Summary

We spent 8.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

11 reasons to buy

  • Most users agree that when styled on the feet, eS SLB Mid skate shoes have an exciting, clean look that’s “just dope.”
  • Plenty of testers were all praises for the board feel of these mid-top kicks.
  • These shoes feel comfortable, many customers say, whether you’re doing carve, impact, or flat ground skating.
  • According to several reviews, the sizing of eS SLB Mid sneakers is accurate.
  • The sneakers offer a lot of support for the heels and forefeet, a good number of individuals have noted.
  • Some consumers have stated that the inner socks of these retro kicks provide a perfect fit without needing to resort to lacing up.
  • A handful of people have claimed that eS SLB Mids have durable soles that show barely a hint of smoothness after a month of skating.
  • The shoes breathe fairly well, a few purchasers have commented.
  • A small number of buyers like how well these shoes from the eS brand grip their boards.
  • The removable insoles meet the approval of a couple of people.
  • The colorways are getting nods from lots of reviewers.

3 reasons not to buy

  • There is no arch support to be found in eS SLB Mid shoes, some skateboarders say.
  • The leather fabric doesn’t go all the way down to the cupsoles, a few disappointed people have noted, but only until the edge of the suede material. 
  • It takes some time to break in the leather material, a few people note.

Bottom line

eS SLB Mids, named after legendary skateboarder Salvador Lucas Barbier or Sal Barbier for short, live up to and fully exceed expectations. These retros provide perfect performance right out of the box. They’re well-cushioned, grippy, and offer exceptional board feel. The cupsoles in these kicks are amazingly flexible and feel almost like vulcs.

The clean styling is inspired by Air Jordan IXs, yet the overall look is vintage eS. The colors are striking and denote a distinctive 90s flair.

Facts

Expert Reviews

  • First look | Tactics Boardshop |

  • First look | The House Outdoor Gear |

  • First look | Tactics Boardshop |

  • First look | Tactics Boardshop |

  • First look | esskateboarding |

Become an expert

eS SLB Mids are offered in men's sizing only. This ranges from 5 to 14. The measurement is reportedly accurate, and the fit is spot on, so there’s no need for any size adjustment. 

There’s no arch support for these kicks, but since the insoles are removable, customized inserts can easily be fitted in. Perforations on the side panels keep the feet cool inside and well-ventilated. 

Neoprene sockliners keep the feet locked in securely even without having to tie the laces up completely. Tying up the laces, though, will ensure that there is no chance of feet sliding around inside these shoes. 

The SLB Mid shoes are undoubtedly 90s skate kicks with their slightly chunky aesthetic and crisp, clean color schemes. The side panel perforations are heavily-inspired by Air Jordan 9s, although function and total look is distinctively eS. 

Full leather uppers are complemented and color-contrasted by suede accents around the edges. Round laces in the same shade as the leather fabric complete the retro look.

These are the kicks to wear in the park to skate, in the bar with friends while chilling over a bottle of beer, to work, and everywhere else where you need shoes that are not just functional but comfortable and stylish as well. 

It’s almost always worth it to buy shoes that take you on a nice trip down memory lane. eS SLB Mids carry a nostalgic vibe that harks back to much simpler days when skate shoes were skate shoes and not overly-hyped footwear.

These sneakers rely more on their detailed construction to provide enhanced skateboarding performance rather than on any technology. The only exception to this are the soles that are from Accel Slims, which employ 400 NBS gum rubber for long-lasting durability.

Sal Barbier is a goofy-footed American skater who was one of the pioneers of street skating. He invented the Sal Flip and designed one of the most memorable skating silhouettes of all time, the Sal 23. Right after the Sal 23, another fully Sal-designed model was launched in 1996. It was called the SLB, and it had a mid-top profile. 

As expected, Sal’s 2nd signature shoes were a hit, helped largely by their exceptional function, and of course, the neoprene sockliners. Sockliners in shoes may be common these days, but in the 90s, this was pretty revolutionary. In fact, it was only in 1996 that skate shoes began donning sockliners, and SLB Mids pioneered their use. 

In 2012, eS was put into hibernation by its parent company, Sole Technology, so that it could focus on the other brands under it. But good things are hard to keep down and hidden away. Four years after the hiatus, and after massive public clamor, eS returned.

Many of its most requested shoes were reissued including SLB Mids. Much of the build from the 90s were retained although some materials were updated for more long-lasting construction.

  • A few colorways for eS SLB Mid shoes include black/red, white/red, white/green, and black/royal.
Author
Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.

daniel@runrepeat.com