éS – Skateboard Shoe Review – Sal Barbier – SLB 97

An in depth look and review of the éS Sal Barbier 'SLB 97' skate shoe

After the company’s inception in 1995 éS skateboarding quickly shot to the forefront of technical innovation for skate shoe development. EVA Midsoles, Air Impact Systems, hidden lace loops, supportive sock-liners and many more now commonplace features of our favourite skate-specific footwear can be credited with being introduced or pioneered by éS.

The éS Sal 97 Skate Shoe is third shoe from legendary éS rider and shoe design innovator, Sal Barbier, whose previous models were amongst the most popular and influential shoes of the 1990s.

“A revamped classic éS silhouette from one of the most influential brands and skaters in the skate-specific shoe game”

éS footwear’s re-emergence in 2014 was met with an instant demand for reissues of classic models including Sal’s signature footwear range. Listening to their customers, éS skateboarding have delivered and the Sal 23, SLB Mid and Sal 97 all now sit proudly on skate shop shelves alongside other spruced up classics and new éS models alike.

The éS Sal 97 is built with a long-lasting cupsole moulded from natural gum rubber, the design of which complements an overall slim aesthetic while packing in the support.

The intricate pattern of the sole provides flexibility through deeply cut cross sections, and enhances overall manoeuvrability thanks to a prominent pivot cup that sits under the ball of the foot. Other areas of the sole are engrained with a deep herringbone tread to allow for extra grip.

A blend of premium suede and leather is triple stitched together to form a supportive and adaptable upper. The toe piece, which spans outwards and comes to a narrow finish, is ideal for precise foot placement and the thermothane coating around the toe enhances the shoe’s lifespan and grip.

Breathable mesh lines the inside of the éS SLB 97 and the entire tongue is constructed from this same material to aid in expelling heat. The tongue is also moulded and densely padded for a true-to-size fit and support, enhanced by cushioned heel pads which nestle the Achilles of the wearer and provide a stable fit for maximum comfort and protection.

A revamped classic éS silhouette from one of the most influential brands and skaters in the skate-specific shoe game. If you loved these when they were first released and fancy a reup, or you’re looking for a high performance skate shoe with enhanced durability and features that genuinely assist your skating then these éS SLB 97 are a great choice.


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