A few weeks ago, I got my hands (or feet?) on a pair of the new colorway of the Aaron Ross signature Etnies Number mids. I figured there had been a lot of hype about the shoes, and they seemed to be designed real well to hold up to BMX. At least, I’d hope so. It’s Aaron’s shoe and he needs something that can hold up to the riding he gets into. I decided it would be a good idea to give these a go for a few weeks and see how well they held up. So let’s take a peek…
The Etnies Number mid is constructed from Nubuck, which after a quick google search means “Cowhide leather that has been rubbed on the flesh side to give it a feel like that of suede.”. I noticed that just the black version was made from this material, the red version is constructed of regular suede. The shoe also has a triple-stitched toe cap, padded tongue and mid-top collar, removable strap, lower hidden lace loops, Etnies System G2 insert in the heel and STI Foam Lite 2 footbed along with a 400 NBS rubber outsole with internal dual density EVA midsole.
This basically all translates to, the shoe is made with leather along with some extra beef where the shoe takes the most abuse from BMX and helps prevent your heels and feet in general from feeling like hell from riding all day. That works for me, I’d imagine that helps clear up any questions on the fancy specs.
Alright, so first impressions. The shoe is aesthetically pleasing. The shoe doesn’t appear to be have too much “fluff” from too much padding, the shape of the shoe looks clean, and there’s no over the top graphics or branding besides the bright yellow outsole, but it goes with Aaron’s style so that’s understandable. I like the strap since it will help add some support along with keep the laces from getting in my chain. I’m definitely a fan of the mid since it’s not too low where my ankles can take a shot, and they aren’t too tall and look weird to me.
Putting the shoes on, I remember thinking “these feel like pillows wrapped around my feet.” Don’t take that in a sense that it is poofy. They just felt soft and comfy. I liked the added support around the ankles and the strap to keep things tight. I also like the strap to keep the laces from dangling.
Riding in the shoes are also solid. The pattern on the bottom are grippy. I decided since I’ve got the Odyssey JC/PC’s and they are always grippy, I better try a few others out just incase. I tried out a few different bikes with different pedals, plastic and metal, in the last few weeks and they all gripped well.
As you can see from the photos below, the bottom did see some wear along the front from foot jams on my right shoe, and from my pedals pins ripping up the bottom. That’s really all the damage they saw in that time. They also saw a bit of mud, water, ice and snow and really didn’t show any signs of falling apart at the seams or where shoes are sometimes glued. That’s a good sign. I’m also a lazy ass who likes to tie my shoes only when they come undone, so the backs saw a bit of abuse from slipping them on. The really only effect that had was the back looks a little wrinkled, but that’s about it.
Overall, I think Etnies and Aaron did a real good job on the shoe. It’s designed for BMX, has the Etnies quality, and held up as I had hoped for. The shoe was real comfortable, and stayed solid over the course of the last few weeks. I didn’t really find anything I didn’t like about the shoes, which works for me. I’d definitely suggest these to somebody on the market for some mid style shoes for riding.
The shoes run for $80 on the Etnies site, $72.99 on Dan’s Comp, $69.95 on Albe’s and $64.95 on Empire. I’m not really sure why the prices vary so much between each site, but everyone definitely has the shoe. This years model comes in the black and yellow, or red and gum. It looks like the mail orders still have some of last years colorways as well. From my understanding, they just changed up colors for this year, so the specs and quality should be the same.
For those of you who don’t like mids, Etnies also have a regular Number that is available in black and green as well. All of the mail orders have these as well.
I’d imagine your shop should be able to get both of these if that’s where you prefer to shop.
Incase you need a reminder as to why Aaron has a signature shoe…