Mr. Fakie: So, the new shoe is about to come out. It’s your first shoe in about three years and you’re injured.
Ed Templeton: I don’t even know if they’re calling it a pro shoe. Are they?
MF: I don’t know. I think its a limited edition?
ET: I think so. I should know more about this. I’m really hands off with the brass tac’s kind of stuff over at Emerica. When they want me to design a shoe, I just kinda do it. I feel like it’s not a pro shoe. I don’t know what they’re titling it. I’m just down for whatever they want at this point. I’m forty years old and don’t really know what to expect. I realize I’m not pulling my weight as a pro. I’m kinda old and I’ve always been aware that this is how it works in skateboarding. I’ve been on both sides as a pro and a company owner. I try to tell my guys, “Look, you’re a marketing tool. It’s not cool but it’s what you are. When you’re not useful, it’s done.” And the same goes for me. I’ve been waiting for this from all my companies. As I age, I feel very fortunate to have stuck around for so long and done so much in the art world side, and that companies still Kind me useful to some extent.
MF: So it’s not going to be a hyped up G6-type release?
ET: (chuckling) Exactly. I don’t know. I’m just stoked to be involved with Emerica at this pointy. Is my name on it? Maybe I should go grab the sample… I’m on crutches so it’ll take a second. You can hear my old age! It’d be so cool if I fell right now. Fell during the interview.
So I have the sample here in front of me and I don’t think it has my name on it. It’s just clearly a Templeton shoe. I designed the box and all that stuff. I don’t think my name is really on it.
MF: Isn’t it a Tempster shoe?
ET: It may be called the Tempster, which is like giving me a pro shoe without paying me the pro shoe salary.
MF: The last shoe it looked like you designed was the Archer.
ET: Yeah, these shoes are sort of ‘designed by’ shoes now. I think that’s what they’re calling them. That’s what’s ridiculous because I should know but I don’t.
MF: So what have you been skating? You’ve got the sample. Can you get your feet into the shoes right now?
ET: Unfortunately the sample they gave me is a size 9. I’m a size 12. They don’t sample shoes at a size 12 because it’s sort of an anomaly and size 9 is an average. They get the samples and use them for product shoots and they want the samples to look as it would on a normal foot. A 12 distorts it, you know. So, unfortunately, I don’t get to ride the sample shoe. I only have one actually, just one side.
MF: Did they send you the side of the injured foot?
ET: Yeah, it’s the injured one so I can’t even put it on. It’s funny, now that I have this boot on, I could be rocking this if it was the left foot. I could be crutching around on the sample.
MF: It’s a bummer, dude. You can’t even try on your own shoe.
ET: Lately, when I’ve been skating, I’ve been riding older Emericas. They said, “Hey, you should wear some of the newer ones.” It’s because I get shoes and they stack up in my garage and I’ll be like, “Oh, this is a cool old shoe from a year ago.”
MF: So what shoes have you been riding?
ET: I forget the name of it. I can’t remember. I think I was wearing some shoe that was kind of like a high top. It was a Justin Regan shoe. They made a shoe for Justin Regan when he was the team manager before he left. I was riding that and that’s when Timothy from Emerica said, “You probably shouldn’t be riding that shoe. That guy works for Vans now.”
ET: This is what I mean. I’m useless for all this skate stuff.
MF: What went into the design of these shoes? This is a high top. Do you like skating in high tops? Or was it just really what was out there and you just put the design to it in terms of graphics.
ET: Well, with this, in this phase of my pro career, I think they have shoes someone there designed and I come and do a treatment to it. There may be a situation where they made me something to start with and I get to mess with it and draw it out. In this case, it’s not same as what I had in the Templeton pro shoe. I design those myself. These later ones have been different. It’s a skate shoe and a lot of people have been using skate shoes as chilling shoes. I know Leo skates in the smallest dock shoes.
MF: That brings me to another question. I think both of us grew up skating those Airwalks that used to look like basketball shoes…
ET: The giant shoes that took a week to break in?
MF: Right. And then it was all about cup soles for a while. Then back to the basketball types, the multi-piece soles in the early 2000s. Now practically everything is vulcanized. A lot of them are super thin. Walk us through a little bit since you’ve been in the industry through all of the changes. What do you think is behind all that with the current trend?
ET: I think there’s two fronts. One is that vulcanized soles feel better. That’s one base point. The softness and the flexibility and the quick break in is so much better. I rode for Airwalk in the early 90s and it was terrible. It was giant shoes. If I had a friend with a scooter, I’d have him drive me around while I dragged the shoes on the ground to try to beat them up as much as I could because they were so plasticy and hard.
The second thing, I think, is just the style. It sadly take precedent over the function part. People just want to wear shoes that they’d be wearing anyway. Whereas the old shoes were big chunky skate shoes now shoes have morphed and i think it’s good, actually. I want to be able to wear my skate shoe out and not necessarily look like a skater. That’s gone full circle too. As a skater, you’d walk into a place, look at a kid and look for ollie holes and be like, “Oh, he skates.” Then when shoe companies became popular, it became ‘look for someone with Emericas on’. But now everybody wears everything. Nike and Adidas, huge mainstream companies, have totally taken over the shoe market. So everybody is wearing Nikes and you can’t tell who is a skater and who isn’t anymore.
Check back for pt. 2 and our First-Look skate review! To be continued…