Over the past year, Vans has collaborated with several BMX brands to produce limited edition runs of shoes that spoke to select members of the Vans BMX team. First up was Cult, who produced two runs of shoes with Vans, as seen on the feet of Vans team riders Dakota Roche and Chase Hawk. And then there was Colony, who also produced two runs of shoes with Vans, as seen on the feet of Vans team rider Ryan Guettler. Vans latest collaborative effort breaks away slightly from the established order -- instead of teaming up with a BMX hard goods brand, they paired up with Austin, Texas mail-order Empire BMX. Introducing the Vans Empire BMX Ruark shoe.
WHAT IT IS:
"This is a collaborative effort between Empire BMX and Vans, designed by Adam Roye," says Empire BMX master of arms Thomas Williams. The shoe is vegan friendly, constructed of a full canvas upper, utilizing Vans' BLC cupsole for decreased weight and increased flexibility. (That means you can feel your pedals, or if you're like me, your pegs.) Further details include a Vanslite midsole to prevent heel bruising, Vans trademark WaffleGrip outsole, a dual layered "tailwhip patch" for added protection where the shoe mets the pedals on tailwhips, a double-stitched upper for improved durability, gusseted tongue and woven labels. And oh yeah, the insoles have a photo of Empire BMX's store front in Austin, along with the phrase "I drink your milkshake."
WHY IT RULES:
Between their efforts first with Trend Bike Source and now with Empire BMX, Tom and Tina Williams have been keeping BMXers in Austin, Texas and beyond stocked with the very latest in BMX hard and soft goods for over two decades. Instead of growing and then selling the business, Tom and Tina have kept their feet on the ground and their motives in BMX altruistic. And to have a world renowned brand such as Vans recognize Empire's efforts and grace them with a collaborative shoe is straight up awesome.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Of course, a Vans shoe collaboration with a BMX mail-order is only available at once place, Empire BMX.