Etnies Jameson SC – The Supreme Comfort Collection

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The good folk at SoleTechnology, the company behind the Etnies brand, have spent the last 29 years researching and developing skateboard shoes. This maybe longer than your entire existence, but they have never seemed to tire in their quest to lead the way in skate shoe technology. If you look back to the beginning of this impressive reign it’s easy to remember that they pretty much invented the traditional skate shoe look, that has evolved over the years.

Now in 2015, the scene has changed tenfold, with the intrusion of transnational sports brands dominating technological developments in skateboarding. Independent skate shoe companies have had to dig even deeper to provide not only ground breaking, unique designs, but to also produce high quality products on a par with these sports giants who have pioneered the lightest and toughest materials for those who want to break records.

Knowing that SoleTech have spent more hours since 1986 prepping these materials than you’ve probably spent skating streets, the flame could not have been passed to a better team to give the ‘athletes’ a run for their money In the Jameson SC, that flame should hopefully torch some sense into those who think that funding sports brands and allowing money to leave the skate scene is acceptable.

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I must be honest here and admit that when Etnies started bringing out The Scout and similar sports-looking skate shoes, my heart sank somewhat. They looked from here like they were designed for non-skaters. I personally chose skateboarding to avoid mainstream sports and the tracksuit-clad knobheads who liked beating up skaters for fun in my local area. I certainly had no desire to dress like them. Skateboarding was, and still is unique; or is it anymore? Sports brand culture has infected the scene so badly that even skate shoe companies have had to re-address the balance of their designs to compete with the onslaught, but Etnies have brought their usual class to the table, spun my head with their use of man made materials and delivered Supreme Comfort to my feet like I’ve never felt before. Yeah, it sounds crazy but these shoes are like walking in space.

So the question is, can you skate in them? These arrived in the post for review the day before a weekend camping and skating trip. I took one look at the sole and immediately packed a pair of vulcs to skate in, as the foam-like undercarriage didn’t look they would cope with griptape whatsoever, but I was so wrong. They stuck perfectly allowing me to move freely on a cruise and suddenly skateboarding felt totally different for the first time ever. Another first was feeling a breeze in 28′ heat through the breathable mesh. These were the happiest feet I’ve had skating in years. I’m not sure if they would last forever if you skate daily and love your flip variations, but to cruise around in, they were perfect. Like any other skate shoe, the mesh is durable, but no shoe lasts forever if you are out there pounding it. Saying that, your heels feel well protected in the Jameson SC as there’s an inch of STI foam built in to assist the impact; technology that SoleTech are very well known for.

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The Jameson has always been my favourite Etnies shoe as it’s a proper chiller, being simple in its design and one of their best sellers. It was never a ‘sports shoe’, but this version that mixes parts of The Scout, feels like what I’d imagine a sports shoe to feel like. That’s if you can remember they are actually on your feet, as they are seriously lightweight. Perfect to chuck in your bag for a trip and ideal for wearing after a session to give your feet some much needed loving. There are no rules to say you even need laces in them thanks to lycra spandex tongue straps inside the shoe. It holds together well and allows great movement too.

The greatest part of skateboarding is that us skateboarders don’t have or need rules as such, we all set foot on a deck for the first time with only one simple code of honour: that we support skater owned. One day, when skateboarders wake up and remember that worldwide, they will hopefully thank Etnies for being there; for caring about skateboarding and spending every minute of their day thinking about your feet.

Zac

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Lakai Camby

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The good folk of Lakai have rolled out the ultimate sunshine tripper this year in the Camby shoe. It’s a simple number that comes in either canvas or suede that perform as a perfect all-round chiller. I have had these on now for a month and just managed to get them in the washing machine to freshen them up, as there’s been no need for socks in this heat, unless you are someone who has adopted the ‘long sock and roll’ look. They came out of this cycle fine, to live another day, just doing what they do best, which is pretty much taking care of business of my feet on a hot summer’s day.

You can skate in these of course as Stevie Perez proves in the clip below, but don’t expect a simple shoe like this to last forever when hitting your grip tape every day. They come with a vulc sole in black, green, port, red, navy and even a cloud design in light blue and fluffy white. The best part of this is that they are made by skaters, for skaters, so take that in the next time you are stood in your local skate shop and #chooseskateboarding.

