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MADE FOR SKATE

49 As a follow-up, Hang Ten introduced an all-suede skate shoe in late 1979 that righted all the wrongs of the pre- miere model. This low-cut model was closer to the shoes created by Makaha and Hobie, and also abandoned the wedge-shaped sole in favour of an evenly shaped soft gum rubber sole. While Hang-Ten’s shoe offering ended with skateboarding’s second big death a few years later, one feature has endured the test of time: If you look closely, you will see that the logo stripes on the side of the shoes are almost identical to those found on contemporary Globe Shoes models. Oops, can we say that here? Guess we just did... Following in Hobie’s footsteps, surf manufacturers Hang Ten offered a complete skateboard with urethane wheels and their own version of a skate shoe. Marketed as “the first shoe de- signed exclusively for the sport,” the Hang Ten looked like an unorthodox blend of a bowling shoe and a Clarke’s Wallabee. One of the shoes’ biggest sales points was their sturdiness. A classified ad for a skateboard mail order store at the time even listed the shoes under ”Skateboard Safety Equipment”: HANG TEN SHOES - TOUGH SOLE W/ HARD TOE: $23.95 For added resilience, the gumbo crepe natural rubber sole came reinforced with a steel shank insert – not exactly offer- ing the flex and feel of skating barefooted. The wedgeshaped sole rose in thickness toward the heel for added heel padding – a design principle that has not seen many follow-ups. Most skate shoes to this day rely on evenly thick sole layers, while gel inserts and the like have become the top choice for heel protection. Skate-Specific Shoes One major contribution to shoe design lay in Hang Ten’s extra sturdy Taslan laces, which may be worth re-visiting, with most laces these days still breaking easily. However, the shoe didn’t hit home among skaters. Hang Tens were too bulky, plus, the polished leather finish proved too slippery for manoeuvring across griptape, so a major re-design was in order. HANG TEN - DESIGNED “EXCLUSIVELY“

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