Before I start to deliberate about whether or not the Etnies Mercury floated my boat, let it be known that Etnies recently celebrated their 20th Anniversary which means that’s two decades worth of knowledge poured into their kicks. I think it’s safe to say that Etnies know what they’re doing when it comes to skate shoes.
So, the Mercury made its way onto my feet and at a first glance everything looks fine. The Mercury is a lo-cut show with enough padding to protect and support your foot with out feeling like a clog or paper bag. In fact, a good sign of a shoe that fits is whether or not you have to tighten those laces. My laces* were threaded neatly, and my feet didn’t resemble kippers which was nice. The other aspect of the Mercury which makes them a comfortable ride is the wide FLO2 tongue that comes a little bit further up than your average tongue, twinned with a protective collar that stabilises your Achilles tendon.
Another aspect of the Mercury is the Etnies patented System G2 in the heel and the STI Foam inner sole. This innersole cushions and cups your foot to prevent slippage and ultimately ankle tweaking. The end result is a stable and comfortable ride that’s ready to rip out of the box.
Now, the Mercury comes in a leather style material which I tend to dislike because it doesn’t generate much friction for the first few games of SKATE. I prefer suede or synthetic fabric. But, the leather on the Mercury is backed up by a 400NBS rubber outsole which keeps everything sticky and under control. The 400 NBS means nothing to me but its tough stuff and won’t slip around on your grip tape, no matter how old the black stuff might be.
The leather takes a couple of skates to wear in, but it definitely doesn’t wear out. In fact the only disappointment was the triple stitching which came apart fairly fast. This damage didn’t result in a case of blown out toe though. Despite the thread being gone, the toe area of the Mercury has held steadfast and protective in the ollie department.
Judging by how fair this winter has been so far, I’ve had more than a couple of weeks worth of skating in these shoes, and their still good to go. For a team shoe that shouldn’t retail at the far end of the market, the Mercury is a good bet.
*Inre: The shoe goo-ed laces- I always goo up my laces because nobody has managed to create the un-snappable lace. Lace savers perhaps..?
Ralph Lloyd Davis