ThirtyTwo "Prime" boots
Owner Pierre André Senizergues, 44, worked as a computer engineer for IBM until 1988, when he parlayed his engineering skills into designing skate sneakers for French brand etnies. When etnies' owners decide to sell the company, they passed the torch to Senizergues, who later moved etnies to Lake Forest, Calif. Senizergues' has since founded seven other athletic lines, including ThirtyTwo, which develops lightweight, sneaker-looking boots that appeal to skaters who, like Senizergues, crossover into snowboarding. Professional snowboarder Markku Koski medaled at the 2006 Winter Olympics wearing ThirtyTwo boots. If that's not enough reason to invest, this season the Prime boot features a lining that molds to a wearer's foot.