now it has torn slightly like the broke skin of a fruit or something. The shoes are still relentless in their grip though. The sole has also worn flat, but no holes yet. It does make it tricky trying to climb up slippery skatepark banks though.
Day 15: Am I a beast at switch skating? Not to my knowledge, but judging by the gaping hole on my wrong foot wear the stitching has burst, I guess I am! Needless to say, areas of stitching have also split on my front foot, and a lace has snapped too. I could change it with the spare laces provided in the box, but they are red (?!). Not the best colour combined with brown, I must say…
So there you have it – Two weeks with my feet in a pair of Element Skate Shoes: The Stratus. Despite the apparent damage occurred, I must say that the shoes are relatively comfy and sure do grip. They have lost their shape a bit, but I think that is normal for light weight flexy shoes.