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Posted on: October 5th, 2018 by Greg Wurth No Comments

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This post may seem out of nowhere but if you were ever into skateboarding perhaps this story might interest you.  I grew up in southern California in the early 90’s when street skateboarding was becoming a big thing.  People were jumping down huge stairs and really pushing their bodies to the limit. There was one skateboarder owned company that saw a need for a skateboard specific shoe that could provide proper support and durability; Etnies.  In that time they were doing things that had never been done before and created a standard for skateboarding shoes from that point on.  In the mid 90’s they created two other footwear brands under their mother company “Sole Technology” that would cater to different needs; éS & Emerica. From elementary school to high school all I wore was skateboarding shoes with the majority of them being among those three Sole Tech brands. Eventually I stopped following skateboarding and became disconnected with what was going on.  Fast forward to 2018 I’ve noticed every time I saw a group of kids skating around they were all wearing corporate brand shoes. This confused me because the shoes didn’t’ look like any skate shoe that I remembered.  They were extremely thin and flimsy looking which I can’t imagine would be very durable or comfortable for skateboarding.  In doing a bit more research I found that the industry had just moved toward a more slimmed down shoe and that caused all the corporate and skateboarder owned brands to follow suit. This kinda bummed me out because there was a time in my life when I had the passion to design skate shoes as a career.  I was really passionate about the technologies behind it all and it seems that sort of passion has become diluted among the industry because the market is asking for cheaper shoes. However recently I was very excited to hear that Etnies is reissuing several older models in their original form.  I have so much respect for this because they are such a small company in comparison to the other corporate brands and this proves their dedication to the culture and refuse to dilute their brand. I wanted to share my story and pay respect to Etnies because they paved the way 30 years ago.