With the Vans Slip-On EXP Pro, Vans tried to completely redesign a Slip-On skate shoe. The modern design does not only promise functionality, but also leaves some questions unanswered. We tested the Slip-On EXP Pro in this review for you.
Slip-On’s from Vans are still part of the most famous skate shoe classics out there. The EXP Pro from Vans is a new version that provides some new clues to the standard Slip-On Pro.
Vans Slip-On EXP Pro – The features
Without a doubt, the thing that catches your eye first is the velcro strap which is reminiscent of the Vans Style 47. It’s meant to add stability to the fit of the shoe. Trying to improve the performance on a skateboard, the velcro is placed inside the shoe. Further, the Vans EXP Pro offers a mix of material including a neoprene-like mesh which should provide superior breathability.
Above the mesh, the upper consists of panels of suede to ensure durability at high wear areas. The EXP also comes with toe and heel caps. Additionally, the skate shoe has the popular Duracap reinforcement within the toe box.
First Impression & Sizing | Unboxing
At first sight, the EXP Pro looked to be quite simple: sockliner, cupsole, and suede uppers. Brace yourself when you put it on for the first time: the shoe seems really tight and I wasn’t sure if I should get a bigger size. The front of the shoe is rather narrow and those with wide feet might face some problems here. However, the Vans EXP Pro is true to size in my opinion, has a super snug fit and the velcro strap is almost unnecessary.
Aside from the narrow fit, the shoe is very comfortable. The heel doesn’t rub and putting it on and off becomes easier over time. The weight of the shoe is comparable to the Berle Pro. The printed-on jazz stripe might be a matter of taste, however, I think that Vans managed to fuse their characteristic style with a modern layout.
Performance | Boardfeel, Grip & Support
Due to the WaffleControl sole, there are parallels in the performance of the Vans Berle Pro and the Slip-On EXP Pro: boardfeel & grip are equally extraordinary. Support-wise the Slip-On EXP, just as the standard Slip-On Pro, incorporates minimalism. Apart from the little support around the heel, the actual padding comes from the mesh upper of the skate shoe.
Even after multiple sessions, the EXP Pro fits perfectly and the velcro strap was more of a fine-tuning option for me. The mesh offers noticeable breathability which you will notice when it’s windy or cold outside. So far, the Slip-On EXP managed to convince me, only the durability considering the open mesh left me skeptical.
Exposed mesh close to high wear areas of skate shoes is quite a statement, but clearly Vans thought the Slip-On EXP Pro shoe through.
The Ollie area is covered by suede as well as a “pulled-up” toe cap. Both sit in the right place. I faced the most significant wear on the tip of the toe cap. After more than 100 Kickflips in the Vans Slip-On EXP Pro, I managed to expose the mesh beneath the toe cap. Despite my doubts, the material is still strong and there is still the fully intact Duracap reinforcement.
The WaffleControl sole from Vans is unarguably an achievement when it comes to durability. The condensed waffle pattern is extremely tough.
All in all, the Vans Slip-On EXP Pro skate shoe is a surprisingly durable model, which has more to offer than meets the eye. I would recommend this model for any terrain. If you’re looking for a modern, well-crafted slip-on skate shoe, you’re well-advised with the Slip-On EXP Pro from Vans.
|Boardfeel & Grip||Narrow fit|
|Relatively low in weight|