Staff Pick by: Aaron Smith
Habitat Footwear Austyn Gillette Shoe
In the past, board companies have tried to venture into the shoe market before only to feel like they were at a party they weren’t invited to. Even the 12 year olds who just picked up their first skateboard looked at the shoes and though, “what the hell is this?” It’s hard to match the quality, style and production strength of the shoe companies that have been in the game for so long, not to mention the brand loyalty that tenure brings. This is probably a few of the many reasons why the shoe companies don’t try to get into pressing 7 plies of maple.
Habitat on the other hand is the exception to this dilemma. They’ve stepped into the footwear market and have done so with solid product and a great team already in line in keeping with the standard of quality already set with their hardgoods program.
The Austyn Gillette shoe is a finely designed combination of dress and performance. Its low cut upper resembles a Stefan or Era. If you’re not use to exposed ankles, it takes a few minutes to get use to at first. Austyn choose a long toecap and a recessed lace area. This is great for those of you who break shoelaces every other day. One of the best features I took note of to was the hard to master combination of board feel and impact protection. With most shoes you either sacrifice the protection for the feel or vise versa. It’s rare you find a shoe that has both, which this shoe does. A few stitched parts create the simple design of the shoe, which is great because there is no area you will start breaking through leaving gaps in your shoes
The only downside I noticed is the shoes unfortunately do not make your style as good, your tricks pop as high or increase your ability to go as fast as Austyn. So if you’re looking to buy these shoes for that reason then you’ll be disappointed. At least you’ll look like him from the ankles down.