One of the perks of being in the media side of BMX is that, sometimes, I’ll get a sneak peek at a product that’s coming through months before it would be released. Generally, I am able to hold my own and wait it out for its release, but when I found out Ruben Alcantara was getting another signature shoe from Etnies and saw how good it looked, I was losing my mind waiting for it to be released. It was one of those things you see and know you need in your life. After months of anticipation, the shoes finally became available and I got my hands, or should I say feet, on them. I’ve been riding in them the past few weeks and figured it would be cool to toss up a review, so here’s what I think of them!
I don’t know how many of you know how big of a fan of Ruben I am. I remember when I was around 14 or 15, I met him for the first time… I was rocking his original Etnies signature shoes and a bike built up around his signature frame from Macneil. Yeah, I was that kid. I didn’t even know what to do when I met him. I just kind of stood there in shock and stumbled over words. Hell, even last summer when we crossed paths at a Journey’s Backyard BBQ stop I barely knew what to do when I was around him, haha.
It seems like things have a funny way of going in a full circle sometimes. Since those days I’ve rode a handful of different frames and countless pairs of shoes. But, like they say, good things never go out of style. Apparently that’s clear since at 23, I’m wearing his new signature shoes from Etnies and riding his signature frame from Terrible One. Obviously I know what I like.
So now that I’ve just rambled on about my history of Ruben Alcatara and Etnies, I guess we should get into this review thing, right?
This time around Etnies teamed up with Ruben and Terrible One for a collaboration shoe. They took the classic RVM mid shoe using the Synthetic Nubuck and Canvas material and went from there. The shoe features a Vulcanized outer sole made from 400 NBS rubber with a very grippy tread pattern that sticks to the pedals real nice. They added the Etnies STI Foam Lite Level 2 footbed which gives it a comfortable feel with extra padding protection from impacts and reduce heel bruising. They triple stitched the toe cap which helps keep the front of the shoe from blowing out from foot jams and the usual wear and tear from riding. Then you can find hidden lower lace loops and a padded tongue and collar for a little extra protection and added comfort.
You can find the Etnies X Terrible One logo that features an octopus and a light tower, which I’m assuming Joe Rich or Ruben drew, on the tongue of the shoe along with a custom foot bed that features the logo and the words “It’s Easy! You Do!”… Which, I am assuming is some sort of inside joke that we won’t get because we weren’t there, but that’s cool! There’s also Etnies logos on the outside side, heel and soles of the shoes.
Riding in the shoes have been exactly what I expected. The mid style of the shoe gives plenty of protection on the ankles without over doing it on the padding. The sole of the shoe grips the pedals real nice and doesn’t slip around. I really like the sturdy feel of the sole. Since they are new, there’s not a ton of flex, but like all the shoes I’ve had from Etnies, they will hit a sweet spot soon enough. I’ve noticed that the outsides of the sole around the edges have started to get a little torn up. I think it’s due to how much I move my feet around on the pedals for different tricks like tables and turndowns and such. It’s not really showing on the sole, but just the outside edge. I can’t imagine that will be much of an issue, but there’s been a bit of wear and tear.
Wearing them around in general for going out and stuff has been good. They’re real comfortable and look good too. I noticed when I did a little bit longer of a walk in them my upper heal towards the top of the shoe rubbed a little raw on my Achilles but that’s probably due to the fact that they weren’t tied all that tight and I was wearing low cut socks. Either way, my bad on that end.
Overall, I’m real stoked on how the shoe turned out. I know I play a little favorites because it’s Ruben’s shoe, but in reality even if it wasn’t his shoe this is something I’d wear for sure. I really like riding in the shoes. They feel great and offer up plenty of protection for the heels and ankles. Aesthetically, the colors are clean. Black on black with a little grey and the white sole and gold inside looks real good. The shoe isn’t very bulky which can be easily over done with mid shoes. They aren’t showing much wear other than what I mentioned above about the bottom sides getting chewed up a bit from the pedals. I’d imagine these will last me quite a while since they have an all around sturdy construction.
Do I think these are something worth picking up? Yeah, if you are looking for a new pair of mid shoes and want something that look good and offer up some protection with plenty of grip on the pedals, these are for you. I can’t garuntee that they will make you ride like Ruben, but you can try.
You can currently order these direct from Etnies for $75, otherwise you can buy them from from Dan’s Comp for $59.99. I’d imagine these will be available at stores like Journey’s or bike shops that carry Etnies, and if they don’t have them, they can probably get ’em for you.