Manny Santiago is currently having a summer filled with milestones: He recently welcomed his first child, and now he's celebrating the release of his first pro shoe with Axion, the "Mijo." Mijo, which affectionately means "my boy" in Spanish, was a nickname given to him by Axion team manager Mark Brandstetter, who nicknames everyone while on skate tours. When it was time to pick a name for Santiago's pro model, Brandstetter immediately suggested "Mijo," and Santiago happily agreed.
From there Santiago took a hands-on approach in every step of the shoe's development process.
"For over a year Dustin, Axion's shoe designer, and I were bouncing ideas off each other relating to every last detail of the 'Mijo,' until it was just how I wanted it," explains Santiago.
The "Mijo" has a really clean look yet they skate even better, according to Santiago. "There are little details throughout the shoe I think you'll enjoy, but the insole is off the chain. It's the same version of what's in the Heritage with a special Puerto Rican Axion logo printed on them. It also has a gel bubble on the bottom that protects your heel when you're jumping down stuff."
Performance will ultimately determine how this shoe is judged, because how well they skate matters the most. Santiago reveals that performance was a high priority in his eyes. He says, "The board-feel with these shoes is outstanding. The toe box is really flexible so you can move your toes around as much as you need to, and the outsole is really grippy."
With all bases seemingly covered, the "Mijo" has the makings of becoming a popular shoe -- which is a credit to its spokesman. The skater with the missing tooth and the gregarious personality is a fan-favorite. Santiago, who still has the streets talking about a video part he dropped nearly a year ago, may continue to be the subject of conversation with his first pro model shoe soon hitting skate shop shelves. Not bad for a Puerto Rican kid from Lowell, Massachusetts.