By: Ray Hidalgo
Vans has a new line of kicks for anyone ranging from the angsty teeny-bopper armed with an iPod and a Walmart skateboard to the veteran surfer looking to throw on some slip-ons after several hours of hitting the waves.
The bad boys of Metallica have teamed up with the California-based shoe company to create four distinct shoes designed by each respective member of the four-man ensemble. In a nod to the company’s roots in extreme sports, Vans has also paired each Metallica member with renowned figures in surfing and skateboarding in a series of entertaining video shorts. Hopefully the promotion is compelling enough, considering that the $70-$85 price range for the line is a big step ahead of the normal lines.
Vans fuses some nifty skating/surfing footage with interesting clips of the athletes hanging out with the heavy metal icons and talking about everything from some of their more interesting in-concert incidents to James Hetfield’s decked out classic cars.
Paired with skateboarding legend Steve Caballero, James Hetfield rocks a modified and intimidating pair of the iconic high-top Sk8-Hi’s that was inspired by his favorite pair of black boots. According to Vans’ official website, the new shoes are called Deconstructs, are also black, and feature Hetfield’s take on a skull and crossbones.
Bassist Robert Trujillo joins Vans teams skater Tony Trujillo and his wife, Bad Sh*t drummer Ashley Trujillo (Robert is unrelated) to promote the Escuela shoe which features an intricate blue Aztec design.
Guitarist Kirk Hammett chills out with surfing pro Nathan Fletcher and proves that he isn’t quite an amateur on the waves either. Predictably, Hammett designed an all-black slip-on, a shoe type heavily favored by surfers, which is merely distinguished from its unsponsored peers with an Ouija board graphic on the sole.
Drummer Lars Ulrich’s special guest and video has yet to be released, but his shoe is set to be laceless and will feature a design on its side that doesn’t stray too far from the unique design of a fire truck bumper.
Metallica has been churning out platinum-grade for generations, but for those of us who were grade schoolers during the resurgence of skater culture in the late ‘90s, Vans were a hot item. It’s been a while since the days of attempting to ‘grind’ on playground benches with our new Soaps or getting into a full-fledged argument over the comparative merit of Airwalks vs. Etnies. Skater shoes haven’t gone away, but whether Metallica’s whether foray into the trend is something worth stepping back into time for is up to your checkbook.
To see all of the shoe designs and their videos, head to the Vans official website.