It’s been a while since we’ve got our hands on a pair of Etnies for Weartested, the last one being the Etnies Marana Vulc back in 2015. With that said, Etnies holds a very special place in our hearts as it was one of the most popular shoe brand in the mid-2000s, when many of us were just getting into skateboarding. There’s been a rich history of pro rosters on Etnies way before that, and as the skateboarding scene has evolved, so have their products and pro team. The design and quality of Etnies models have been tailored specifically for the wear and tear of skateboarding. This time, we got to test out a pair of their Windrows, a sleek silhouette that features the classic upside down “E” logo that our nostalgic hearts will always remember.
The specific model is a colorway released with Nassim Lachhab, an incredible skater from Rabat, Morocco. He has been dropping video parts for Blind and Etnies that blow you away with his effortless steez (crazy bigspin flips down sets) and beautiful scenic spots. The shoe itself looks extremely appetizing, and we were super hyped to be able to test this colorway out: read on below for more details!
The Etnies Windrow fits true to size.
The clean design of the Windrow is the highlight for the overall shoe’s durability. The most notable feature of the shoe is the one piece vamp in the forefoot area. It is very well constructed, as the panels stretch far back to the midfoot and help protect the seams that connect the suede forefoot and synthetic midfoot panel. The seams showed some signs of wear but far less than if they would be positioned more in the forefoot area. The suede has an additional thin rubber underlay beneath to increase durability. In our 10-hour wear test, the suede did not rip severely, so the inlay didn’t show (you can see it in the half cut picture). The addition of this element not only provides more rigidity to the toe area, but also serves as a second layer of defense.
Most wear actually happened on the outsole. The sole is rather thin, but it helped to protect the suede from griptape contact, especially in the toe area. The Windrow features the almost-forgotten-hidden lace loops, which we did not use for our test, but was a nice noticeable feature. Overall the durability of the Windrow is very good, showing small signs of wear in the suede Ollie zone while some seams were slightly worn down.
The cushioning of the Windrow starts with an EVA insole. Etnies describes it as Foam Lite 2 molded EVA footbed. This type of cushioning is effective when the EVA element has a certain thickness to absorb skate related impacts. However, the Windrow’s insole and outsole are both quite thin, so the material between foot and board is reduced to a minimum, as seen in the half cut photo. When put to the test, the shoe’s cushioning characteristics are below average and can only handle medium impacts, especially since the heel of the cushioning felt too thin to support larger impacts.
In general, the shape and silhouette of the Etnies Windrow is very slim. The model has a slightly wide cut in the heel area, but offers closer contact within the midfoot section and the toe section, which improves board contact. The model has a low ankle height. The long shape of the toe area, and the suede material, provides a great flick. Etnies added stitching on top of the panel to help with flip tricks and foot positioning orientation. The shape of the Windrow can be recommended slim feet.
The half cut picture reveals the simplicity of the sole construction. The model has a very flat sole from heel to toe, so it is extremely flexible. Flexibility helps the sole to sink into the concave and griptape. With regards to boardfeel, the Windrow as a cupsole model excels and competes on the same level as a vulcanized model. The thin sole in combination with the fine treaded pattern lead to a well rounded grip. Overall, the grip is definitely on the upper level of cupsole grip.
The comfort and stability of the shoe has ups and downs. Firstly, we’ll start with the ups. For starters, the Windrow is extremely lightweight. Also, the low profile model fits well to your foot, especially within the mid- and forefoot area. The tongue and heel collar are well padded so when you wear the shoes, it’s a cushioned feeling. The combination of suede and synthetic upper materials has its strength when it comes to stability. The midfoot area keeps the foot in place and prevents any horizontal movements within the shoe. Although the upper material did not stretch out at all during the test, it still got soft and lost rigidity. The heel area is soft and the low cut did leave the feeling like it could slip out. So overall, the comfort is good but stability is average.
Etnies’ Windrow x Nassim Lachhab colowary proves to be a sleek and stylish low-profile cupsole model that excels in durability, boardfeel and grip but could use some more technical features to enhance the stability and cushioning.
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