For Fall 2015, Emerica presents Brandon Westgate’s latest pro model shoes, The Westgate CC and The Westgate Mid Vulc. Known for his incredible pop, rough, rugged and raw New York style skating, Element Skateboard’s newest pro rider has also been riding for Emerica for ages. While trends come and go, Brandon always showed his preferences for mid shoes, which give him the necessary ankle support for his style of skating. Now, Emerica has given him the opportunity to try out a low version of his new Pro Model with a cupsole that adds a lot more support and a Mid version with a vulcanized sole. We at Weartested were lucky enough to get our hands on both models. We skated and tested the low cupsole version but since both models have a lot in common, we can also draw a comparison as well as show the advantages of both models.
The Low and Mid Emerica Westgates both fit true to size.
The simple design of a one-piece toe cap in both Westgate models is not only a critical design feature, but it also proves it’s practicality; there are absolutely no seams and overlapping materials and thus, there is hardly any space for abrasion by griptape. The only thing in direct contact with griptape is the suede itself. We didn’t see any critical wear during our 10h test in the lateral area, however, there were first signs of a hole developing in the kickflip area. Emerica prevents this case by having an additional supporting layer under the suede which not only helps to improve durability but also maintains the stability of the shoe’s form, so there were hardly any waves in the long suede toe cap area. The whole sole of the Westgate CC made a solid impression as well; the sole pattern stayed grippy and had zero worn out spots. All in all, the durability of the Westgate is very good.
The Westgate CC is a cupsole model and the Westgate Mid Vulc has a vulcanized sole construction. For the Westgate CC, the G6 cupsole adds not only overall durability but also has a well balanced cushioning effect. Emerica uses a foam midsole with a considerably thicker heel area compared to the toe area. Also, the insole adds a lot more comfort to the shoe. The thin cupsole can cushion average impacts up to a certain extent, however, the foam midsole is too thin to cushion harder impacts. To sum up, the cushioning of the Westgate CC is average for a cupsole model. The Westgate Mid Vulc with its vulcanized sole, also a limited cushioning effect, however, when it comes to boardfeel and grip the advantages of a vulcanized sole shine brighter.
Both Emerica Westgate models feature a rather wide silhouette in the midfoot area and a very slim and pointy silhouette in the toe cap area. Also, the heel area is very slim cut which comes with the benefit of a very tight and secure fit. The Westage Mid Vulc is especially unique because its mid construction has can protect the ankles extremely well while also maintaining a very slim shape. Since both Westgates have the same teo cap area it can be concluded that the slim shape combined with a simple suede one-piece toe cap provides a good flick.
Boardfeel and grip
The cupsole construction of the Westgate CC provides good boardfeel due to a direct contact with the board. The sole is very flexible and molds to the concave; Emerica has developed a great balance here. As a result, the flexibility of the sole inadvertently improves the grip, and features nearly vulc-like grip. The amazing durability of the bottom thread makes sure that the grip stays good throughout the whole lifespan of the model. The vulcanized sole construction of the Westgate Mid Vulc has its grip and boardfeel advantages due to a slim and low construction ensuring a close contact to the board.
Comfort and stability
Emerica found a way to make skate shoes very comfortable for skaters. Upon first impression, the Westgates will wow the skater. Both sole constructions provide a comforting mattress feel for your feet with a clear shape and secure lock. Breathability is made possible due to the mesh on the tongue and medial sidewalls. Moreover, the tongue is held in place by two neoprene material-like straps that work to lock in your foot.
The really soft and slim construction of the Westgate CC around the heel and ankle area prevents the danger of heel-slipping and maintains a close fit even if you have rather slim feet. The Westgate Mid Vulc has an even higher ankle support with excellent heel lock. Both shoes have a very good stable form, which helps keep its shape really well.
The Westgate CC and Westgate Mid Vulc are both durable skate shoes that score major points when it comes to comfort and stability, but do have minor weaknesses when it comes down to cushioning hard impacts.