First Glance: Vans Rowley Solos

Vans Rowley Solos in Dress Blue - $65

Vans Rowley Solos in Dress Blue – $65

One of skateboarding’s favorites, Geoff Rowley, continues his lengthy series of pro models on the only shoe company he can call home. The latest addition to his timeline of iconic pro models are the Rowley Solos. Based off of the trusty Era that we’ve all enjoyed, the Rowley Solo’s serve as a rendition of one of the most pristine models in skateboarding’s catalog. It’s been upgraded to coexist with the skate footwear standards of today, without straying away from its true DNA.

While it looks like an Era, the Solo’s are a little more narrow and slimmer than its influential counterpart. Especially comparative to the Era pro version. Within the Solo’s, you’ll feel further sunken in to the shoe- probably due to the basic PU insole that they come with. It’s not the Vans Pro Insole that you’d normally find in your favorite models but a lesser version of that. A quick swap out of one insole for the other could drastically improve the Rowley Solo’s but you’ll sacrifice some boardfeel in the process.

A reinforced duracap side panel provides the obvious protection that it should but adds some support to the build of the shoe. This should preserve the shape a bit longer and keep the Solo’s from falling into that floppy feeling that most Vans fall into after 10-15hrs of skating. The Duracap is great and all but so far, our favorite aspect of the Rowley Solo’s happens to be he softer foxing tape surrounding the shoe. Simply put, softer foxing makes flip tricks easier, than let’s say the Gilbert Crockett pro model. Of course this means that it’ll shed a bit quicker but you’ll have a more fulfilling time actually landing flip tricks right away, rather than waiting for that pesky but reliable kickflip groove to come in. All of these elements sit on top of the classic Vans waffle sole for that consistent grip and feel that you’re looking for.

Vans Rowley Solos in Black, with cushioning details around the collar and POV of their sharp toe.

Vans Rowley Solos in Black, with cushioning details around the collar and POV of their sharp toe.

Short answers:
-True To Size Fit (unless you have a severely wide foot, then go a half size up).
-Break-in time of 20 minutes
-Great boardfeel
-Softer foxing tape makes for better flip tricks
-Classic Waffle sole

We’re currently in the process of skating the Rowley’s for review purposes and will report back sooner than later.


  1. Ian

    July 1, 2015 4:21am

    Yeah- the insole appears to be the same insole that was used on the SPV’s. I swapped it out for the normal Pro insole from an older TnT 5. Totally worth it in my opinion.


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