Etnies was born in 1986 as a skateboarding shoe company. (Those of you who follow skating as well as BMX might know that the éS and Emerica brands both came from Etnies.) Although the skateboard history in Etnies is obviously their focus, the roots of BMX run deep in the brand too. You only have to look at their video projects for proof – Forward (2002), Grounded (2007) and Chapters (2017) have all been verified bangers. From my point of view, Forward has been the most influential BMX video for my age group, without doubt.
These days, the Etnies team is solid representation of where BMX is at. With Nathan Williams and Devon Smillie, new-school progressive street is more than covered. Chase DeHart, Ben Lewis, Aaron Ross and Luc Legrand bring their own unique approaches to street riding, while Tom Dugan, Ruben Alcantara and Chase Hawk gladly dominate every kind of transition the world can offer. It’s a beast of a team.
“The grip of the sole and general build quality of these shoes give you confidence that they’ll last you a good while."
The Jameson is a proven shoe. Both Nathan Williams and Chase Hawk have signature versions of the Jameson, with a vulcanised sole and cup sole respectively. Here we have the Chase Hawk model and it’s as dialled as you’d expect.
The mid top profile provides a nice amount of ankle support and the whole shape looks and feels good, plus it’s well ventilated too. The fact that the Chase Hawk MT is a cup sole means that the sole in general is a little stiffer and takes a bit more breaking in than a vulcanised sole. (If vulc is more your cup of tea, check out the Nathan Williams version.)
The cup sole means Etnies can add their STI Evolution Foam Lite 1 insole, which is TAF – tough as fuck, apparently. It’s also comfy! On the outside, the grip of the sole and general build quality of these shoes give you confidence that they’ll last you a good while. I’ve had a few pairs of Jamesons over the years, including these Chase Hawk ones, and I stand by them. Great fit, great sole, long lasting shoes.