We just got in some new Vans. The Kyle Walker Pro and the 112. The Kyle Walker Pro has wafflecup technology to help support your feet while keeping the reputable boardfeel that Vans is known for. Super durable shoe with excellent cushioning and support.
The Style 112 is Vans take on the current trend of toe cap shoes. There’s not too much rubber on the toe but enough to provide durability and protection. Duracap technology on the toe, original waffle sole, and Vans Vulc Lite construction. Get on it.
An argument that has been hotly contested as much as is a hot dog a sandwich? Who really was JFK’s assassin? Did Yoko break up the Beatles? Is it considered blasphemy to eat pizza with a knife and a fork?
All of these questions have typically two sides. Much like the bipartisanship of skate shoes. Vulcanzied or Cupsole. Both equally represented by skaters but usually different in pricing and the manufacturing process. If you understand the conceptual difference between cupsole and vulc, then this article means nothing to you unless it’s a rainy day and you’ve somehow stumbled upon this blog. If that’s the case, crack open that tall boy of cheap beer you got by your side and enjoy the next three and a half minutes of scholastic writing.
If you actually are here to learn about the difference between vulc and cupshole shoes, then prepare yourself for a complete miseducation of the subject.
Vulcanized Shoes are:
Easy to break in
Insole makes the difference
Now to fully explain what vulcanized shoes are, you have to imagine yourself in a hot, steamy factory in the middle of the Guangdong province in China (and that’s not a dig at China, they just happen to have the world’s largest population thus leading to a comparative advantage in human labor intensity, thanks college). Moving on, vulcanized shoes are twice baked, like your mother’s potatoes she makes whenever steak is being served. The rubber outsole of the shoes is assembled onto the typically heat-resistant upper part before the rubber is completely cured. The first baking takes place before the assembly and the second ‘steam baking’ takes place after assembly to ensure a tough, durable yet easy to break in shoe.
The important part to remember here is that many of the materials have to heat resistant, so that means no foam material such as EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) or TPR (Thermoplastic rubber). These kind of materials, however, you will find in cupsole shoes. Since vulcanized shoes are much easier to make, thus leading to mass production (if economies of scale exists…if you don’t understand what economies of scale means, check out microeconomics, it’s essentially the reason why the american economy became so fucking dominant) and a much cheaper price than you would pay for a pair of cupsole skate shoes. Additionally, since vulcanized shoes do not typically have EVA or TPR in them, which act as a cushioning agent, the insole of the shoe is going to be the most important. That’s why you’ll see Vans offering the Ultracush, Ultracush HD, and Ultracush Lite, which offer those pretty little feet of yours some protection when you’re hucking yourself down a ten stair. Footprint Insoles, which just creates insoles for both skate shoes and snowboard boots, found a niche market for people who wanted something more of out of their insoles for both vulc and cupsole shoes (just rip the liner out of the cupsole and you can put in one of their insoles).
So what does all of this mean for skating in vulc shoes? To make it simple and because I’m sick of typing already, it gives you a better boardfeel overall, quicker and easier time to break in the shoes, option to replace the insoles (most of the time), and usually a lower price tag which is easier on your wallet. Also, if you’re concerned about protection (I’m not, was raised Catholic but that’s neither here nor there), don’t go looking to vulcanized shoes for it. They usually have minimal padding which can lead to blowouts in the shoe but companies have been inserting second layers into toe caps to combat this.
If what was just written about vulc shoes tickles your fancy, then we’d recommend going down the road of Vans, Lakai (Selects), Emerica (Vulcs), Nike SB (Janoskis) and Adidas (Vulcs).
Think comfort. Think nestling yourself between two giant, all natural, warm and supporting…pillows. Could’ve turned this article into something your aunt reads on vacation but for time being, we’ll stick to cupsoles.
Cupsole Shoes are:
Harder to break in
Offer less boardfeel
Cupsoles are special. Special in the sense, they were specifically designed for skateboarding. Skaters complained they kept getting heel bruises, designers listened, and voila, cupsole is born. Creating a cupsole is a lot like making pizza, put a solid layer down first, then some cushion and then finally a rubber layer sprinkling. Cupsoles, as mentioned previously, use EVA or TPR as a cushioning foam that is placed inside a rubber ‘cup’. The rubber ‘cup’ is traditionally bigger and filled with the EVA or TPR foam which gives more space between you and your board but more support to your foot and ankle.
What’s getting baked though? Am I baked? Why so many food metaphors? Cupsoles don’t get baked. This is mentioned before if you were reading carefully. Cupsoles are traditionally stitched to the top part of the shoe. Since there is no baking, companies can puts all sorts of technology and goodies into the cupsole before it is sewn to the upper portion. This is why you’ll see things like airbags, arch support, heel support, and any support you need besides financial and emotional in the cupsole. Moreover, the ability to put all this feet saving tech into a pair of shoes is why cupsole shoes are the preferred shoe amongst folks who jump down giant shit. Would you rather tie paper bags to your feet when you’re about to drop 15 feet in the air or foam reinforced bubble wrap? I’d go the latter but I’m a firm believer in libertarianism so you can choose whatever makes you sleep at night.
