For a product to be "the ultimate", it must balance old-world craftsmanship and high-tech expertise, like a Ferrari with its hand-stitched interior and Formula 1-derived engine, or "Suicide" from Ski Patrol's Jean-Claude Killy-era rocket skis. Get the ultimate in kicks, from FEIT. Started by the Royal Elastics guys, Aussie-based FEIT crafts a range of classed-up skate shoes/boots -- from toe-bumpered low- and mid-tops, to the wool-lined DSRT OX half-boot -- all using their "Komponentry" modular construction system, which marries time-honored techniques with high-tech precision in all areas but spelling. The tech's most evident in the anatomical, SWAT-derived Propound footbed (whose antibacterial properties minimize heat/odor) and the 3-piece sole from Vibram, who crafts the boots intrepid mountaineers wear while shoving Sherpas out of the frame during summit photos. As for artisanship, though FEIT employs high-end materials like oxblood leather and gunmetal eyelets, the foundation of each shoe (the last) is handmade by 74-year-old master cobbler Verdiccio Paderone, who uses methods rarely seen in today's footwear -- like not using slave children. FEIT does carry some wilder models, like the WOVEN, whose leather tongue evokes the glory of the '90s-era braided belt, and the SLIP, whose laces're replaced by an elasticated velcro panel, an ultimate marriage of NASA-sourced materials and a laziness so Old World, you will be helpless to resist napping after lunch.
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