Everyone climbs these days, even in NYC. It’s no longer a niche activity. And while the extra granola locals who’ve long embraced their gnarled fingers as earned badges of honor may not be hyped to share the wall with a slew of banker bros, the expansion of climbing culture certainly has its upsides. Access being atop the list—bouldering gyms are everywhere it seems. An increase in climbing-related lifestyle brands has surely been seen as well.
Embracing the evolution is FRONTEER, a new upstart making footwear and accessories inspired by rock climbing, and the beautiful natural places defined by the activity. Earlier this winter we had the pleasure of meeting FRONTEER founder Jon Tang, a dedicated outdoor enthusiast with a long list of past designer gigs at top sneaker brands. The experience shows.
Though the modest line currently available is limited in numbers (~300 pairs per style), the grander idea of encouraging customers to get out and discover a life lived outdoors shines through.
The Super Gratton Lo is our favorite silhouette in the original line. Water-resistant canvas and suede, and an EVA molded sock liner round out the core details, yet the 100% pure sticky rubber foxing tape on the vulcanized sole is what defines the shoe—all FRONTEER shoes for that matter. It’s a direct reference most anyone will recognize. And though they are designed for everyday wear, should you forget your climbing shoes at home, they can pull double duty.
Get a peak at what’s to come via FRONTEER’s Instagram.