An Etnies Pro shoe is a very rare beast indeed. They don’t just hand these things out to riders as a matter of course. Even Ryan Sheckler, Etnies biggest name rider in the last decade has only had colour ways of the Marana and Cypress SC in recent times. So, the release of the Etnies Joslin shows that the company is backing Chris Joslin and this shoe hard.
It has to be said that no-one deserves the pro model honour more than Mr. Joslin. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, Joslin shot into skateboarding’s collective consciousness with a killer rookie section in Plan B’s 2014 video “True” and has continued to slay everything in his path since then – producing vast quantities of amazing footage at a super human rate. Even with serious knee injuries, his footage just keeps coming, with another jaw-dropping part released this year in Etnies’ Album skate flick by Mike Manzoori.
Excellent humans Scott and Nik at Etnies Europe sent me a pair of the new Etnies Joslin to check out in the early release Grey / White / Gum colourway. Wearing them as I type, I have to say I’m super-stoked on these shoes.
There are several similarities with the Marana x Michelin that has been Joslin’s shoe of choice up until this model became a reality. The sole unit is identical and for those who haven’t yet experienced its grip, it is a unique experience. No skate shoe sole is as grippy right out of the box thanks to the exclusive Michelin rubber compound. To be clear, it’s their car tyre rubber expertise at work here, not their restaurant rating system.
Also like the Marana, this shoe has a rubber toe cap for extra durability, although the Etnies Joslin toe cap is cunningly hidden under the suede, as opposed to being laid on top. You can still see it is present via a slight ridge in the suede on the one-piece toe, but it is very subtle.
As one might expect for a skate shoe designed by a purveyor of massive drop and gap tricks, the shoes come with an uprated Pro Foam 1 insole, doing away with the usual stock Sorbothane, making these shoes a pleasure to step out in.
The tongue is more padded than I have seen in a while, giving more protection from a top-of-the foot skateboard smash than other shoes currently on the market. It makes the shoe look slightly more chunky than most people are used to these days, but it is not excessive, and the shoe’s silhouette is still very neat whilst giving a nod to the golden era shoes of the late nineties / early 2000’s.
Etnies have given Chris his own Etnies ‘E’ logo design with a Wolverine claw slash, tearing through the ‘E’. It’s on the side of the shoe and is tiny. Really, really small.
That’s great if you like your shoe branding understated. My one comment would be that it should be a little larger. Etnies makes amazing skate shoes, is skater owned and as part of Sole Tech, is one of the only endemic skate brands that is not either owned by an outside corporation or licensed out. Etnies is legit and I think they should be noticed more for that. The corporate companies don’t shy away from their logos that’s for sure. So maybe the Joslin could have a little larger logo, so people can see it’s a pair of Etnies on their rider’s feet?
Summing up, the Etnies Joslin is a durable, clean styled, well priced shoe, designed by an amazing pro. If those are things you look for in your skate shoes, I’d highly recommend The Joslin Pro.