Best For: every kind of skating
Star feature: G6 high-rebound foam
Weight: 382.2 grams
When it was first announced this was a shoe I was looking forward to because it looked futuristic without trying to be. Futuristic here means a very stylish and modern shoe but it also refers to the technology and design. Now that I've skated them, I'm sure the Reynolds puts Emerica in the "skate shoe of the year" conversation.
What jumps out to me immediately are the ridges on the heel portion of the cupsole. I haven't seen a skate shoe with that aesthetic before, but it doesn't look out of place. Other kinds of athletic shoes do it. It's a product of function and having a ridge where the sole meets the upper and then another ridge on the outsole makes the heel stronger and the shoe stronger overall. Overall you have a better foundation to stand on, which helps you snap and land tricks better.
The cupsole and insole were made to give you the best possible board feel, but there's a secret weapon in there. The tongue has straps on the sides that connect to a neoprene-like sleeve for your toes. This gives you an extra edge comfort-wise. When your feet meet the thin but spry insole, and you wiggle your toes around you notice right away that you have a ton of control. It's evident that flicking is easy and the shoe doesn't make it cumbersome.
The Reynolds borrowed ventilation technology from the Herman G6 and has an exposed medial sidewall of mesh that works like a cold air intake system. My feet never felt hot when I wore these with socks in the 90 degree LA heat of late August.
The durability is great too. The suede is tricky in that the shoes don't look like you've been skating, so you really would have to wear these shoes down for them to look torn up. I wish I knew more about the suede they used because it makes it look less worn than it is, and that is pretty dope. The only downside to that is that the suede kind of bleeds into the cupsole, and that made it look extra grimy. That aside, there is no exposed stitching between the upper and cupsole, so it takes some work to separate the two. You're more likely to get some holes in the the toe box, before that sole disintegrates.
Bottom Line: I understated the comfort of these shoes while discussing how well they performed. Every now and then there's a fancy skate shoe that is so great at skating but also helps your feet because there's the right type of cushioning throughout it. Usually that shoe isn't mired in marketing hype. At $90 the Reynolds is that shoe and it even comes in a low top version. A real star out of all the 2013 pro skate models, the Reynolds is a must-have for anybody looking for a solid skate shoe.