Revisiting An Ex: Gravis Footwear

Gravis Skate Team of yesteryear.

The Gravis Skate Team of yesteryear.

As the year comes to an end, the news worthy articles cease to exist -to an extent. Deep in the burrows of our brain is the afterthought of what a brand like Gravis is doing right now. Much like thinking about an old lay, Gravis was a huge part of our lives and then all of a sudden left in the middle of the night. No spooning, no fair warning, no morning breakfast, nothing. In the spirit of thinking of our former one-night stands, we visited the Gravis website last night to find out what they’re doing, who they’re dating sponsoring and what new technologies they’re bringing to the table.

It’s been about a year and a month since Burton announced they’d be closing down their operations in the US & Europe. The news hit most of us in a surprising fashion. No one expected Gravis to be doing poorly because of how often they were in our face. In fact, because of that same exposure, they successfully created a niche market that’s now struggling to find it’s new frontrunner. Yes, the “Crown for Team Handsome” article is already in the works for those who are wondering…

Skateboarding’s chicest brand brought out the inner-metrosexual in all of us. We slicked our hair back accordingly, took up smoking cigarettes as if we didn’t already have horrible habits and worn fitting tight pants. Some of us are still recovering from the effects of Gravis’ branding but are slowly learning how to let go, one un-cuff at a time. Regardless of how good of a team they had, how well their product actually worked and their amazing ability to make skateboarders beautiful, the ugliest thing that remains is the way they left the market.

Former Gravis Employees, expressing their goodbyes to Burton.

Former Gravis Employees, expressing their goodbyes to Burton.

Despite their departure, you can’t deny the quality footwear they had. It was stylish, skated incredibly well and made you look better in the process. Their outsole was one of the best we’ve ever had the pleasure of skating and reviewing. Probably their highest accolade, next to their team, was how Gravis constantly stayed ahead of trends – in a fashion that we have yet to see again. Whether it was footwear, technology or bags, they always had it figured out and were risky in every way. Aside from HUF, which could be debated, can you honestly see any other brand put this shoe out? Especially today…? It screams Gravis more than it ever embodied Dylan and it’ll be hard for him to find a pro model that’ll come as close to personifying him.

Going back to their footwear, it was surprisingly simple and supportive at the same time. Sure, to some degree, they all looked the same. Y’know – one piece toe, same outsole and their amazing PU insole, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Speaking of which, their Cloud 9 PU insole quickly became the #1 insole to use outside of skating when you were working, which explains why waiters wore Gravis so much. Discreet enough to pass as a dressy shoe and wouldn’t kill you from standing in them all day. Nice.

Everyone’s question is: Why Japan?
Why did Gravis gravitate to a market outside of the US and Europe? Well, it’s because it’s an unsaturated one- to an extent. Sure skateboarding is recognized in Japan, just as much as it is here in the US but there’s a couple of things to be held into consideration. For starters, many brands have their distribution/manufacturing facilities in Asia so naturally, their shipping costs will be lower than conventionally shipping to the US. Secondly, brands are going to Japan because it is somewhat untapped. It’s the same reason brands like Selfish and Heroin are doing incredibly well. They stick around and you ask yourself “But how are they still in business? I don’t see them at my local shop” and it’s because of their Asian-fused popularity. For these reasons and more, is why Gravis and éS are staying in Japan. The question for us is: Will Gravis ever come back?

Nothing seems to be stopping Gravis from producing more Fall 2013 releases.

If they’re strictly for Japan, why the hell is this captioned in english? The Filter TTL

Even after storming out of the US and Europe, it appears as though Gravis hasn’t taken any steps back from skating. Sure, it’s nothing compared to the collection that they formally had, but by running staple models like the Filter and it’s extension, the Filter Duro, they’ve recognized that there’s still plenty of money to be made within their skate-line. With two newly added technologies, Gravis footwear looks like it’s gone from attractive to awful in a year’s time. The TTL technology shown above looks like your average nubuck material (and it probably is). We’re not crazy about the Cloud 9 insole rendition either. It looks thinner, cheaper and is more than likely less shock absorbent than its predecessor. Maybe it was for the best for Gravis to vanish when they did. From what we can tell, this feeble attempt at keeping the brand alive is one huge mistake. It lived and died in the US. We wouldn’t be surprised if the brand itself is being kept alive by the visuals of old Dylan photos that are hung throughout all of Asia. Btw, just so you know, Asian Dylan does the arms thing too.

Bizarro Gravis is just what we thought it would be, a mess. Same as your ex. Sure, you thought she’d look the same and that promise left you with hopes of reuniting something special you had…if not that, at least another one night stand just to cure your curiosity but when reality hits, Gravis is no different than an Ex. She’s bloated, whored out and has lost any good qualities she once had. Hopefully we won’t be saying the same about éS anytime soon. Videos of Bizarro Gravis. Videos of what you remember, in case you wanna fap one more time…y’know, for memory sake.

5 thoughts on Revisiting An Ex: Gravis Footwear

  1. filipe on said:

    even the song in the japan video is a remix of a part’s song of a ex gravis rider…. weird!

  2. Jacob on said:

    All I know is that the Japanese team has some of my favorite guys riding for it. I would rep Graivs now.

  3. ALUMNI on said:

    make them in China and sell them in Japan? sure thats easy.
    The Japanese care about culture. They care about quality. They care about some other shit but, i dont know what it is. I care about free beer.
    American kids are sheep. They follow to the slaughter. Wear whatever the pros wear….gotta have that new new PRod shit so, they can skate like a robot. where am i going with this? beats me.
    Gravis selling only in Japan makes perfect sense. Make that dough. Support a scene that truly gives a shit about skateboardings future & not have to battle it out with Corpo scum. Do the math. Ill drink more beer.

  4. les cowan on said:

    Currently skating a pair of dylan ttl slip ons. The leather is coated in some sort of plastic/rubber, kinda like the toe caps on the janoski, mariana etc, but covering the whole shoe. Making for a pretty long break in time.

  5. Derek on said:

    They need to come back or re-sell the Dylan pro shoe in the US. I cant find any dress inspired skate shoe that speaks to me like that one.

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