October 11th, 2007

I don’t know who manufactures these sneakers.

By that I mean that theres no Converse or P.F. Flyer DNA found anywhere outside or inside the tangerine tinted, flash stamped shoe box the sneakers are delivered in. They’re made in Vietnam, but so what? There’s a suspicious barcode underlined by numerals and numbers. My size 13 is listed with the same number converted into European, the U.K, and Japanese shoe sizes. More jibberish bar code with a serial number printed on a separate sticker next to the larger sizing label and there you have it.

I know it’s “Don Ed Hardy designs”. It’s brushed in light silver near the edge of the lid. But Ed Hardy was a tattoo artist. I don’t think he went out and bought a Vietnamese shoe factory just so he could feel diversified.

I first saw these sneakers at Nordstroms and tried on a pair. A small expandable cotton bottompiece on the underside of the slip on’s tongue holds them to my feet. Same with the lace-less high tops offered. I just purchased a pair of high tops in black with off-white cotton laces. The flash of a classic bulldog tattoo is faded into the fabric. Faux-ragged trendiness lines the edges where the fabric melts into the black rubber rim on the top of the outsole.

I waste all this time writing about these sneakers, not because they’re priced right, because they are, but because the fit is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in any shoe, ever. Laced or lace-less, high or low top, the closest I’ve had to this kind of comfort is a well worn-in pair of black Reef sandals with some guy’s name stitched on the inside of the toe strap. I’ve walked all over Negril and Amsterdam in those flip flops and they haven’t been beaten yet.

Same with the Ed Hardy brand sneaker. The sole rolls with the impression of your weight. Unlike Converse, there’s no flattening slap. Unlike Aididas, your foot isn’t “scrunched” in the turns. And unlike P.F. Flyers, it doesn’t take walking around Europe all summer “blistering” them in with sweat and pressure. I will say that once broken in, however, P.F. Flyers rival the competition. A notch below Ed Hardy’s but far above the weighty rubber clod of Converse.

The brick paths inside the city of Amsterdam, Netherlands are the test tracks for every sneaker I own. Pass that punishment, and the sneak’s a keeper. Fail , and the sneaker never makes it back on the return trip.

I order Ed Hardy sneakers from Zappos.com . I buy them at Nordstroms as well. High top, lace-ups flex in well with a cotton athletic sock. Just as comfortable as the Ed Hardy’s I wear barefoot in the summer months. And they’ve bitch slapped the uneven assault of Amsterdam’s notoriously contortioned brick gauntlet.

Have a nice ride.

Website designed by: H1 DESIGN STUDIO