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Vans AVE 2.0 Pro Shoes

Vans AVE 2.0 Pro Shoes

Introducing the Vans AVE 2.0 Pro Shoes 
Today Vans dropped a sneak peek at the AVE 2.0 shoes online. These are the most technically advanced skate shoe Vans has ever made, and one of the most advanced skate shoes on the market. I got a pair and have been skating them for 2 weeks (so far) and I'll add some photos and feedback of what they look like now.

In this article we're going to talk about the fit, the upper construction and the soles

The first Vans AVE Pro shoe was the first Vans shoe where we saw it really step out of the traditional Vans construction with a crazy new capsule and have huge success. It also ushered in a new pricepoint for Vans, and brought back a lot of old customers. So we're excited for this new step forwards in tech from Vans & AVE.
Apparently the story goes that AVE walked into Vans HQ and was determined to make a knit skateshoe. So Niel Shoemaker and AVE have been working closely on this second AVE shoe for the past 2+ years.

When I put these shoes on, they reminded me more of putting on a piece of equipment than putting on a shoe. They gave me a feeling of being a kid and putting on hockey skates or soccer cleats, very minimal padding, super lightweight, but still sturdy and a heavy duty sole. 

The Fit:
Because of the knit material, and little pods on the interior to cup your foot (see pic below), this shoe fits incredibly snug and really envelops your whole foot. We've seen Nike and Adidas using a similar technology on soccer cleats lately, and when talking to a designer at Nike he told me that a shoe very close to your foot actually creates higher performance and less injuries because you get better spacial awareness of where your foot is. 

I have a slimmer foot and found that these fit me perfectly in the arch of my foot (which means people with a wider foot might find them a little narrow in this area), then they widen up quite a bit in the toes. I'd be interested to see what someone with a wider foot thinks about this, as the knit should flex out quite easily. 

The Soles:
Interesting to note that these break in way faster than the Rowan 2 or other cups that I've skated recently.  I think because of the minimalist upper, and redesigned sole pattern, the soles flex more and seem to break in really quickly for a cupsule.
They features what Vans calls "the evolution of the Ultimate Waffle soles", which is what was on the original AVE pro. This uses 4 layers of comfort between your foot and the board. First there is a thin insole that is glued in (no pulling these out for orthotics), then the mid-sole is a full foot UltraCush designed for high shock absorbing and comfort. The last layers have a TPU shank in the middle of the shoe (that acts like a window so you can see the UltraCushion midsole) and gives a lot of needed structure to a knit shoe. This TPU section goes up around the heel of the shoe, and is super important because even though these are knit, they don't feel floppy or unstructed at all. Lastly the soles are made of SickStick rubber compound, which Vans uses on all their skate shoes and is a rubber designed specifically for skateboarding to be the most durable and grippy compound on the market, and this definitely is a very grippy shoe for a cupsule (traditionally less sticky and grippy than vulc).  Also, if you flip them over, the soles have a different tread pattern than the usual Vans waffle pattern, this pattern if build specifically to have a nice flex pattern and also to be more durable in high wear areas.

If you liked the soles on the Ave Pro, I thin you'll love the soles on the new ones, they are a slightly heavier duty version of the old ones.

The Upper:
This is the really interesting part of the shoe to talk about. A knit skate shoe seems insane! When I saw the initial pictures of the shoe in the catalog I thought it would be super floppy and un-structed like a Yeezy or something. But when you put these on they fit super snug and have a surprising amount of structure, plus a really solid feeling sole. 

First off, the knit is everywhere on the shoe that isn't a high wear area. So it's nowhere that is going to get hit with griptape and explode. Secondly, it is reenforced in all the right areas. There is Vans Rapidweld that runs along the eyelets of the shoe, and runs down connecting to the sole, which gives structure and prevents the shoe from feeling like it's going to tear or explode when you tighten the eyelets.  

vans ave 2.0 shoes online canada

On the back of the heel there is a TPU cup that holds your heel in place and gives structure to the shoe so it doesn't feel like it will stretch or flex off. Then inside of the heel there's some padding pods and cup your archillies and gives it a really snug fit. 

The entire toe box of the shoe is a reinforced suede with Duracap (Vans' re-inforced suede with a layer of rubber underneath). I also really liked that the rubber of the sole pokes out a couple millimetres past the suede, so I had to do a couple hundred kickflips to wear it away enough to actually start hitting the suede.
See photo.

The upper is super minimalist in design, so it makes the shoe extremely lightweight and almost feel like you're skating barefoot at times, which is a weird sensation to get used to. But the sole is so heavy duty I had no problem jumping my old ass down stairs in it. 

Wear Tested (2 weeks of skating): 
I skated in these for 2 weeks leading up to the drop and I've gotta admit I skated less than usual and only indoors because we had 2 feet of snow and some really cold weather. But the soles are amazing, and if you enjoyed the original AVE shoe, I think you will really enjoy these soles. 

-fast break in period
-very high wear resistance on the toe cap

-no upper padding, top of your foot is unprotected
-slim fit (for some people), I actually enjoy the slim fit, but others at the shop say they're too slim.

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