First Glance: Adidas Skateboarding ZX Vulc

Adidas ZX Vulc skates like a cupsole but gives you the traction of a vulcanized skate shoe.

Adidas ZX Vulc skates like a cupsole but gives you the traction of a vulcanized skate shoe.

With no real intention of leaking the info on social media, we had to let you guys know how the ZX Vulc skated via Instagram. The initial feeling from the shoes felt exactly as we said but here’s some extended details you need to know before purchasing these runner-inspired skate shoes.

Initial Fit & Feel
The ZX Vulc’s are indeed made from a vulcanized construction but surprisingly feel like a cupsole. In few words, this feeling comes from a platform-like construction and their newly introduced PU insole. The cushioning within the ZX Vulc is far more superior than most eva-stocked vulcanized models therefore giving it the clear edge over most vulcanized competition. In classic form, the ZX’s run true to size but can be different depending on your foot. We received our pair at a half size down and after some tedious breaking-in, we managed to fit our feet in without socks. There was little to no discomfort. Had we had a true size, we’re sure that socks would’ve provided the same feel as we have now. Regardless, in our own fashion, summer time weather calls for at least 1 pair of sockless skate shoes for those unbearable hot days of skating. The tongue and collar have a great amount of padding and actually remind us of the bulkier days of skate shoes…in a good way.

As with models like the Lucas, the forefoot area is extremely accommodating for those with larger/wider feet. The arch support is very accommodating as well and will keep your heel from slipping out with the help of the heel counter. The comfort and fit of these ZX’s alone is perfect enough to simply wear around town but then their skating potential would never be known.

Hopefully with this POV, you can notice the underlying protective layer of rubber.

Hopefully with this POV you’ll notice the underlying protective layer of rubber surrounding the toe.

Toe & Flick
Whether its because of our sockless preference in these ZX’s or just good construction from the designers, we can certifiably tell you that these shoes flick off your board with no discomfort. Normally, we expect every new pair of skate shoes to have difficulties flicking off a freshly gripped board but with the combination of a subtle runner toe and smooth suede, it allows the toe to fly right off the grip. If that construction weren’t convincing enough, the ZX’s feature a rubber underlying layer surrounding the toe. This hard layer adds a bit more traction to an otherwise thin upper. We’re expecting these Vulc’s to perform over 20-hours of kickflips with ease.

Sole & Grip
We’re sure you noticed that Adidas brought back their outsole from the Silas baxter-Neal 2 pro model. This outsole has received some criticism in the past but has impressed us so far, which makes us question its disappearance in the first place. The herringbone backed outsole feels great out of the box and the flex grooves hosted on the forefoot allow for an instant break-in feeling. You might experience some slippage while kicking around on smoother surfaces but otherwise, this outsole will perform fine on some rough asphalt. After a couple sessions, the slippage that you’d experience from pushing around should subside.

The foxing tape is smooth and soft but not to the point where you’ll gouge a chunk out of the rubber after a couple of flip tricks. More over, the subtle runner toe isn’t as distracting as some of you might think. Obviously, it’s being reintroduced to a new generation that has zero familiarity with skating a runner toe and we’re here to reassure you that it skates just fine. It’s practically unnoticeable. We suspect that of the three brands that tried reintroducing the runner toe, the Adidas rendition will go over the best with consumers. It’s a subtle look but not to the point where its virtually useless. Your flick will thank you for skating in this runner toe.

As mentioned before, the ZX Vulc will accommodate a wider forefoot and arch. The paneling, along with the extended heel counter will assure a secure fit that’ll support the weight of even the most drastic arch. For those who are flatfooted, please try these on before purchasing in the event that they don’t fit accordingly. Too many injuries happen when a flatfoot is subdued to the shaping of an arched skate shoe. Pinched nerves and more can happen from a forced fit over time so proceed with caution. If you do have an arch, no matter how drastic, these Adidas ZX Vulc’s will probably be one of your favorite shoes of the year. The construction alone merits a fitting at your local skate shop, at the very least. Again, make sure to get your true size in these unless you have intentions of skating them without socks like us. #HoboStyle

Any other questions on these ZX’s? Feel free to drop a comment and we’ll get back to you.


  1. Piti Pablo

    July 17, 2014 5:36pm

    I like sandwiches

  2. Bill

    July 17, 2014 6:01pm

    so these fit like a cupsole(puigs) or more like a vulc since there seems to be a half size difference between these constructions?

    • Ripped Laces

      July 17, 2014 7:26pm

      They pretty much fit true to size, as with many regular fitting shoes. The vulc/cup difference is that they’re label and constructed as a vulc BUT feel like a cupsole due to their cushioning.

  3. borris

    July 17, 2014 11:07pm

    I thought shoes with higher arches were good for flat feet? i.e footprint insoles etc – isn’t that essentially just a big arch insert, meant to prevent rolled ankles, bad knees etc?

  4. Jon

    July 18, 2014 2:36am

    How is the Ankle support? I know that it is a low top, but some shoes have more padding than other shoes around the ankles.

  5. al

    July 18, 2014 3:30am

    Ripped Laces – why do you think companies dont do a vulcanised shoe with an EVA midsole (i.e. super good grip without sacrificing your feet in the process)?

    Would these be as cushion-ey as, say, the Chris Cole 2’s or the Supra Ellingtons?

  6. dan

    July 18, 2014 5:10am

    Hey Ripped Laces (and anyone else who knows)

    Hows the heel on this one? It kinda looks raised – is it anywhere close to the Busenitz Pro level heel? Not really a huge fan of raised heels.

  7. Mekhi

    July 18, 2014 11:32pm

    When can we expect to see a review for the ZX Vulc ? And if you can, can you do a review of the adidas Busenitz Vulc ? I can’t find a good one anywhere.


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