“ERAone Footwear was founded in 2016 with a singular purpose: to bring back the puff. After a long period of lowest common denominator, identikit, thin, vulcanised footwear, over the past few years there has been a concerted effort from some skate shoe companies to try to go back to their roots. Unfortunately it has been largely an unsuccessful endeavour, with skaters who know and love these older designs being continually let down, with each new “re-issue” leading only to further disappointment.”
I stumbled across ERAone footwear a few weeks back, after having a look through their Instagram and a read of their website, quoted above, I wanted to find out more. Is this just a project by some older guys nostalgic for the era they grew up skating in? Or is there space in skateboarding for these kind of endeavors, given the broad church that skateboarding has become? After speaking to Ben Brooks I think it’s probably a mixture of the two, read on and make your own mind up.
Can you explain the idea behind ERAone footwear?
The idea came from being an O.G skate shoe collector. I only collect skate shoes from the mid 90’s to the mid 00’s, the ‘golden era’ of skateboarding. There is a solid group of collectors on Instagram and Facebook who, like me, love the styling of shoes from this era. Companies don’t make shoes like this anymore so the initial idea stemmed from a gap in the market and a general want and need amongst collectors. The overall idea is to bring some styling back into skate shoes.
What inspired the decision to start the company? Is it something you’ve had in mind for a while?
I really only started down this road maybe six months ago. I guess the main decision to start in the first place was my overall disappointment with what modern skate shoes have become, everything is so slim these days! Some companies have started reissuing models from the past but they are slimming them down as well, this ruins the overall look of what they once were in my opinion. As a collector its great to get a deadstock pair in your hands, but most of the time you can’t wear them, the foams have deteriorated over time so they might look good but as soon as you take 10 steps they start cracking and blow out. Collectors and old school skaters are hanging out for a shift in the skate shoe industry, but it’s just not moving right now.
“We need more startup companies and we need skaters to support these smaller companies, and give the finger to the big corporate leeches sucking the life out of what we all love.”
Has the (seeming) success of smaller brands like State encouraged you to give it a shot?
I never really look at whats going on with other companies. I just decided to have a crack. State are doing their thing, and it’s cool that they’re independently owned. This is what’s needed back in skateboarding more than ever right now. Fuck the big corporates! We need more startup companies and we need skaters to support these smaller companies and give the finger to the big corporate leeches sucking the life out of what we all love. ERAone are looking to change the game! Everything goes in cycles and its only a matter of time till 90’s styling makes it’s way back.