Thick Over Thin: Cup’s Vulcanized Treatment – Pt 1

The Difference Between Cup & Vulc, as explain through a Woman's shape.

The Difference Between Cup & Vulc, as explain through a Woman’s shape.

If universal beauty consists of the same idea as a vulcanized shoe (thin, sleek & little to no padding), let us be the first to admit that we like our shoes as we like our women- functional, padded with plenty of cushioning & curves.

Due to our preference, its become eerie to understand the supposed demand for cupsole-to-vulcanized models. Certainly, we can understand the appeal to a thinner model (“boardfeel bro!”) but doesn’t it make sense to the rest of you, that sometimes paying more means getting more? We’re not going to delve into the price hike that skate shoes have had lately, rather, we’re looking to understand why skaters choose Vulc over a protective Cupsole (aside from the “It’s cheaper” school of thought).

Some cases are for the better whereas others are for the worse. Allow us to elaborate with some examples that we find boggling and equally, understanding.


An official the Skateboard Mag collab.

Emerica G6 Cup Over Vulc
Depending on what side you’re on, you’ll find different results. Seeing as how we’ve had the pleasure of skating both models, we’ll voice our opinion based on our experience. Simply put, there was nothing wrong with the G6 cupsole model that merits a vulcanized version of it. Again, lowered cost aside, the G6’s aesthetic, performance and padding is more than enough proof for us to pick their cupsole model over the rest of their vulcanized transformations. We can now confirm that at a later time, Emerica collectively sharpen and lowered the vamp on the G6 to improve its flick and look. Since then, its only grown more on us. Especially in this bone colorway due out in Fall ’15. #LookAtTheWhiteShoes

The DC Lynx continues its legacy. Coming in Black/ Army Gum. - $80

The DC Lynx continues its legacy. Coming in Black/ Army Gum. – $80

DC Lynx S Over the New Lynx Vulc
Here’s a classic example of when the market asks/dictates the direction of a shoe or company. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially considering that the customer’s always right. Also, with skateboarding’s commercialism growing with each day, the general consumer is going to want what we have, except more to their taste. Sure enough, a sufer-esque looking DC Lynx Vulc may be coming out this Fall’ 15 but can equally please the masses. Be that as it may, we don’t particularly enjoy this model considering its predecessor but we can understand how functional it will be once the 90 degree weather starts to hit.

Osiris D3V

Osiris D3V

No One Wins Here: Osiris D3 & D3V
Even though Osiris’ involvement continues to be questioned with every passing year, we won’t dismiss the fact that the D3 has its place in skate shoe history. The Vulcanized version of one of skateboarding’s best selling models of all time solidifies that entirely. It doesn’t make this vulcanization right, but it solidifies it. Let’s just leave it at that before we receive a bulk-load of emails from readers about where they can buy this prehistoric yet still relevant model.

Part 2 coming soon.


  1. al

    February 23, 2015 4:08am

    The only reason i like vulcs is that I find the rubber to be softer than the cupsoles, therefore grippier. I skate exclusively supras, and normally skate the ellingtons. I am now skating skytop 1s and its amazing the difference that the softer rubber makes. Additionally, the skytop 1s have a thicker than normal sole, which helps compensate for the cushioning the Ellingtons normally give. Selective vulcs are ok, but majoritively speaking, cupsoles always win (especially EVA midsole cupsoles).

  2. jasminder

    February 23, 2015 4:55am

    why not cup AND vulc??? –> gilbert crockett pros
    vulc with above average cushioning –> emerica reynolds 3 (rip)
    cupsole with vulc feel –> cons KA2

  3. dav

    February 23, 2015 6:15am

    actually been thinking about this a lot lately as someone who has been wearing classic vans almost exclusively since 2004 and am realizing there isn’t a joint in my body that isn’t hurt in some way.
    I feel like skaters from around 2007-now will be the worst of generation of skaters health/injury wise from skating harder than ever but in the worst gear. even bailing skating a ledge will take its toll after a while with all the little run outs when you are practically barefoot jarring your heels and lower back.

