Now despite what people say, it’s never too late to release an Emerica Shoe review, especially when it’s Jeremy Leabres’ colorway. If you’re over it, just wait until next month for the new new. But if you’re a skate shoe nerd, keep on reading to see how we put the new Emerica Wino G6 to the weartest. If you’re not familiar, Emerica has been updating the Wino for over 6 years now, with the original Emerica Wino released in 2011. The Wino model from its inception was a relatively simple, clean and thin design with a focus on being the after-skating chilling shoes. Then it got updated with a vulcanized construction, enhanced grip on the sole of the shoe and was named The Wino Cruiser; the ideal shoe for after-skate chilling…or if you couldn’t keep it in your pants watching the homies skate, the ideal shoe for cruising on your board. Moving onwards to 2014, Emerica spun heads again by updating the previous cruiser shoe model with a trainer sole construction and achilles relief comfort pad to make the cruiser shoe look like a running shoe that was much better to chill/walk in…after skating. Fast forward to modern day, and Emerica cut the “after-skate” shoe shit out and beefed up the inconic silhouette of the Wino with their G6 impact cushioning foot bed to make the shoe ready for ripping. Our model of the Emerica Wino G6 is Toy Machine ripper Jeremy Leabres’ colorway fitted with navy suede and some gum detailing above the foxing tape. We took our time with this review of the Emerica G6 because it was hard to let go this colorway to the wrath of our dissection tools. Check out the review to see how the beefed up Wino G6 faired to the wear and tear of skateboarding.
The Emerica Wino G6 fits true to size.
Compared to previous models of the Wino that were released since 2011, the Wino G6 is equipped with a higher quality suede that is on the front line of griptape abuse. With that said, this was a minimal shoe from the start, and although it was beefed up for skating, there weren’t any bells or whistles when it came to added durability protection. The first third of the shoe seemed a bit longer, with the first of the eyelets pushed back a bit further than other shoes. There was more surface area for contact abuse in that regard, and our first pair of the Wino G6’s in Black/Black Gum had the ollie hole blow out around the 10th hour of skating. However, one feature of the shoe that was nice was the silhouette of the midsection, which tapered back and prevented the double seams in the red zone from griptape abuse and pulling apart. Also, the shoe featured a double wrapped vulcanized construction which made the shoe’s outsole much thicker and helped withstand all 10 hours of skating, with minimal wear in our other colorway. There was a lot more life left for future sessions. As aforementioned, another plus of the sleek Wino design are the shoelace eyelets, which are pushed back higher up the shoe to prevent your shoelaces from ripping after a few sessions.
The shape of the Wino G6 is a feature that’s well appreciated in a time where skate shoes are often bulked and cramped down by an overcompensation of technical design features. The shape is long, a bit slimmer, and its weight of padding is evenly distributed for a responsive flick. The toe piece tapers off a bit, but rounds out well more than the toecaps of other shoes on the market. Moreover, the vulcanized construction is double layered so even when the first layer starts diagonally from griptape wear, there’s another layer there to maintain the shape of the shoe. Sometimes, shoes start falling apart once you wear through the outsole’s first line of defense, but this is not the case with the Wino G6. If you feel the sidewalls of the shoe, you can tell that they’re just one or two layers thick. When it comes to maintaining the structure and shape of the shoe after skating, this isn’t the most ideal tactic; most shoes will beef up their sidewalls with reinforcement materials. In the case of the Wino G6, there are actually tongue centering straps made of a harder nylon material that also acts as the reinforcement material. When you slip your feet in, the sides of your feet push these straps against the shoe’s sidewalls and maintains the rigidness of the sidewalls. This is a pleasant feature to find, since most tongue centering straps turn flimsy from the elasticity.
The cushioning is in the name of the shoe. If you want to beef up an “after-skate” chilling shoe for skating, make sure you add the G6 insoles in before anything else. The G6 cushioning has been in the product line for quite some time now and most Emerica signature models will have this high-impact protective cushioning. G6 is made of a impact resistant Polyurethane foam that is much thinner in the heel than most shoes on the market now; this allows for a better boardfeel even in the heel, while still protecting you from any heel bruises. The shoe held up quite well for smaller gaps and stair sets, but anything bigger than an eight stair shocked the heel a bit when landing. The bottom of the midsole is quite thin, and there are no deep hexagonal patterns in the sole to disperse the impact of landings evenly. With that said, the impact filters through the midsole a bit, but ultimately hits directly to the feet through the G6 insole. The cushioning was fair; at the end of the way the Wino was originally an after skate chilling shoe, the addition of the G6 helps enough for small to medium impacts if you’re into jumping down sets.
As with most vulcanized models, boardfeel and grip are the highlights of the shoe. This was definitely the case with the Wino G6, which proved to have amazing grip throughout the 10 hour weartest, and had a lot of life in them for future sessions. The main technical feature of the shoe in terms of grip was the double vulcanized construction. It’s a classic design that many vulcanized skate shoes implement, however shoes do vary between the quality of materials used for the actual vulc rubber. As can be seen in the pictures, the rubber of the Wino G6 worn down to a purple layer which was reinforced by the second brown layer of vulc beneath it. This made the shoe’s grip stable and didn’t falter even though it was getting worn down. The grip of the sole was good too; it features the Emerica triangle tread pattern and no blowout spots occurred through our weartest. Boardfeel of the shoe was great; the G6 insole flattens out much more in the first third of the shoe and the midsole itself is fairly thin, which provided for a responsive board feel for the feet.
The shoe’s stability was also a focus that Emerica put some design details towards. When you look at the last third of the shoe, you can feel that the heel counter has some extra arch shaped padding to anchor the feet right where they should be to prevent any slipping around. This, along with the tongue centering straps aforementioned, help secure the feet in place when it comes to flip tricks and impactful landings. The heel area is further enhanced with a “Tuff Cuff” padding, situated on the back end of the shoe’s topline. It almost feels like a smooth silky lip, that acts as an extra barrier to prevent the achilles tendon from rubbing against the cuff of the topline, a problem that was occuring with the previous Wino models. One thing that was lacking in terms of comfort, was the absence of ventilation for hot air from the feet to escape from. After skating in the heat, those who get sweaty feet easily will find it hard to keep the shoes on for a long time since some of the sweat gets absorbed into the suede. This makes the shoe a tiny bit heavier, and can also warp the suede on the first third of the shoe. Aside from that, the shoe is relatively comfortable, with a focus on stability near the heel area.
The progression of the Wino model has only gotten better through the years, Emerica finally reved up the Wino to better fit the needs of the skaters. The Wino G6 excels the most in Boardfeel, Grip and Stability, but the cushioning could be improved.