Let’s welcome your new guest-reviewer, Stefan Lind. He proved to be just the right mix of skate rat and A-class shoe nerd to qualify for the job. He will be the equivalent of an on-spot reporter here at weartested with his honest, short and sweet review-style that is still as informative and objective as we like our reviews.
„Damn, this shoe looks massive.“ Those were my first thoughts when opening the box of the Emerica Reynolds Mid. After what felt like ages of flimsy thin vulc-shoes recognized as the hot stuff on the market, we have finally entered a new chapter in skateboarding footwear. One where shoes actually feel solid and jumping down stair sets is possible without pressing 1 on your speed dial and getting welcomed back to the hospital where they know you by name. This new wave of more protective shoes has nothing to do with those ugly brick-like kicks that we used to skate about 10 years ago.
The sole of the Reynolds Mid flexes exactly where it’s supposed to, and although it can’t be compared with a thin-vulc shoe, it provides more than enough boardfeel. It is, however, obvious that protection and comfort were prioritized over boardfeel, which reflects Reynolds hard-impact skating style to some degree.
One can easily spot the similarities to the Emerica G6, as well. For instance the sole pattern is basically the same. The mesh-panels create impeccable air-flow and let your shoes heave and breathe. Especially for a midsole model, the lightweight construction and basically the great overall comfort of this shoe is outstanding.
The sole provides great cushioning, in fact the first thing that was noticed when trying the shoe on was a certain „I wanna jump down stuff!“-feeling that it comes with it. It simply feels as if you cannot get hurt. The next thing you notice is the sock-like inner lining. It wraps around your foot and gives the shoe a snug feel. During the first session the shoe was tied as loose as possible to see what kind of effect that adjustment had. It offers close-to-perfect heel-lock, forget about slipping out of your shoe.
During the first skate session, all those first impressions proved to be true. The grip and flick are amazing (one cannot stop comparing it to the G6, and this is a very good thing) and your feet feel well protected and comfortable. There are basically no signs of wear at all after the first session. During the second session, the progress only continued. Grip and flick improved again, and this shoe proves to put the fun in functional.
The Reynolds mid is somehow not your average mid top design and the support turned out to be highly related to how it is laced. Since it is so light, feels thin and offers more freedom of movement due to the Achilles tendon cut-out, it manages to offer a well-balanced mix between support and a almost low-top feel in case it is not laced all the way to the top. Also noticeable is that you feel slightly „higher“ above your board than with most low-tops. And even though Emerica handled the ventilation issue of high/mid-tops perfectly, you still feel that there’s more shoe around your foot. Another interesting thing that happened was that the shoe seems to look better as soon as it had been skated after some time. The sole doesn’t look as massive anymore since the edges had been rounded out from the abrasion. Due to some wallie-attempts, a chipped board and dumb luck, the medial mesh panel got torn up a little, but that’s not the shoes fault. Overall the durability seems outstanding at first sight and it is pretty obvious that you will have many great sessions with this pair of shoes.
All in all I would say that the Reynolds Mid meets and continues Emerica’s #higherquality slogan that they have been pushing and promoting. If you are over thin, flimsy vulc models that lack protection and durability, this shoe is a great choice.
Tester, Text, Pictures: Stefan Lind Correction: Edan Qian