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Need to know: etnies Highlight

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The New Year’s resolution series of articles that launched the other day with the Timberland Pembroke, continues today with an introduction to the brand spanking new etnies Tyler Bledsoe Highlight. Instead of hitting the long dusty trail for an epic hike, or the Filbert Steps for a serious glute blast, the Highlight beckons you to dig that old skateboard of yours out and head to one of the Bay Area’s many skateparks. Of course, if skateboarding is not on your prefered list of ways to hurt yourself, I’m certain the Highlight wouldn’t mind joining you for a leisurely stroll to the nearest Beard Papa.

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The Highlight marks a serious departure from the skateboard shoes of yore. Compared to the (5-star-rated) etnies Marana that was reviewed here last year, the Highlight appears to be from the future. The Highlight features cutting edge technology from Sole Technology Lab (STI). The inner-, mid-, and outsole is a bonded sandwich of STI’s Foam Lite 1 on the inside and their Evolution Foam on the outside where what would usually be rubber would hit the road. The sole, however, is only one thing that makes this shoe so different from its predecessors.

The Highlight features a vented suede one piece toe that extends all the way back to the throat line at the base of the laces. Since this is a skate shoe, part of this toe box has a silicone reinforcement to help minimize Ollie damage. Around the back, the quarter and heel counter are shored up with an external “heel wrap” made of tough TPR. On the inside, etnies has fitted a bellows tongue and inner booty made of a diamond weave moisture wicking material.

What we end up with is a shoe that is half the weight of the average skate shoe that doesn’t skimp on any of the features that make a skate shoe a skate shoe. Only time will tell if all this weight reduction will shorten the overall life of the shoe, and for that you’ll have to check back in a few weeks when the Highlight review is posted. If first impressions are anything to go by, it can be said that the Highlight is immediately comfortable and almost shockingly light despite its many structural reinforcements. For more information about the Highlight, or any of etnies shoes, click here.

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