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Etnies is a footwear and apparel company geared toward the action sports market (skateboarding, BMX, surfing, snowboarding, etc.). 

The Etnies product line includes shoes, sandals, bags, hats and beanies, shirts, shorts, socks, sweaters, sweatshirts, T-shirts, jackets and pants, in sizes and designs for men, girls (women) and kids.

Products are sold in stores such as Zumiez and Skate Warehouse throughout the United States and Europe, in Etnies outlet stores in California, Oregon and Arizona, online through at least 25 different retail websites and the Etnies website.

The company's website caters to the youthful action sports crowd with extra features such as online games, interviews with professional skaters, surfers and BMXers, videos of extreme sports and a blog for discussing action sports. Some of the interviews and blogs contain adult language.

Etnies: What makes it different?
  • Etnies shoes are designed by professional skateboarders.
  • The Etnies website lets customers design their own color scheme on certain shoe models.
  • Etnies invites people to interact with top action sports stars on its website.
  • Clothing and shoe designs are edgy and aggressive.
  • Etnies' parent company, Sole Technologies, conducts research into skateboarding physiology.
  • Etnies has partnered with Autism Speaks to promote awareness and research.
  • The Etnies ride team includes girls.
Etnies vs. primary competitors (sites similar to Etnies)


Vans makes skateboarding shoes and apparel aimed at a similar market as Etnies. Vans has a longer and more established history than Etnies, and its recognizable line of original skate shoes is still selling well. Vans line of clothing might be considered more "classic" or "retro" and less aggressive than Etnies' designs.

In addition to manufacturing shoes and clothing, Vans also sponsors the Warped Tour music festival.

DC Shoes

Another major board sports shoe and apparel brand is DC Shoes. Though younger than Etnies and Vans (DC was established in 1993), DC has overtaken a large share of the youth action sports market. DC also sponsors skate and ride teams, and in 2010 announced sponsorship of a Rally car racing event, the Ken Block (DC's co-founder) Invitational.

DC apparel also features logos of other brands that partner with DC, such as Monster energy drinks and Ford cars, making its consumer appeal even stronger.

Etnies: Product images & screenshots
Etnies Coupons
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Etnies: Detailed review

Etnies was established in France in 1986, manufacturing durable high-top shoes for skateboarders and surfers in Europe. French engineer and pro skateboarder Pierre Andre Senizergues (who had come to America in 1985) joined the Etnies ride team in 1988 and started designing skate shoes himself, eventually buying the brand in 1996. In 2011, Senizergues' Lake Forest, Calif.-based company Sole Technologies employed more than 350 employees and enjoyed distribution in more than 70 countries. The 40,000-square-foot Etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest is located at Sole Technology's headquarters.

Senizergues also established the Sole Technology Institute, a research facility dedicated to studying the impacts and movements of skateboarding on the human body.

Etnies has partnered with nonprofit Autism Speaks to create children's footwear. A minimum of $10,000 per year will be donated to Autism Speaks to help fund autism research and develop resources and treatments for those on the autism spectrum.

Etnies sponsors a world class team of skateboarders, surfers, snowboarders, motocross and BMX riders, both male and female. Young consumers who are familiar with the top echelons of action sports competition and who want to consider themselves part of the skate culture emulate their idols by wearing Etnies shoes and clothing.

The shoe line consists of mostly low-top, flat-soled skate shoes, with a few mid- and high-top styles. Models range from the heavily padded and cushioned Chrome 02 to the slip-on canvas Fakie. There are three shoe models that allow customers to design their own color schemes online.

Other apparel and accessories prominently feature the Etnies name and/or logo, or brands associated with members of the Etnies ride team. 

"Sick team and shoes!" is how one reviewer described Etnies.

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Get 15% Off Fall 2012, Shoes and Apparel + Free Shipping @ Etnies
Get 10% Off any Purchase @ Etnies