Behind The Shoe with Brandon Westgate
Feb 22, 2011 6:46 PM CST

After months of braving the chat-room rumors and patiently anticipating it’s permanent arrival, the wait is over. Brandon Westgate’s first signature Emerica shoe is here and it’s a mind blowing mid-top that looks better than any message board bootleg pic could have suggested.


CCS recently caught up with Brandon to talk a bit about how his first signature shoe came to be.




When did you first find out you were getting your own shoe? Maybe right in the beginning of last summer.

What were your first thoughts when you heard the news? I was stoked. Originally they told me they wanted my input for a team shoe they were making. I told them what I liked, but they were secretly using what I told them to make my shoe. So they kind of pulled a surprise on me. 

That’s crazy, it was a full-on surprise, huh? So did they show you a sketch or something? No, they had model already made. They used my input and just came up with a basic sample.  It was just a raw sample. None of the specs on it were fully done.  They wanted to show me what they came up with based on what I had told them.

After they showed you the raw shoe, where did it go from there? Basically, they put this program on my computer so I could make colorways, and then they’d send me samples to skate and see what I wanted to change. At first the tongue was a little bit too tall and I wanted the panels sunk in more a little bit. There were just basic changes. But they skated really good, so I was hyped.

From the original sample to the final shoe, how many changes went down? Maybe just a few a few changes. I wanted the tongue trimmed off just a little bit and they just tightened up everything. The first samples I got, the panels were kind of big and bulkier. Then the next set of samples I got, they toned it all down and tightened it all up to make it look like a real solid shoe. 

How long have you been skating in the samples? Probably all summer long. After I skated the first sample I was hooked on it. Then they sent me like 10 pairs. And once I was out of those I asked for some more samples with some of the changes I wanted.

Did the samples have your name on it? The first ones didn’t but the second ones did. That’s where we were still trying to come up with what they were going to use for the insole and where there were going to be labels. The second batch was where everything fully came together.

Where people tripping on them…like, ‘What kind of shoes are you wearing?’ Yeah, it’s pretty funny. Like, “Yeah they’re mine” [laughs]. I was pumping gas at the gas station and some hood guy comes up and he’s like, “Yo man, what kind of shoes are those?”  I was like, ‘Oh they’re Emerica’s.’ And he goes, ‘Oh yeah? Those are tight!’ [laughs].

Is it weird being like, ‘Yeah, it’s my shoe?’ Yeah, it definitely is.

Did you do any STI Lab work on the shoe? No, but they put this new insole in the shoe that I’m actually really psyched on. It feels really good. I don’t know exactly what the foam in there is called but it’s some other stuff that they’re trying and it’s really, really good. It’s just extra cushiony and padded and feels really good on your feet. Definitely feels like you can jump a little bit longer.

How would you describe your shoe? It’s kind of like the Jerry’s, but has a little bit more going on with it. They fixed the vulcanized sole so the suede goes down further and the vulcanized area goes up so it won’t pull apart at the heels. It’s kind of like a basic mid-top.

Now that you got those signature shoe checks, any plans to go Jereme Rogers with it and just blow it all? Nah, I don’t think so. I just got a house. So I’m just trying to fix some stuff up around the house.

Get Brandon’s new Emerica shoe in the CCS Shop, including his CCS exclusive colorway.


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