The last pair of shoes I skated were Vans Half Cabs (which I forgot to review) and I wanted to buy another pair of different Vans since the Half Cabs felt too bulky for me.
I grabbed these Old Skools from eBay for £20 which I was stoked on since they’re usually over double that price. These are a 2011 pair from the “Street Style” pack – Vans releasd these along with some other shoes to pay homeage to the first ever street skating contest held back when Rev J was a boy, so you probably won’t be able to find this pair that easily which is a shame as the quality of them seems alot better than the ones I have seen recently but I’m sure Vans have spat out every imaginable colourway possible when it comes to Old Skools so it won’t be that hard to find a similar green pair. There is no difference (aesthetically anyway) between these and regular old Skools apart from the red tag on the back saying Vans Street Style instead of Off The Wall.
Being that I bought them used from eBay they didn’t come in a box so I have no idea what they’d normally come with although I’d presume it’s the same as Half Cabs; just the box, packaging and a set of extra laces. I was pretty happy with them since they looked real nice and while green is not my colour and I wouldn’t normally buy anything green, for £20 I really cant complain. They are all suede except for the white line and the inside of the shoe which are both leather. Here’s a photo from the first day I got them.
Anyone who can break in a pair of Vans without being in pain deserve a medal. I got blisters on both heels for the first few days, so I did the microwave trick and the mash up method (http://youwillsoon.blogspot.com/2008/03/yws-helpful-hints-mash-up.html) a few times and they were broken in. They were pretty tight at first so I laced them loose as fuck, did the above tricks and they broke in after about two days. One thing that I noticed was that the laces on them are way too long; I had them laced up to the top eyelet, put them in a double knot and they were still pretty dangly.
Board Feel: 9/10
Being that they are vulcanized naturally there will be alot of board feel and combined with the fact they are pretty thin I can easily say the board feel was a solid 9/10. Not really sure what to write for board feel but if you’ve skated Vans then you know what I mean.
Flick and Grip: 8/10
Now I’m not saying that if you skate Old Skools you’ll get Neen Williams style ninja kickflips but anyone who knows me knows that I’ve always had terrible and inconsistent kickflips but when I started skating these my kickflips started to improve quite a fair bit. They flick pretty well and I also learned tre flips while skating these. The suede feels quite high quality and in my opinion helps with the flick alot.
These have the standard Vans Waffle Sole that we all know and they are definitely a grippy sole that keeps grip even after it starts to flatten out although now at two months in I’ve noticed I slip sometimes when walking up ramps etc and a small hole has started to go through the rubber on the sole (probably due to the fact I have a really bad habit of constantly adjusting my back foot when setting up for tricks).
Impact Support: 7/10
As I don’t really skate drops I can’t write a solid section for impact support however I did skate an 8 a few times in these and also ended up gapping the entirity of the 6ft ramp to flat by accident when trying to ollie in and I havent had any heel bruises or feet related injuries which is a good sign however I wouldnt wanna be throwing myself down drops on a day in day out basis while skating these unless you swapped the insoles for FP Insoles or another brand. One positive is that I always seem to get foot injuries which are usually bruised/dead nails however with these it’s never happened and allowed my left nail to recover (I had to pull it off lml) and grow back. I got a BMX dropped on the same foot and didn’t get injured, whereas I dropped a board on my foot doing a slob fastplant and broke the fucking toe in Half Cabs.
At the point of writing this (just over two months into skating them) the shoes are starting to get pretty worn; most of the outsole on the front foot has wore down but the suede is still intact. The side of the shoe (ollie area) has also worn down although it’s still intact, and a small hole has started to form on the sole. For shoes that are known to skate well but die quick, I’d say these have lasted quite well especially considering I always destroy soles ASAP and I’ve also been trying to up my flatground game lately. One thing I noticed was the inner plastic on the heels of the shoe started to crack and fall out which wasn’t a problem but it was annoying wondering what the fuck was stabbng me in the heel. If I had to hazard a guess I could probably get another month out of these before either the sole is gone or the front end rips.
2 months of skating (as you can tell my switch and heelflip game is weak af):
If you either have a lot of disposable income or can somehow get Old Skools on the cheap then I’d definitely reccomend them however with 1. me being a cheap bastard and 2. Old Skools costing £54.99 brand new I wouldn’t pay full price as while they skate well and feel great as with most Vans they don’t last long. I’m gonna be looking out for cheap pairs and you guys should too, I have a homie who got a pair of Camo Old Skools off eBay for £4.99! Only try and get the suede ones though as the leather/canvas pairs will not last at all. Sorry if this is quite repetitive but I figured I may aswell just throw reviews up whenever I get the chance.