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.
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.