There’s no denying it, when it comes to skateboarding footwear, large corporate companies have become leaders. This has it’s good’s and bad’s. These large companies definitely have the financial capability to invest in innovative technology and release lots of new shoe models. However, this also means that smaller companies must struggle to compete. With that said, it was a surprise when rumors of Tim Gavin, former founder of DVS, starting a new shoe company called Filament became true. He took the risk and diversified the company, focusing not only on skateboarding but art and music as well. This triangle is the foundation for Filament’s mission and all aspects of these cultures are represented in the designs. The skate team has been built up from the ground up, and has welcomed new team riders like Ben Nordberg and Moose. Their different personalities and different styles of skating show the brand’s mission to diversify their image. Thankfully, we were lucky enough to try one of the models and test its skateability.
The Filament Shadow fits true to size.
Almost every modern skate shoe avoids overlapping materials or seams in the toecap area. Thus, the Shadow has a suede one-piece toecap that has stitching to improve the durability of the suede and also give the toecap structure. With that feature, durability of the Shadow can be described as solid. After our 10h test, the suede showed no significant signs of tear. However, the rubber on the side of the shoe was not rubbed down slowly. Instead, whole rubber pieces ripped apart from the side indicating average glue quality. The sole itself, however, proved to be durable.
With regards to cushioning, the Filament model showed good results. An EVA midsole, visible by its red color, absorbed medium-height impacts. The foam is spread all over the length of the sole, ensuring a comfortable and protected feeling. Also, the sole and cushioning in the front area is rather thin, which helped increase boardfeel.
The Shadow is a classical cup sole model; thus it has a rather bulkier silhouette. The model has a very tight and slim fitting heel area with gives a lot of support and securely locks in the heel. The sidewalls stay upright and parallel until reaching the toe-area, where the Shadow peaks in a nicely shaped toecap.
Boardfeel and grip
The Shadow delivers medium boardfeel and below average grip. The sole is thin enough to provide boardfeel, and also features incisions that improve the flex of the sole. The overall stability of the sole itself is very good. The sole’s flexibility and deep pattern doesn’t cover up the shoe’s lack of grip.
Comfort and stability
The Shadow is a really comfortable skate shoe. Despite it’s average weight, its well equipped breathability characteristics are perforations in the frontal area and mesh-inserts in the tongue. The inner design as well as the overall fit are very good. Additionally, the construction of the model moderates a very secure feeling due to the reinforced heel area. This reinforcement piece works also as a design element towards the look of the shoe.
The Filament Shadow is a very comfortable cupsole model that shines in terms of cushioning, stability and breathability, but it has minor weaknesses when it comes to the grip and durability of the rubber on the side.