  4. hick

    February 23, 2015 3:32pm

    I skate Adidas Stan smith’s (go ahead and hate) and the heel to toe ratio is amazing. i’m cupsoles all the way. It seems that cupsoles give me more confidence after the 5 hour mark.

  5. hick

    February 23, 2015 3:34pm

    I skate Adidas Stan smith’s (go ahead and hate) and the heel to toe ratio is amazing. i’m cupsoles all the way. I would rather have the heel protection than without it. And after 5 hours of skating, who wants the blisters?

  6. Sky

    February 23, 2015 4:09pm

    Damnit!!! Dagnabbit!!! All I want is for vans to bring back the Salman Agah rubber toe capped vulc! Cooler than the huf classics!

  7. jack brandi

    February 23, 2015 7:06pm

    I personally prefer to skate in indoor soccer shoes like the addidas sambas or pumas because they are low profile and offer good heel protection

  8. Charlie

    February 23, 2015 7:30pm

    I’ve always been a cup sole guy by I have skated in vulcanized shoes, And I don’t have on em at all, some have been some the best pair I’ve ever skated. In vulcanized shoes I tend to roll ankles more don’t know why, sometimes cup soles are bulky and take time to break in unlike vulcanized. I love both, but now in my later years I tend to lend towards the cups cause some of these vulcs are just too damn thin, every bail you feel on the ball of your feet.

  9. gonz

    February 24, 2015 5:37am

    christina hendricks > miley


  10. Justin

    February 24, 2015 4:12pm

    With that HourGlass Figure, I’m just wondering which Cupsoles I need to break the RedHead in with???

  11. Prophet Monkey

    February 24, 2015 6:39pm

    I don’t get the hype on vulcanized soles and even on shoes with “new” technologies lien Lunarlon, Boost, G2 etc. They’re presenting as the biggest shit invented, selling shoes for 130 or more and it’s just a small shitty piece of bag filled with gel, or some stupid PU-foam made in the lab for for a few dollars. No difference to the usual cheapass chinese shit (see HUF), they’re even produced in china, for like 2-3 munais.
    We need rocket science for skateshoes, not that mirage blending fake bullshit.

  12. callum

    February 24, 2015 11:21pm

    I find those linx vulcs hideous. For DC’s sake, I really hope that they don’t release those as the just look like another cheap chinese shoe for sale at a department store with no shoebox (you know the ones I am talking about).

  13. daddy long legs

    February 25, 2015 12:12am

    Still waiting from someone to come up with the vulcanized airbag. I don’t know if it will be good or not but who wouldn’t want to try a pair? It wouldn’t really work with traditional vulc construction because high temps will deform the airbag but it might work with soletech’s fusion vulcanized construction where the midsole kind of holds everything together plus the foxing tape adding more support for the missing midsole where the airbag will take place. Just a crazy idea I thought of along with double suede.

  14. Pattycaaakes

    February 25, 2015 2:04am

    Give me a cupsole and a ledge, please.

  15. Samuel Klauninger

    February 25, 2015 8:53pm

    I think its hella funny though how like most of the dudes running skateblogs etc have been in the game for like what…? 10-15 years deep or something? and like ~15 years ago it was a cup era. I started skating six years ago and at that time the vulc-frenzy started. It was around the same time the janoskis came out and everyone was going nuts over them , trying to copy that shit. I personally cant stand cups and I love the soggy old feel of a super soft and gooey vulc.

    Point beeing, I think it has alot to do with where you come from simply!

  16. moe

    February 25, 2015 10:58pm

    vulcs just make my feet hurt

  17. drthompson

    February 26, 2015 2:56pm

    Nike SB Blazers are a good vulc with an airbag in the heel. Last a ton longer than Vans Crocketts for me.

  18. Josh

    June 24, 2015 8:24am

    “Traditionally built for skateboarding”…
    Er, I don’t know about that, the first Air Jordan (1984)was a cupsole, and while they were being used for skateboarding, they were never designed for it. Did we pick it up, and use it far more extensively? Yeah, but we certainly didn’t develop it.


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