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UGP Wakeskate Shoe Review: The GauntletDate: 08-14-2007
Author: Wakeskating.com Staff
For a number of years now, UGP has supported and subsequently outfitted wakeskaters in their stylish and versatile product lines. In 2007, UGP took their product line a step further by creating a wakeskate specific shoe, the Gauntlet, which is also available in a white signature Doyle version. I recently had the chance to slip my feet into a pair of these and shred for a bit. From my personal experience, UGP has produced one of the most comfortable and durable wakeskate specific shoes, thus far.
The meat of the Gauntlet consists of a stretchable inner bootie of sorts so the tongue can't shift around, and then the shoe is reinforced with what appears to be a synthetic leather. The inner liner allows for a lot of padding and a soft, tight knit mesh lining that really creates a perfect fit against my foot. The side paneling (which is a part of the bootie) also allows for some nice water drainage, while still maintaining the structure and shape of the shoe.
In addition to the panels, the upper also utilizes a perforated material (again, presumably synthetic leather) on the tongue and heel of the shoe, which also aids in water drainage. What's nice is that design feature also keeps the shoe durable and supportive where you need it.
The outsole also adds to the draining capabilities, as there are two small drainage holes in the forefoot and heel of the outsole. Add in the fact that the rubber grip and structure of the outsole still allows you to feel your board, and you're another step closer to seeing yourself shredding.
One other feature of the shoe that's good is the rest of the material on the upper. It again looks to be a synthetic leather of sorts, but it's not perforated. Ultimately, it's super durable and will help your water shoes withstand the wear and tear from the water and grip tape. The entire toe area of the shoe is comprised of this material, which is good if you're one who likes to flick your flip tricks, or if you give your front foot a mellow drag up and kick forward to level out those ollies. I even took these kicks out for a little roll-along on my skateboard before hitting the water and they worked as well as any skate shoe. The ollie area held up extremely well and my toes weren't bleeding...in turn, I was thankful.
Ultimately, what impressed me most about this shoe is the fit and the fact that they hold very little water. I was quite surprised at the end of my set when I tried to squeeze the water out of my shoes, and there was hardly any water to squeeze out. I feel like the time and work UGP invested in the design of their first wakeskating shoes has led them to the taste of sweet success. If you're looking for a durable wakeskate shoe that incorporates durability and excellent drainage, yet still maintains that street style, the UGP line is definitely a place to look.
Key Features Of The Gauntlet:
Rear quarter molding: For outstanding ankle support.
Mid sole double stitch attachment: For maximum durability
Built in outsole drainage hole: For quick water dispersant
Sticky rubber outsole: For superior gripping performance
Quick dry footbed: For outstanding comfort
Stretchable full inner bootie: For exceptional shoe to foot grip
For more information on UGP or any of their products, check out www.undergroundproducts.com.
Find the Doyle signature and the Gauntlet at the boardstop : UGP Wakeskating Shoes
The Doyle--Notice the perforated materials on the tongue, the lower rear and upper heel areas. As you can see, the ollie area is all business...
The Gauntlet in brown.
The Gauntlet in grey.
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