Created by Trevor Groen
Flexibility, durability, comfort, and impact protection.
Sure, there are plenty of other features to account for in a shoe, but these are what determine how sore you are the next day, how long your sesh is, and sometimes are the difference between icing and a hospital visit. A few brands have put forward shoes that have all of these different features covered, but usually one outshines the others; the Matro XLS shows it’s not so far-fetched for one shoe to contain all of these aspects.
Upper: Etnies Marana XT
This slim yet durable version of the original Marana silhouette has all of the original features, slightly modified for improved skateability. The toecap on this upper is made of a thick polyurethane, helping to not only make the toe box last longer, but assists with flick control. This upper has subtle perforations around the toe and sidewalls for breathability, and tongue-centering straps (the quickest way to our hearts). The sole of this shoe is also quite protective, in that its constructed with an STI Evolution midsole and an improved tread pattern, but we believe another sole on the Marana XT would take this shoe to the next level.
Mid/Sole: CONS Metric CLS
The Metric has quite a few features that help create a “confortable, lightweight, and stable” skate shoe, but the sole of this shoe is without a doubt the star feature. The outsole is made with Cons Traction Rubber, a strong and flexible material that is extremely grippy. The tread on this sole is designed in a unique multidirectional pattern, which not only looks stylish, but practically sticks to griptape. Another Metric feature is that the strobel board – a thin material stitched between the insole and outsole – has been replaced with a duel-density phylon-foam midsole. This modification allows the sole to be much more flexible and for the foot to be lower to the ground, providing as much boardfeel as possible. This midsole also has great arch support and impact resistance, and we always appreciate comfort and protected from bruising. High performance in every way.
Collar: Adidas Ciero
The Ciero is just a decent cupsole shoe. It is without a doubt well designed, but is pretty average as far as durability goes. The sole is surprisingly slick, and it wears out much quicker than expected. Why did we pick this shoe, then? Well, the Adidas Ciero has one feature that is exceptionally well-crafted: its Geofit collar. Wrapping tightly around the ankle, the Ciero feels more like an extension of your foot rather than a shoe. This collar also molds itself to the shape of the wearer’s foot, which not only improves its comfort, but the over all fit of the shoe as well. The padding in the Ciero’s collar is also fairly thick, helping to protect the wearer’s ankles from shark bite.
We’re left with a shoe that is extremely durable, flexible, impact resistant, and form fitting. It also looks pretty damn good and has us questioning the standard we hold cupsole shoes to.