Justin Eldridge, he of the Yeah Right!/Hot Chocolate out-of-nowhere banger parts, had himself one of the better shoe runs with éS in the mid-late ’00s. Percentage-wise, not many folks have as solid of a track record of pro model shoes as JE.
éS, perhaps more so than any other skate shoe company besides maybe Emerica or Osiris, took the vulc explosion of the mid-’00s seriously enough to ensure their shoes didn’t utterly demolish the feet that wore them. Never ones to shy away from new technology, éS was (and is) always looking for the best way to serve boardfeel while maintaining comfort and support, and it showed. The STI foam that found its way into models like the Accel’s vulcanized sister was a far cry from the barely-existent padding that came in most of the mid-range vulc models other companies offered. If you got some éS shoes, you knew you were protected.
The initial Theory was a slim vulc of the near-mid variety – fairly standard fare at that point in time – with a lot of feel, a little support and more durability than expected. The all-burgundy one was a personal fave, and we’re glad the colorways eventually went to all one color. Opting to go against the grain of the day, the Theory 1.5 was a true mid with a strap across the middle of the lace area, carving itself a nice niche spot in the somewhat basic heavy-on-the-vulc offerings of that period in time.
Not unlike the Wes Kremer DC run of the last few years, éS took their initial Justin Eldridge pro model idea and improved upon it every couple years, landing firmly on what may have been the strongest offering of the latter end of their initial run as a company. In perhaps their greatest achievement in finding the balance between support and feel, éS straight up removed the midsole from the Theory 2.0, Eldridge’s “third” pro model.
With the midsole gone, éS had room to insert a nice, thick insole and widen the toe a tad. No midsole meant instant flex, and a skateable-out-of-the-box shoe never hurts anyone’s feelings. The 2.0 was certainly a bit bulkier than some vulcs, but the comfort and feel combo still hasn’t been matched in a legit vulc offering (according to me). Depending on how tightly laced one preferred their shoes, there was a slight Half Cab look from above, and we love that shit.
Plus, there was a stash pocket in the middle of the tongue. Y’know, if you really don’t want anyone finding your change.