Vans Cures The Scourge Of The Surf Shoe
Stop burning through rubber.
It’s hard (see: pointless) to poke holes in anything Vans because their team always looks like they’re having so much damn fun. Vans Surf is a lesson in curating a vibe, and any surfer who doesn’t secretly harbour at least a shard of desire to join Mikey Feb, Wade, Dane (occasionally), Haz (just an inspired signing), Knost, Tudor, the Gudangs, Dyl Graves—and that’s just off the top of my head—on the worldwide good times tour is delusional. Follow team manager Nolan Hall (@nolannow) for envy.
Tech, but not in your face.
When a heritage brand whose longevity lies in the timelessness of their silhouettes comes out with new tech, it’s easy to be cynical. It’s impossible to improve on the Authentic, Slip-on, Sk8-Hi, Era and the rest. That’s why Vans is such a juggernaught. But the marketing dept has to justify those (what one assumes are) lofty salaries, and so try they must. The latest release—a surf inspired capsule in new ComfyCush tech—isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing thing OTW’s ever come out with, but they’re a little smarter than your average shoe. Especially if you surf.
Sophisticated tech that’s easy on the eye.
Surfers with spotless cars freak me out; being able to traverse from ocean to car without a granule of sand entering the vehicle is the hallmark of the worryingly anal. For the rest of us, life is an endless war on sand and moisture, and nowhere can this be seen more clearly than shoes. I burn through shoes. Six months without them falling apart or becoming incurably whiffy is a rarity (apart from the Gucci Horsebits, but they’re kept on ice).
Electric blue for the bold, black for the everyman.
That’s where the new Vans come in. The Zushi SF’s are designed for surfers to seamlessly transition from morning lineup laps to whatever else is going on that day, with none of the hang ups. They’ve got a collapsible heel: perfect for throwing on for a post-surf bean hit (bare feet’s passe), and have added vents to get the air flowing to those still-soggy hoofs. The upper’s stretchy and there’s a subtle tag on the heel for yanking them on in a hurry, and the hidden tech—the aforementioned, fresh out the factory ComfyCush—is all that’s good about modern day shoe comfort: cloud-soft and easy on the joints! They come in electric (lapis) blue—perfect for pairing with some rust-coloured pants—black if you’re into covert rather than overt, and even camo if you’re after something different. They mightn’t warrant a place in the Vans silhouette hall of fame, but they’re a thoughtful, practical addition to the surf range none the less.
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