The Charlie Baker Sneaker
When SLUG’s action sports editor, Adam Dorobiala, said these shoes made him think of me, I was a little offended. These shoes are totally fugly. Remember when Kris Kross was cool? Yeah, me neither. They’re like a bad China Town knock off, like someone tried really hard to rip off Chuck Taylors but they totally fucked up. Plus, tying your shoes backward is rather difficult. After struggling like a six-year-old every time I wanted to wear these, I tied them so they could slip on and off. The first night I wore them I went dancing at the W Lounge. Even though everyone I was with made fun of me, they were surprisingly good dancing shoes—I busted lame dance moves all night. When the snow gods took a fat dump on the valley, I was skeptical about Charlie’s performance in the snow due to memories of miserable walks home from high school in soggy Chucks. These, however, are far more waterproof than their unretarded brethren. Throw on a pair of wool socks and your feet are guaranteed to stay dry and toasty. Over the past few weeks, I’ve fallen in love with these shoes. I’ve come to find their oddities endearing, and I’m glad Dorobiala thought of me when he saw them. They might be ugly, but they’re great shoes and I totally see them catching on. Plus, they’re ironic and everyone knows hipsters love irony. If you want to stay ahead of the hip kids, I suggest you swoop a pair ASAP. Hurry up so I can stop looking like a dumbass. –Katie Panzer
Backup Pocket Co.
From the Backup Pocket Co. comes this back-up first-aid and accessory pocket that straps conveniently to the outside of your snowboard or ski boot. As with most new products, I was skeptical of how practical and “convenient” this backup pocket really was. At first look, it was just bulky and unnecessary. Plus, it came with band-aids, gauze pads and alcohol prep wipes. You’re not going to need any of that at a resort, so the backcountry would be the obvious place to use it. Even there, are cuts and scrapes really what you’re going to be worried about? Although it didn’t seem very promising, this little accessory turned out to be pretty cool. I decided to try it as a place to put my phone and pass, since my hip new snow pants are too tight for either of those. It didn’t get in the way of my high back like I initially thought it would, and I actually forgot I was wearing it until the lifty checked me for my pass. Other than a phone, the pocket is good for keeping a ratchet, keys, money, candy and I’m sure there’s at least one other thing that I’m not thinking of that you’d generally want to keep hidden. Even if you don’t find a use for the backup pocket while snowboarding or skiing, you can just as easily take it hiking or camping with you where the gauze pads and band-aids would actually serve a purpose. –Chris Proctor
Take ‘em to the streets. These Ecko UNLTD boat shoes are a utility. A playful, fire-engine red on these with white trim makes ‘em perfect for any occasion. Red is my color and, luckily, it goes well with a lot of spring fashions this year. The canvas upper makes for a comfy ride all day, from hustlin’ the streets to gettin’ it on at the club, these jams come in hot. Truth be told, I got mine a bit dirty getting into some healthy mischief and they are still shining like a whore’s gold tooth. If you’re a fan of the waffle soles on Vans, then these will not disappoint. They have a real low profile so you get a good feel for the earth. My only complaint about these things is the toe cap area—a lack of design definition at the toe ridge makes these seem similar to clown shoes, and with red laces, it can push it. That being said, these are still fresh, and perfect for your spring lineup. Get out there! – Jemie Sprankle.
Qlasp Clip On Earbuds
It seems like most brands are hopping on the bandwagon in creating offshoot product lines to cater to those extreme sports enthusiasts, and Sony is no exception. The new PIIQ line from Sony is marketed towards the youth skateboarders and snowboarders out there who like to skate/ride with music in ear at all times, and they have come out with a team of skateboarders that have the marketability of grossing intense net income for the company. Tom Asta and Chris Cole have that genre-specific ability to promote a product they may not give a shit about, hence why they are on the ‘team.’ The Qlasp earbuds are actually rather nice, with sound performance for days and other features, like a gold-plated stereo plug, among a few others, which make them stand above their rivals in the price range. The style, however, is another story altogether. The “revolutionary” design of the clips holding on to your earlobes while, and I quote, “…Clips on and hangs tough through all your tricks, flips and whatever,” are more of a pain than a help. It feels like you are trying to stretch your gauges out after extended use with the clips in place. With that said, if you are looking for quality headphones, look no further. The only catch is that you just may have to modify the earbuds to sit/clip comfortably with your lobes. –Rusty Shackelford
Custom Face Nozzle
Face Nozzle is a facemask company based right here in Salt Lake City. Every single facemask is handmade and completely unique, which means once you have your facemask, nobody else has that same design. Even better, they take requests. This means you are the designer. Pick any picture, logo or pattern you want and they will make it for you. As for functionality, the facemasks are reversible with cloth on one side and fleece on the other, held around your face with Velcro. Nothing too fancy, but it gets the job done. For instance, I wore mine to PCMR the other day and got this girl’s number who I rode the chairlift with. Coincidence? I think not. Right now on their website, they have about 35 different designs, ranging from douchey sports logos and American flags to tie-dye or plaid. Remember, you can request your own, but if you see one you like, you better snatch it up quick ‘cause “once they’re gone, they’re gone.” –Chris Proctor
Travel-Size Invisible Dry Spray Shampoo
I had never heard of spray-on shampoo until I was handed a little bottle of Salon Grafix Dry Spray Shampoo. Since my hair was in its typical state of supreme greasiness, my coworkers suggested I try it right away. I sprayed one side of my head and gently massaged it into my scalp. Result: One side of my head looked like a wet dog and the other a nice fresh head of hair! If you’re a fellow dirt merchant like myself and don’t feel it necessary to wash your hair every time you shower to keep that greasy look that women love, but don’t want your mom or boss to yell at you, I suggest you buy a bottle of this. Apply it to your nappy hair before your mom visits or you go to work, and no one will know you haven’t washed your hair for the past three months. This would also be useful for those ladies who feel it necessary to have their hair nice and clean on camping trips (because animals judge, too). So I suggest you go grab a $3.00 bottle of this for your next camping trip or daily life. – Jeremy Riley