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6. Etnies

You can’t overstate the importance of the signature shoe. Its history is murky, though. While it was long acknowledged that Steve Caballero’s Vans model was first, Cab’s shoe was actually preceded by a Natas Kaupas sneaker produced by a then-obscure French brand called Etnies. As companies like Airwalk struggled to keep up with skating’s changing landscape, Etnies grew more popular. Its progressive designs were in line with what skaters actually wanted, and almost every pro wore its shoes, whether they were paid to or not. By then, signature models occupied a significant portion of almost every skateshop’s shoe wall.

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