Skateboarding will forever be a dominant part of his life, but Ryan Sheckler is engaged in far more than that today. His latest pro model shoe with Etnies — a brand Sheckler has been with for 25 years — is a reflection of his many interests.
“I was tired of waking up and putting on a pair of shoes to go work out in, finishing my workout and then changing my shoes to go to the skate park, and then changing my shoes again to go out to dinner,” Sheckler told FN, speaking about his new Etnies Estrella shoe. “I thought it’d be sick if there was a way to have a shoe that you can do all that in.”
Like his past pro models, the Estrella — which is Sheckler’s eighth Etnies pro model shoe — is built for life on a skateboard. However, unlike his other shoes, this one was also built with use in the gym in mind, and it also is a must-have for the style-savvy sneaker consumer.
“You can work out in this shoe, you can dress it up and go out for a good time, and you can skate in this shoe — which is most important. You can put this shoe through serious trauma on the board and it holds up well,” Sheckler said.
The task of creating a multipurpose shoe was daunting, but Sheckler said he and Etnies were up for the challenge.
“My last shoe that we put out was the Marana, we just had the 10-year anniversary of the shoe. The Marana is still selling today the way it was when it first came out. The shoe is tried and true, and the easy thing for us would have been to keep the same sole and twist around a couple of things on the top — but I didn’t want to do that,” Sheckler said.
For someone who skates, the Estrella is equipped with low midsoles for optimal board feel, as well as low cut rubber around the toe that allows for the suede on the upper to grab a skateboard’s griptape and more “flick.” To keep the shoe durable, Etnies equipped it with rubber under the toe, as well as hidden lace loops and the brand’s Force Shield reinforced upper. Also, it features a notch on the side and the flex grooves designed to make the shoe flexible from the first wear, dense molded STI Pro Foam 1 insoles made to withstand high impact and the brand’s Evolution Foam midsoles for cushioning.
Aside from its skate functionality, the low midsoles also keep the shoe stable and supportive during training use, and the rubber on the lateral sides are there for additional support. Also, the Estrella is both lightweight and breathable, which is ideal for the fitness-focused, and it features the brand’s System Flo2 innovation for air flow around the foot during workouts.
For the style-driven wearer, Etnies created the Estrella with a look that Sheckler prefers when he’s hanging out. The shoe was designed with clean design lines, as well as exposed Evolution Foam. Also, the brand debuted the shoe with his preferred red and white colorway.
“It had to be a skate shoe, but it also had to be sexy,” Sheckler said. “This shoe definitely has a shelf appeal, for sure.”
The shoe is also replete with subtle personal nods to Sheckler.
“I wanted to have my touch of the mandala on the sole. That’s something that I have not seen before on the bottom of a shoe. I thought it would be cool to tie in my tattoos,” he said. “Also, there’s an ‘s’ on the bottom of the shoe. If you’re coming off of the mandala, there’s another breaking point in there of solid rubber, and if you fall it all the way round and down the sole and backup the Etnies, it forms an ‘s.'”
He continued, “Estrella means star and I believe it’s the star of all of the shoes that I have created with Etnies. I’m really proud of this thing.”
The release of the Estrella comes during Sheckler’s 25th year with Etnies. The skateboarder has spent most of his life backed by Enties, and Sheckler said he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“There is a sense of family over there. They gave me a shot when I was 7 years old to be on a team with some of my favorite pro skateboarders like Mike Vallely and other legends in the game. [Sole Technology chief of brand strategy] Don Brown gave me gave me a shot when I was 7 and I am just loyal to the brand,” Sheckler said. “Kids identify me on my skateboard as an Etnies rider everywhere I go. I like the identity and I like being a part of the brand. I like being able to grow with the brand and watch the brand grow.”
Sheckler’s new Etnies Estrella is available now via Etnies.com for $124.