Sole Possession

A BMX bike and a fresh pair of kicks and you're ready for the streets

 

Steven Caro's dream job began with an argument in a shoe store. He was visiting in Florida when his new pair of sneakers fell apart within hours of buying them, just from riding his BMX. He brought the malfunctioning apparel back to the store, but the manager informed him that the shoes were designed for skating, not for biking. There was an argument, and, as Caro drove back to North Carolina wearing only his socks, he made a decision.

He'd design his own sneakers.

SCG Shoe Company, based in Charlotte, is the first BMX rider-owned shoe company. After a long, difficult process of finding a willing manufacturer, Caro had his first samples in late 1998 and began selling shoes in 1999.

"At one point I was sending probably 120 e-mails a day," Caro says. But the hard work paid off. He now sells four models of sneakers in assorted colors, and he plans to debut two new models in 2008.

Caro, thirty-three, discovered his love for biking as a kid when he accidentally jumped a curb one day chasing his brother. His passion has since transcended numerous broken bones, serious family illnesses, and a devastating breakup.

"It's never been about the money," he says. A carpenter by trade, Caro loves to build things, and shoes are no exception. He completes all the design work by hand and wears the results proudly. Right now he's sporting the salmon-colored Phoenix model, which sells for about $65.
Not that Caro only wears his own brand. A true shoe lover, he's got about eighteen pairs in rotation, along with another ten stashed under his bed. But he only uses his own brand on his bike, and he swears that they're the best you can get for riding a BMX.

"I've never had someone say the shoes fell apart," he says, "but if it happened, I'd take care of them."     

To check out the sneaker line as well as video from a BMX competition, go to www.scgshoecompany.com.

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