Aside from Vans’ classic silhouettes, the brand has also released a number of pro model shoes that are specifically designed and equipped to meet the technical needs of their pros. However, it’s not often that Vans releases a completely new silhouette, aimed at becoming one of the key staples of their core collection. Just last fall, Vans officially released their Wayvee model, which was introduced with Dime. The heat of the continued partnership did the trick and drew attention towards the new model, which possessed classic throwback design traits similar to what we’ve seen in the 90’s and 00’s model but featured Vans’ robust line of approved technical additions such as Duracap, Wafflecup, Luxliner, and Popcush. As Vans put it, this was the “latest high-performance skate shoe created through direct feedback from skateboarders”. Shortly after the release of the Dime x Wayvee, Vans released more pro signature color ways with Tyson Peterson, Brighton Zeuner, and Justin Henry, continuing the heat and adding special material options. Once we got our hands on a couple pairs, our team got to work on testing out the new shoe to see if the new Wayvee silhouette could become the next staple of Vans’ classic pro line. Read on below to see our Wayvee review.
The Vans Wayvee fits true to size.
Overall, the durability of the Vans Wayvee is good, however there were some areas for improvement. Let’s start off with some highlights, as there were three main points that helped prolong the entire lifespan. First off, the quality of the materials used proved to be high-performing. In our 10 hours of skating, the shoe’s sole and synthetic upper material in the forefoot showed signs of wear but were very resilient to griptape abuse. Vans also used their proven technology Duracap, which is an internal reinforcement layer underneath the superficial material, which once worn down with a hole, reveals a new layer underneath intended to increase the lifespan of the shoe. The second durability highlight is the shoe’s sole. The sole is thick, especially in the toe area. It helps to protect the toe material from griptape contact and provides great flick. The third great feature is the lacing system. The lace loops are recessed and protected by the material layer around them which proved to be extremely effective.
A detail that was very noticeable that didn’t help with durability was the positioning of the toe area seams. As you can see from the pictures, the seams are positioned in a critical zone so the they ripped very easily. Luckily, the synthetic material was still quite stiff, so the overall quality of the material did help prevent the loose suede areas from ripping further. Another flaw of the shoe was the heel collar; even-though the material was very comfortable, the collar gets shredded up very quickly from the griptape, Neither of these affect the overall performance of the shoe, but they do make the shoe look a bit untidy and makes it seem like the shoe has been skated for a really long time.
Typically, the Vans Pro Skate line uses a thin sole construction and a foam insole as the main cushioning and impact protection. Vans calls it PopCush cushioning technology and was a definite choice to be used for the Wayvee model. The sole is very thin, as usual for a vulcanized construction, and the PopCush element is the thick purple insole foam. This helps to keep the flexibility of the sole high while providing an advanced cushioning feeling. All in all, the cushioning of the Wayvee is very good.
The toebox area of the Wayvee is clean and pointy. The arrow shape offers great flick and allows plenty of control while doing flip tricks. The synthetic materials are quite thick and thus, the shape stays throughout the 10-hour test workout wrinkles. From the heel area, the midfoot gets slimmer towards the toe area and end up in a nice pointy toe tip.
There are high expectations when it comes to the boardfeel and grip for Vans shoes. For the Wayvee, boardfeel and grip took three to four sessions to develop before showing its full capabilities. The forefoot area is flexible while the midfoot and heel area seemed very stiff. This imbalance need some time to adjust, but once the WaffleCup cupsole construction reaches its full flexibility, the sole in the forefoot adapts extremely well to the concave of the board. This increases the surface of the sole touching the griptape and resulted in a good boardfeel and grip while maintaining a very good level of stability.
The most important features for a comfortable skateboard shoe include weight, a well-crafted inner area and ventilation. The Wayvee isn’t extremely lightweight, but with that said, the inner area is crafted very well. Vans uses a construction called Locked-In Fit which is basically an inner (half) sock which spans from the mid- to the fore-foot area. The construction provides a consistent fit and along with a padded tongue and heel area, creates a very comfortable feeling. Breathability is good in the midfoot but the forefoot area had a lot of material layers where hot air cannot escape out of the shoes.
When it come to stability, the Wayvee is one of the best models on the market. The stability is incredible and well balanced especially with the flexible forefoot area. The heel area is stiff, due to several material layers, and the padding makes the shoe comfortable while creating a secure heel-lock. The midfoot area keeps the foot in place and prevents any horizontal movements within the shoe. The upper material did not stretch out at all during the test. This means the sidewalls don’t get too flexible and lose their shape, and the stability of the shoe should maintain it’s full potential over the whole lifespan of the shoe.
The new Wayvee model features Vans’ best technical advancements. The shoe’s highlights include extremely good stability, good comfort and excellent cushioning, but does take some time to break in and features some small durability flaws around the heel collar and toe’s seam placements.
Shawn SmithFebruary 6, 2022
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