What Is Gorpcore? These Shoes Will Show You

Climbing shoes that were never meant to leave the ground.

Outdoor apparel has a certain… look to it. Think puffy, baffled coats, chunky footwear, and colors that run the gamut from black to pastel and back (via neon). While some brands within the space are paring down designs in an attempt to appeal to the masses, others are full-on embracing the outdoor look. For better or worse, gorpcore is here. Want to make your style a little more crunchy? You could cover yourself in Patagonia, or you could check out Fronteer.

Founded by Jon Tang, Fronteer is making the best of the general public’s recent interest in heritage outdoor style. Tang is a one-man-show, designing a range of bright lifestyle footwear that mainlines its source material. The climbing-inspired Super Gratton features a chunky rubber sole while the Ahwahnee Hiker looks like something you might’ve worn on the PCT in the 1970s. Both models (and their variations) go so deep into the outdoor look that the bright colors and oversized patches actually work. Probably because Tang knows what he’s doing; he previously worked in design at Puma and K-Swiss.

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