|ESPN.com: Skateboarding||[Print without images]|
|Julien Stranger has teamed with Vans Syndicate to release a limited, anti-sock shoe.|
This month Vans Syndicate releases another weighty collaboration with none other than professional skateboarder Julien Stranger. Having skated Vans shoes for more than 20 years, it could be said that Stranger, whose no-frills style is widely emulated, has helped to inspire the current vulcanized trend. A reluctant trendsetter, Stranger, who is notoriously private and reticent to endorse anything, is a caveat in the Vans Syndicate line.
Stranger's years of being sponsored began when he was only fourteen-years old. He was skating in Venice Beach, Calif., and was handed his first board by Dogtown legend and fellow Vans lifer, Tony Alva. Growing up between Venice and San Francisco, Calif., Stranger never stopped pushing from that point on.
Throughout the '80s Stranger released a succession of influential video parts and is a street skating pioneer. In 1993 Stranger founded Anti-Hero Skateboards, a company that's been a reflection of Stranger himself. In an environment of commercialism and over the top marketing, Stranger's integrity and scathing wit are a unique breath of fresh air.
Having not been associated with a specific Vans product since the Pro Series over ten years ago, Stranger took the opportunity to revamp two classic styles, the Era Pro and the Old Skool Pro. Syndicate collaborators are challenged to inject their personal preferences into the products. For Stranger, who has an aversion to socks, the two shoes in his pack are designed with that in mind.
Featuring perforated suede for breathability and utilizing Dri-Lex moisture wicking lining, the intention is that these shoes will help keep your feet cool and dry without socks. Taking it a step further, both shoes come with two removable and interchangeable footbed options. The first is a traditional insole and the second is a revolutionary Dri_Lex footbed, which is both washable and reversible. Perfect for skaters on the road, when laundry's not an option, the footbed can be flipped for a few more days of sock-free wear.
Vans Syndicate produces a very limited number of shoes and typically sell out within the week. However, with all the bells and whistles and Stranger's name attached to this pack, these are sure to be on the most wanted list of skaters and sneaker collectors.