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Supra – Greco Hammer shoe

supra_hammer_grecoThe first thing you notice as you slip Jim Greco’s ‘Hammer’ shoes out of the box is just how damn light they are.

I must admit, although instant comfort surrounded my feet from the toes to my heel, the thought of skating with clouds on my feet wasn’t what I had in mind from a pro who is known for slaying it…until they broke in that is. It didn’t take long either, and the weight of these are truly magnificent. So much so, that other shoes feel heavy in comparison now these have worn out over the last couple of months.

The vulcanized sole married my griptape to perfection, (as any decent skate shoe should) the heel was supportive via their foam cushioning and they look fucking ace. As we all know, suede does not last forever when rubbing against griptape so I suggest that if you are going to buy a pair of these, get two, because they are one of those Supra models that may not be available again in the future and you will be kicking yourself.

Emerica Laced Baker Figueroa shoe

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Emerica have unleashed the brand new Justin Figeroa Laced shoe this week. If you missed the various Laced reviews over the years on this very mag, then you will know that Emerica have a classic skate shoe here that have always been awarded the love they deserve.

Talking of awards, will Figgy take the Skater of the Year 2012? Hype says he is in the mix for the big one but time will tell the story very soon. This Baker Figgy collab from Emerica comes in black green and white, has a strapped tongue, full length EVA midsole, gum rubber outsole and a zigzag tread pattern to hug your grip tape. Look out for them this winter and supprt skater owned companies.

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éS Duran review

es_duran-shoesWhen éS thought of the concept of simplicity vs technical, they pulled out quite a few stops to produce a very minimalistic skate shoe that can easily be mistaken for a loafer rather than something you would wear when skateboarding. They’ve released these in a few different versions, but I’m picky and if ain’t suede, I ain’t riding them. Fortunately for me, this model has full suede uppers supported by synthetic leather lining throughout.

Slim shoes should always have a thin tongue, again, a feature apparent on these beauties. A nice added feature I personally like on the modern skate shoe is waxed laces, they look better and last a bit longer. éS have taken the initiative to ensure the laces are nice and shiny to match the slick appearance of the leather lining.

I will admit I wasn’t a fan of the stitch and turn toe cap due to the fact that it might hinder my flips and probably wear through rather quickly, but it really hasn’t influenced my board control in anyway and I was surprised to see it last this long. Professionals, Ams and all kinds of skaters are riding skinnier shoes these days, but they all know a slim shoe still needs a solid sole, which is why these represent a full length EVA midsole with a moulded STI system G2 embedded into it. The rubber outsole is a regular 400 NBS, slightly different to a vulc sole of course, but rather light and really not disappointing at all.

Overall I like these shoes, they’ve been good to me and outlasted their expectancy. I can’t fault them in anyway, but I do prefer a vulcanised outsole which I feel could have given them a slightly better overall performance.

2P

Etnies Jameson 2 Eco

Out of all the skate shoe companies that service our feet you have to admit that Etnies (and related Soletech brands) are pretty much the only out there that really care about what they are doing environmentally. This month their riders have flown down to Costa Rica to plant some trees that will form the Etnies eco-Forest as a direct result from the sales of these new Jameson 2 shoes that have been ecologically crafted for you to skate in.

Bike tyres have been used to create the outsole and plastic bottles re-used for the shoe laces and if you are one of those like 2P who likes to wear skate shoes without socks then these also have some magical anti-foot smelling material inside that zaps odours called Dri-Lex. I have only worn these with socks so far so if you get a pair and roll with a naked foot then please let us know if this moisture wicking anti-microbial material actually does what it says on the tin.

After wearing these for 4 weeks now they don’t seem to be ‘those hippy shoes’ that may tick all the eco boxes and then fall apart. Made of heavy canvas and a natural cotton upper, the Jameson 2 is super basic but seriously comfortable which is what I want in a skate shoe. So go out and get a pair; the least you can do is help etnies in their quest to give something back as you will not get that with other shoe brands who have no history in skateboarding and that’s a fact.