The brand-new Vans UltraRange Pro arouses some expectations due to its name. I skated the low-top all-rounder for 20 hours to test if this skate shoe can really keep up with its marketing and if it offers the promised range of features.
Right after unboxing I noticed that this shoe nearly weight nothing. The Vans UltraRange Pro really is feather-light. Something you wouldn‘t expect at first glance. Also, the fabrication convinces with its high quality: all seams are in perfect condition and the materials make a good impression. Additionally, the Vans UltraRange Pro is very flexible. Even the supplied laces are made of an elastic material that supports the movement of your feet.
Despite the minimal weight, the shoe convinces with a decent padding and a solid toe cap, the Vans Duracap. The Luxliner sock liner is a useful feature as well and especially the Waffle outsole with a hexagon profile feels very steady. The only deficit I could find is that the UltraCush Lite insole can’t be removed. If you want to use your own insoles you’ll have to use some force.
Sizing, Fit & Comfort
The positive impression about the low weight that I got while unboxing could convince me while wearing the shoe as well. The Vans UltraRange Pro skate shoe is simply ultra-light. Combined with the nice and flexible material of the shoe, that really snuggles around your feet, you could think you’re wearing an after-skate shoe. Thanks to the Luxliner, the Vans UltraRange Pro really sits pleasantly tight around the feet, even without the need of too tight lacing.
The cut of the Vans UltraRange Pro is rather narrow. Thus, people with very wide feet may could get problems here. In general, the Vans UltraRange Pro seems to turn out a bit short. While I normally wear a US 7.5, the US 8 was the perfect choice here. The padding also gives a good feedback and the outsole feels nice and not to stiff. Overall, the Vans UltraRange Pro feels great and I had no pressure points at all.
Performance & Settling-In
It’s no secret that the first tricks feel a bit strange when you have brand-new shoes on your feet. With the Vans UltraRange Pro, the first sessions felt surprisingly good and I had hardly any problems with the new companions. Maybe, this also is an effect of the low weight that lets you sometimes forget, you’re wearing shoes at all. The flexibility of the shoe helps in terms of performance as well, because it really supports every movement of your feet. Right from the beginning, it was obvious that the Vans UltraRange Pro is a very versatile all-round skate shoe thanks to its low weight, the solid material, its comfort and the supportive dampening.
Boardfeel & Grip
The Vans Waffle profile is a true classic and knows how to convince. But, the outsole of the Vans UltraRange Pro really steps up the game and gives you massive grip on your board and on other surfaces as well. In combination with a new layer of griptape, it almost feels like you’re glued to your board.
The boardfeel doesn’t need to hide here, too. At no time I missed the feedback of the board. Same goes for the flick, which was very solid, although I have not the biggest repertoire of flips, to be honest. Especially with gaps and grinds, I always had a good control over my board and liked the feedback. If you’re into flips a lot you probably have to get used to the massive grip at the beginning.
Padding & Cushioning
Thus, the Vans UltraRange Pro is so light and flexible, I had my doubts if this shoe could convince in the matter of impact protection and dampening. But I was surprised how well the combination of the Waffle outsole, the UltraCush Lite footbed and the UltraCush Lite midsole works. The shoe protects you well and small to mid-sized gaps and stair sets are no problem at all.
Here, the all-round aspect of the Vans UltraRange is perfectly executed. If you’re riding different terrains, with a wide repertoire of curb tricks, gaps, and transitions, you’ll definitely be happy with the new Vans model. If you’re fully into technical skateboarding or always looking for the next massive gap, you will probably find a more specialized skate shoe. For me, the Vans UltraRange Pro became the perfect companion as an all day, every day skate shoe.
After the first five hours, I could barely see any difference when it comes to signs of wear. Besides slight signs of movement on the midsole, the shoe kept its shape and only a subtle amount of the grey suede upper from the Ollie area made it onto the griptape.
After ten hours and several sessions, the Vans UltraRange Pro showed first signs of wear. Especially the Ollie area displayed a little abrasion that indicated the beginning of a possible hole in the upper. The midsole couldn’t hide the evidence of wear as well and showed some further marks of force. That goes for the impact protection as well, which still was good, but became less protective & supportive. All in all, the shoe got a bit softer but the outsole was still unimpressed and the massive grip remained unharmed.
While the rest of the shoe showed no big difference, the Ollie area finally got cracked and the upper displayed a small hole. But thanks to the second DuraCap layer, beneath the first upper, my socks didn‘t get wasted. It surely will take a while to get through this.
Twenty hours and a swollen foot later, the Vans UltraRange Pro showed some wear but wasn’t beaten. Although the hole at the Ollie area got bigger, the DuraCap remained intact; even after a second layer of fresh griptape. The outsole barely lost any of its profile and still remains solid and grippy.
Overall, the performance of the Vans UltraRange Pro skate shoe has barely ceased to amaze me after the test. The shoe only became a bit wider over time, which is quite common with suede skate shoes. Additionally, the impact protection lost a bit of its strength. All in all, this shoe still is a great companion even after 20 hours and I will continue to skate it; at least, until I will finally get through the DuraCap.
Note: Like I mentioned before, I am not into flip tricks that much. My skateboarding is characterized by a lot of Ollies, small gaps, a lot of grinds and shove-its. That said, your wear profile might be slightly different if you’re doing 100 Kickflips during a regular session.
- very light
- high-quality fabrication
- massive grip
- extremely durable outsole
- sewed-in insole