RIght around the time that 2013 was about to roll over into 2014, you got introduced to the Tyler Bledsoe Highlight by etnies. As mentioned in that article, the Highlight marks a serious departure from the skateboard shoes of yore. Beefy heft has been replaced with lightweight high tech. Read on to find out how the high tech Highlight fared.
Firstly, the Highlight is very light. In fact, it is half the weight of the average skate shoe. In the past, skate shoes relied on the “more is more” idea when it came to addressing the destructive forces of skateboarding. The Highlight, however, relies on modern, lightweight materials like their Evolution Foam sole, TPR heel wrap, and the silicone reinforcement of the Ollie area.
While I did not notice the shoe’s lack of weight while skateboarding at my local, I have noticed it everywhere else. It’s the Highlight’s lack of weight that makes it such a good shoe for just about everything you throw at it. The grippy sole, which is of the utmost importance when it comes to staying connected to a skateboard, is also very nice for staying connected to other surfaces, as well. It must be mentioned, though, that the lightweight Evolution Foam doesn’t provide the same level of protection from such nasties as pointy stones and seriously rough surfaces as a traditional and considerably more dense rubber sole does. This is something to consider if your local park is in a state of disrepair or if you use these shoes outside the realm of the smooth surfaces generally encountered in today’s skateparks.
The overall fit of the Highlight is slightly slimmer than the Marana tested last year, but the shoe conformed to the shape of my feet better than expected, so once the break-in period was over, comfort ensued. After wearing these shoes for a month, it is still difficult to discern if their light weight will ultimately lead to a premature death, but right now, it doesn’t look like it. For more information, or to make a purchase, click here.
**Full disclosure: These shoes were provided at no cost fore editorial consideration. To think otherwise would be misguided.