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Footwear, Vans

Vans AVE 2.0

There’s only a handful of current pros in skateboarding today that can proudly boast about their longevity and relevancy in the game. One of the rippers in that list is none other than Anthony Van Engelen, or AVE, who we’ve come to love and respect since the early days of seeing his footage in 411, Alien Workshop and DC videos. Aside from continuously putting out beautifully crafted parts, AVE has also co-founded the brand that everyone from the skatepark to hypebeasts know as Fucking Awesome, with his longtime teammate and friend, Jason Dill. Not only that, but there’s a mythical association with AVE and his famous green bench. Nonetheless, it’s been a successful ride and after leaving DC to join Vans in 2005, AVE has been an integral member of the team’s DNA, getting the ender part for the Vans’ first ever full length team video Propeller.

During AVE’s time at Vans, he’s gotten a few “pro models”, but they were more so reiterations of the vulcanized “Era” during the time of skinny pants, rather than a full on completely new model…that is until 2019, when Vans released the AVE Pro, AVE’s first cupsole model in 15 years. Five years later, here we are with a very brightly colored pair of AVE’s newest model, the Vans AVE 2.0, which has been regarded as Vans’ most advanced skate shoe out on the market. This statement definitely perked out ears, and after seeing the shoes being skated on the recent AVE 2.0 Global tour, we had to get our hands on a pair to put to the test.


The Vans Ave 2.0 fits true to size.


The Vans Ave 2.0 performed very well in regards to durability during our 10 hour wear test.

Let’s break it down here. The sole in the forefoot area is usually one of the areas of the shoe that gets attacked the most from wear and tear. When it came to the Ave 2.0, although there were some signs of wear, all in all it was pretty minimal. So things were off to a good start. Even though the upper was made from a knitted material that immediately gave every skater red flags upon first glance, we must say we were happy to be disappointed as there was almost no abrasion.

Vans made sure to place the right materials in the right areas. A large suede piece (RapidWeld) is welded over the forefoot area and spans to the midfoot, protecting the knitted material by acting as a first line of defense, while also creating a really good flick. The one piece toe-cap withstood session after session and there was no show of any holes. Just to comfort those who aren’t convinced, the midfoot and heel area where the knit is exposed, also featured additional layers of TPU reinforcements, maximizing the shoe’s durability. With that said, the only visible signs of wear were just the kick flip area and the bottom of the sole, where the thread pattern started to lose its depth.

Vans AVE 2.0 Review


Overall, the shoe showed good impact protection in our 10 hour test and the rigidity of the shoe really helped protect and secure the feet, especially with long sessions. The sole construction is a cupsole made from Vans’ trademarked SickStick material, a stiff TPU midfoot support that covers not only the sidewall, but also the bottom of the sole, and in combination with an UltraCush foam layer. The heel area features the thickest foam layer, the midfoot is additionally protected with the TPU support and surprisingly, the forefoot also features some material layers for cushioning. The whole purpose of this advanced sole is to protect the whole foot when it comes to impact. 

Vans AVE 2.0 Review


The shoe has a slim silhouette. The model is built in a way where it features a very stable and cushioned sole construction, with the knitted upper being held in place by the suede toe piece and a TPU molded external heel clip. Although the knitted upper helps the shoe become flexible in the midfoot and collar area, the heel clip and the stiff midfoot sole reinforcement do limit the flexibility and space for your feet. Thus, for those with wider feet, we recommend trying the shoe in the shop to find your right size.

The Ave 2.0 has a well designed sole height so the rubber and suede materials that face griptape contact do work well together for a precise and direct flick.

Vans AVE 2.0 Review


The difference in thickness in the front of the shoe compared to the heel area is essential for boardfeel. The thin front of the Ave 2.0 creates a solid board feel and the feet have a close connection with the board, exactly where it is needed. However, the shoe needed some time to showcase its boardfeel. The sole construction felt rather stiff and needed to develop its flexibility but once reached, the shoe had a solid boardfeel.

Vans used its proven SickStick sole material but grip at the beginning was not the best. The sole focuses more on protection and durability. The zonal thread pattern has more material in high wear areas that increase durability and the Vans Waffle patterns are embedded in to maximize flexibility. With that said, the grip did get better with more skating and after being broken in.

Vans AVE 2.0 Review


The Ave 2.0 has features that lead to very good comfort. First of all the shoe is very lightweight, which was refreshing to see given such a complex sole construction with solid TPU elements. Secondly, the knitted upper with its open structure led to really good breathability, especially in the midfoot area.  This was a nice detail that many skate shoes don’t focus on. Thirdly, the soft knit material around the collar, the sock type fit and some padding in the heel area worked well to create a comfortable feeling around the foot.

When it comes to the stability of the shoe, it has has highs and lows. The best way to describe the stability after our 10 hour test is that: the sole is very stable, the upper forefoot and heel are stable, but the midfoot lacks stability. As mentioned before, the sole feels very stable and has multiple components that help lead to exceptional stability. The knitted upper is great for comfort and feel, but lacks support, so Vans added other pieces to enhance the support. For instance, the forefoot has the suede layer, the thin knitted midfoot zone has an inner reinforcement (visible on the cross section picture in yellow) and the heel has an external TPU heel clip. The suede and the heel clip definitely provided a stable, locked-in fit, whereas the midfoot felt still quite unprotected.

Vans AVE 2.0 Review


This was a refreshing technical shoe to try out from Vans and AVE and it’s clear they put a lot of thought into every detail. The shoe hits the mark with exceptional durability and cushioning. There was solid grip and boardfeel, however the mid foot stability might have some skaters wanting more protection.

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