Never change a system that’s running well. This train of thought may have been the exact source of inspiration for Etnies’ newest collection. The successful Marana line features everything a modern cupsole model should have: durability combined with cushioning and stability. This is something that sounds promising, but there’s one major flaw: it’s no vulc. And getting people to change from the dominating technology these days is tough. Etnies realized that and gave the Marana “Bloodline” collection two new offsprings: the Marana vulc model, and an even more technically designed Marana. Due to the current shoe market’s bleak landscape, Etnies decided to switch from releasing pro models to pro colorways instead. In our case, Nick Garcia was behind the design. He chose the minimalistic route and, to be honest, uncreative color matchup of black and red but styled it out with a really creative insole design. Unfortunately, the most eye-catching part of the shoe happens to be under your feet. Skatewise, lets find out if the Marana Vulc shines just as much as his big cupsole brother.
The Etnies Marana Vulc fits slightly bigger than average shoes, we suggest trying it on at your local skateshop before purchasing.
The Etnies Marana Vulc features a recently popularized shoe technology; a rubber coating around the toecap. This greatly improves durability in this area, even though there was still visible wear during our 10h test. The sidewalls lived up to our expectations as well. The lateral part of the sole is protecting the suede whilst conserving the amazing flick. Moreover, the sidewalls don’t offer any seams that could tear. Even the Etnies logo is printed on. The only visible weak spot is the mesh material around the heel area, which tore rather quickly.
As shown in the cross-section, the Etnies Marana Vulc features a slim sole and a foam insole. The insole is constructed of STI Evolution Foam, a really lightweight material. This provides enough cushioning without sacrificing boardfeel, especially for below average impact skating.
Compared to other vulcanized models, the Marana Vulc is shaped rather wide. Even though padding in the tongue and heel area kept the shoe in place, we wouldn’t recommend this shoe for those with slimmer feet. For those with wider feet, the shoe ends in a pointy toe to help you control your flips.
Boardfeel and grip
The Marana Vulc focuses on boardfeel and grip. The already mentioned thin sole construction provides great boardfeel with direct contact between grip and board, even when skated straight out of the box. Grip is balanced really well, too. The flexible sole and the deep sole pattern did their part; grip did not decrease throughout our whole testing period.
Comfort and stability
Overall, the Etnies Marana Vulc is comfortable. The lack of seams on the inside makes sure no annoying pressure marks are possible. But the rather wide cut leaves lots of space in the general heel area, which leads to the need of lacing the shoe rather tightly. Weight and ventilation are below average, mostly because there is hardly any chance for humidity to get out the vulcanized sole is rather heavy. Stability is satisfactory, especially due to a stiffening plastic element in the heel. Overall shape stability is fair, the only part of the shoe that showed significant changes after our 10 H test was the opening of the shoe, which got a little wider.
The Etnies Marana Vulc is a good vulcanized skate shoe. Grip and boardfeel are the major keypoints here, whilst cushioning and shape are a little off. If you have rather wide feet and are having a hard time finding a well-fit vulc model, this model’s made for you.