Apex Initiative x Fatlace – Shibuya

Click here to go to Fatlace site

Little did I know what a quest these kicks would involve to get on my feet. alpinestars-x-fatlace-sneakers I can be quite determined once I set my mind on something, and being told I can’t  buy something I am after, only added to my determination to acquire these sneakers.

I had seen these kicks on my travels in cyberspace, and the clean design really grew on me. Simple lines with a bold splash of blue, and a lack of obvious branding looked good to me. I had no doubt that being Alpinestars and that they were leather, not vynil, meant the quality would be good. The fact they are waterproof, yet breathable was also a factor, living where I do, as Melbourne is known for its unpredictable weather. They say if you don’t like it, just wait 5 minutes.

So decision to purchase was made, but how was the question, as it turns out. Naturally I headed to Alpinestars Aussie site, but its not a commerce site, and so wasnt of much use, as its more of a brochure type site. I then headed over to the dot com site, and it is a commerce site. I find the sneakers, and hit buy me now. All good so far. I then register so I can purchase, add to cart, but its only when I go to enter my shipping address do I find that they don’t ship to Australia.

I contacted Alpinestars US and they explained that due to distribution rights etc, that going via Aussie retailers was only option. Fair enough too. After several hours trawling Aussie sites and countless calls it was clear that these kicks just aren’t available here, or if they are, they are so well hidden, I couldn’t find them.

I then had a thought about the fact these kicks are a collaboration with Fatlace (Fatlace was established in 1999 as an online destination for all things hip hop, Fatlace today has captured a subculture that spends their time listening to music, riding bikes, cleaning kicks and fixing up rides). Anyway I pointed my browser at Fatlace., and found out that they actually want my money. About 10 days later I had myself a pair of these very fine kicks. I was totally blown away with them in the flesh. They look good in pics but so much better in real life.

Now I faced a serious dilemma. A dilemma anyone who collects kicks faces, and that was, are these kicks too nice to wear ? After much soul searching I decide the answer was hell no, as it would be a crime to not enjoy a pair of kicks this good. They are so comfortable and feel so well made that I think they will be a long lasting sneaker. I may get another pair, that I will keep unworn, but figure life’s to short not to enjoy these superb kicks.

The construction of these sshoes is first class. Alpinestars Shibuya range are aimed at scooter and moped riders who still want some protection but don’t want to wear fullon motorbike boots. As a former motorbike rider I can’t state the importance of wearing the right protective gear, and I may have lost my foot if I wasn’t wearing proper boots when Iwas involved in a bad crash. Having said that you will certainly be better of in these shoes than normal kicks, biut as I didnt muy mine for wearing while riding thats not an issue for me.

The leather is not just the black part of the shoe but also the white at the front and the blue area of the tongue. The white area looks like normal rubber in the pics, but being leather makes it very easy to keep clean. The shoes are well padded and provide great support, and having already walked many kilometres in them I can testify to how  comfortable they are. The fatlace logo is heat pressed into  the sides of each shoe looks good, although my pair look like they are slightly underdone. As it’s a subtle feature anyway it’s not really an issue. The shoes definitely seem to breathe well and are not likely to get smelly, but I have never had a problem with that in any shoes I have.  I love that they are waterproof too, which is essential for any shoe designed to be ridden in, but not needed in a day to day kick.

I am not sure I can recommend them as a riding shoe (as I have said I think they will be a lot better than what many scooter riders wear) but as a day to day kick, that has plenty of style, I can highly recommend them

I rate these kicks as one of my favourites and ware them every chance I get, even if I am just watching TV or writing this blog article

Published by kewlhunter

I love gadgets and technology and will post about what I have and why I like it or dislike it


  1. Are these still in production? Much like you I am also struggling to find anywhere that sells them in Australia (or at least ships them here)

    1. I got mine direct from Fatlace, but they are no longer listed there. It may pay to contact the Alpinestar distributor in Australia. Let me know if you have any luck, as I would buy a 2nd pair for when my pair become worn out. I wear mine all the time

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