Why do you cupsole shoes make the most sense to you? If you’re down for big stair sets, huge rails, and overall man-sized shit. Recommendations? Emerica was pretty much founded on cupsole technology, so getting a pair of those is always a solid move. Lakais with XLK or VLK technology (click the link to learn more about that, I’m not typing it, that’s plagiarism, and you should always be learning something new everyday). Nike SB’s such as P-Rod 9, Koston 1 and 2 (not the vulc), Adidas Busenitz, and any Vans Crocketts (Waffle Cup technology, again, look it up, it’s like a hybrid of vulc and cupsole).
I hope this article has answered some questions regarding the vulcanized vs. cupsole argument. Pick one side, or pick both, it doesn’t really matter. If you’re old and over the age of 30, I’d recommend cupsole. Why? Because your knees and ankles are on the brink of collapsing and cupsoles may prolong the inevitable demise of your lower body joints. You under the age of 25 and slightly healthy? Go vulc for the reasons of it’s easier on your bank account and your body can take the abuse. Or if you want to be a big spender and spring for a nice pair of P-Rods, go for it, I’m not one to judge.
Fortunately, here at the shop, we have an extensive selection (90+) of shoes that are vulc, cupsole and hybrids so you can come in and find the pair that’s right for you. Remember, buy a pair get the next pair half off. Questions? Call us at 716-837-8743.
What’s up homies. Dog days of summer are in full effect. Although the weather has been a bit moist, there’s been some days full of sunshine and perfect summer nights. We’re still in the process of setting up an online shop to sell Shop Shirts, Decks and some other stuff so check back in for that. This is a bit late but we do have the Rowley Solos in stock (in Black and Blue) and the new Westgate Mids. We also are restocked on the Herman G6 from Emerica.
Vans new shoe, the Rowley Solos, feature the Vans’ Duracap technology in the toe, Ultra-Cush HD cushioning and the OG Original Waffle outsole. It’s a shoe designed and built for skating.
After Westgate’s last running inspired shoe, Emerica has gone back to a simple Mid with a vulc sole and a stabilizing tongue so that sucker stays in place. Just might be your new favorite Mid.
Stay tuned for updates on the online store and check back for new products, videos, and all that other shit. Cheers and oh, read this article on Jenkem about why you should still shop at and support local skate shops. Because if you don’t, we’ll end up homeless and doing favors for unsavory characters.
If you haven’t watched Vans ‘Propeller’ yet…well you might as well just stop reading this now and get out from the rock you’ve been living under and go watch it. It’s like 11 bucks on iTunes or you could be hardcore and get an actual DVD. Dealer’s choice. Regardless, it’s an incredible film from an incredible company. So many solid parts from some reputable names in the game. Honorable mentions? AVE, Crockett, Rowan, Grosso, Chima…the list goes on. Hopefully you have also been checking out the Raw Files on Thrasher as well. If not, here’s Andrew Allen and Elijah Berle’s Raw Files…get it together people.
We also have new Crockett Pros in and the ever classic Sk8-Hi. Get dem shits before they’re gone.
New Snowboards, Boots & Bindings and New Skate Shoes
Been lacking on the new product posting. Our bad. We’ll make it up by posting some pictures of some new product in the shop. Also, Come get your boards tuned before the first snow falls and everyone rushes in.
Burton’s Rampant & Hail. Rampant’s softer, better for park. And the Hail is a stiff All-mountain boot. Try on both and see what you like.
Yeah, the rumors are true. We’re carrying Nike Snowboarding. We have the Vapen in stock with two colorways. Gamma & Black/Blue.
Limited Edition Union x Capita Collab Thunderstick Flite Bindings. These are rare. Like the Bills making a solid draft pick within the past ten years rare. Beneath the bindings is the brand spankin’ NEW Capita Thunderstick. This board will make your friends jealous, girls want you and empower you with three-eyed tiger abilities. Although none of this is true, it’s a bad ass traditional camber board that can rip all over the mountain.
Onto new skate shoes…
Vans Lindero in Navy Blue. Vulcanized with Waffle Grip. Classic like the hot dog.
There’s a saying that you’re not supposed to mess with an Englishman or an Englishman’s mother or their tea or something but these are the new Vans Rowley Pro models. If you’ve seen his Battle Commander then you know these are weapons of mass shreduction. Just don’t say anything about his mum.
Finally the Nike Koston 2’s. Black on Gum sole. Lunarlon insole. One piece toe cap. Great boardfeel. Got a feeling Koston will eventually switch careers and become a golfer. He’s hooked up anyways.
That’s a quick update for you guys. We’ll be getting a ton of new product in during the month for the winter season. Once we get it all settled, we’ll put up as much product as we can. We ARE trying to run a business here. Jeez. Adios.
So we all know Geoff Rowley. Incredible skater, Outdoorsy guy, Englishman, huge fan of Motörhead. And if you have been keeping up with the Berrics then you know he was selected as Battle Commander. Stop what you’re doing right now and go watch it. The part is stupid good. Set to some Beatles (of course, Rowley’s from Liverpool, so what other band would you expect?) the part has everything…bails, absolute hammers and appearances by Koston, Gonzalez and Jamie Thomas. Personally, this has been the best Battle Commander this year. Miller’s part was solid and so was Jamie’s, but Rowley’s just annihilates them both. If you want to debate us then check the other ones out right here.
I like to think that skaters are like wine, the older they get the better and more complex they become. Watching Geoff put together his part was creative as all hell. You can’t disagree that his part has been one of the more creative ones. Here’s to you Geoff. Keep killing it and hopefully Flip decides to create another video before you get attacked by a bear out hunting. Cheers mate or whatever English people say.