While 2015 Thrasher Skater of the Year Anthony Van Engelen has his fair share of pro models, his most recent shoe from Vans is certainly more of a technical design than anything we’ve seen in recent memory. Whether intentional or not, this shoe aims to disprove one stigma: “tech” shoes don’t necessarily have to mean bulky or puffy.
If you don’t view this shoe as fitting into the standard Vans aesthetic, it’s because the focus was maintaining that beloved Vans feel without sacrificing durability in the process. The Rapidweld does a great job of increasing durability with their shell-like coverage and Duracap reinforcement. The Rapidweld™ itself is a stitchless technology that uses ultrasonic welding to increase durability. Essentially, what this means is pressure is applied to keep a consistent and durable bond throughout the material. If you aren’t familiar with this technique, it’s been used on and off with skate shoes for the past decade, in some form or another. For Vans, this isn’t the first time that we have seen the Rapidweld™ branding, as it has appeared for several years within the “Syndicate” division. All in all, this technology is beyond impressive when reflecting on what most vulcanized uppers consist of.
Another new feature you’ll find within the Av Rapidweld is the Luxliner™, an inner glove-like technology that provides an extra secure fit. At the sole of this shoe are the Ultracush HD insole and Pro Vulc outsole, a standard in the Pro Skate line from the iconic brand.
If you are a Vans fan, this shoe shouldn’t feel too out of the norm while trying to improve the longevity of your footwear. At a higher price point of $90 USD, expect more durability than your traditional vulcanized shoe.