The Vans Berle Pro is the first skate shoe with WaffleControl technology and even offers a few more interesting features. Just for you, I’ve tested how the pro model from Elijah Berle performs on the skateboard.
The new WaffleControl construction from Vans is basically a cup sole with a special feature in the heel area. The rear part of the sole has deep recesses while the waffle pattern in the area around the front foot and the big toe has been condensed. Thanks to those features, the sole promises durability and impact protection in the necessary areas.
First Look | Unboxing | Fit & Comfort
My first impression of the Vans Berle Pro was that the shoe looks very compact. The shoe’s padding has been reduced to a minimum without sacrificing any comfort. Despite the very thick rubber coating of the sole, the shoe is pretty lightweight. I also felt that I tread quite softly in the Berle Pro, regardless of the rather thin insole.
Thanks to the LuxLiner, there weren’t any spots that squeezed my foot or gave me blisters. The inner heal area is also lined with a sock-liner and kept my foot securely in the shoe. In my eyes, the shoe fits true to size, so narrow as well as wide feet should feel comfortable in this shoe. All in all, my impression of the shoe was entirely positive.
Performance | Boardfeel, Grip & Support
I didn’t need a break-in period with the Vans Berle Pro. The shoe’s strengths were apparent right away: The boardfeel provided by the combination of WaffleControl sole and LuxLiner is awesome. Furthermore, the shoe has the ideal amount of grip for me and is simply a pleasure to skate in.
Additionally, the WaffleControl sole easily absorbs primos or impact while skating flat. However, I kept away from big gaps. Therefore, I can’t estimate how the sole performs under heavy impact.
Nevertheless, the red colourway of the Vans Berle Pro comes with a little downside: The shoes’ upper is overdyed and the colour might slightly transfer to bright materials. At least with the red colourway, you might want to refrain from combining the shoe with your favourite pair of white socks.
10 hours & 100 Kickflips
After a few sessions and 100 Kickflips in the Vans Berle Pro, my opinion didn’t change a bit. Grip & boardfeel still leave nothing to be desired. During the first 10 hours, the wear and tear on the shoes was minimal. Only the toe cap showed some wear from all of the Kickflips. On the other hand, the suede upper in the Ollie area seemed as good as new.
After 20 hours in total in the Vans Berle Pro, the skate shoe finally looked as if somebody had skated it. But except for a bit of wear on the toe cap and sole, as could be expected, I didn’t notice any serious abrasions. A few stitches of the jazz stripe came apart because of one Heelflip or another, but that didn’t affect the shoe’s performance. Also, the shoe kept its shape throughout the entire test and didn’t blow out. Vans obviously nailed it this time with the combination of a cupsole and durable upper.
I think Vans successfully realised the “less is more” approach with the Berle Pro. The new silhouette scores on so many levels, especially when it comes to boardfeel, grip, and durability. In my eyes, the shoe is suitable for technical skateboarding, transition and for sessions that include a little bit of impact. Therefore, for me and my way of skateboarding, the Berle Pro is in many ways a 10/10.
|Boardfeel & Grip||Upper might transfer colour (red colourway)|