First 5-Hours with the Etnies Highlight

Every aspect of the Etnies Highlight was made with technical precision. If embraced, this shoe could be at the forefront of footwear technology.

Every aspect of the Etnies Highlight was made with technical precision. If embraced, this shoe could be at the forefront of skateboarding footwear technology.

Turns out that if NY wasn’t fulfilling our slushy snow needs, Portland would suffice our deep want for crappy weather. It was here where many of skateboarding’s awesome outlets would gather for a wear test of Tyler Bledsoe’s latest pro model, the Highlight. If you haven’t heard by now, this is the lightest shoe we’ve ever come across in the history of skateboarding footwear. The 100% STI evolution foam outsole has proven to be as resistant, if not more, to our use of conventional rubber outsoles.

From the initial fit, we can tell you that the performance and use of the Etnies Highlight is a one of a kind experience. It’s the type of shoe that you’ll feel incredibly unsure of at first but that’s because of how unconventional it is. It truly is one of the lightest shoes we’ve ever managed to get on our feet and once you step on the board, that strange feeling of lightness gets even stranger. After some ollie’s and casually pushing around, one thing becomes astoundingly clear, this shoe will take some getting used to but once you do, it could potentially be identified as one of the best skate shoes on the market. Why? Because kickflipping in the shoe feels as if you’re skating in socks because of its lightness but upon landing each and every trick, you’d think that you’d have the support system on a D3 due to its cushioning. What the Etnies Highlight brings to the table is an incredible amount of protection, all while projecting a lightweight performance that’s never been felt before in skateboarding footwear.

Julian Davidson doing what he does best. Thanks to Sam McGuire for his assist flash.

Julian Davidson doing what he does best. Thanks to Sam McGuire for his assist flash.

Out of the Box After 5-Hours of Skating the Grotto TF

Fit: The inner booty of the shoe will hold your foot in place and give off the exact feel of a slip-on. The elastic banding on the side makes for a perfect true-to-size fit. The fit will also accommodate a wide or thin foot with a balanced amount of arch support.

Flick: What’s even more surprising about this foam sole is how well it held up to our griptape throughout our 5-hour session. The flick was steady and consistent during our entire session and shockingly didn’t slip off the griptape as we previous thought it would.

Outsole and Grip: We did find the outsole a bit slippery during the first couple of pushes but that also could’ve been because of the perfect TF cement ground. More on this as we continue to skate on different surfaces. As of right now, the flex grooves provide great boardfeel and contribute immensely to the shoe’s comfort values.

We’ll have more info on the Etnies Highlight as the weather gets better. Until then, we’ll settle for some underground parking garage sessions and keep you posted. Thanks to everyone involved at the Tyler Knows Ounces event. Until next time.

If you have any questions about the Highlight, leave us a comment below and we’ll get back to you.


  1. Daniel

    February 17, 2014 1:21am

    What do you think about its durability? I was about to buy The Marana (finally), but then they come up with this new amazing model.
    Would you buy a old colorway of The Marana that’s cheaper (around 50 bucks) or this ones?

    • Ripped Laces

      February 17, 2014 3:55am

      Marana’s will definitely outlast anything that’s currently on the market. That rubber toe cap is a real issue for griptape. If you’re looking for durability, go with the Marana but eventually try the Highlite. It’s a solid shoe and its lightness beyond anything we’ve seen in skate footwear.

  2. G.F.

    February 18, 2014 9:38pm

    why does everyone keep calling this his new pro model if its just his color way for the highlight


    February 18, 2014 10:05pm

    they look comfy and im sure they are quality considering its a top Sole Tech model.

    now if they could only ditch Sheckler and loose that poo poo logo on the side of that shoe. that E is horrible. looks like a retarded autobots symbol.

  4. drdustan

    February 24, 2014 7:38am

    yeah these shoes were terribly slippery it was like a breath of fresh air to skate a shoe with rubber on it, after they wore out which took me about a week of skating everyday 🙁 also my heel started slipping out on my right foot after day 3 . They are very light i will give them that! well just wanted to give my 2 cents.

  5. Tyler Dombrowski

    March 11, 2014 12:10am

    Man these look dope as hell! I’m bbuying them come tax returns! Being a larger man I love good cushioning and I know my boys at Sole Tech won’t let me down. They look seriously durable too. Truly revolutionary

  6. John Guilfoyle

    October 14, 2014 5:10pm

    Is this shoe cupsole or vulcanized because I can’t seem to find that answer anywhere. Well these are going for like 25$for my size on Amazon so probably gonna snag a pair soon.

  7. Alex Eckhart

    December 14, 2015 3:36pm

    I just bought the new version the highlite. They are comfy an lite but feel very slippery on an off the board not sure if I’ll be a good skate shoe. What’s your thought?


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