A shoe with lots of sole…
Today I’m gonna reviewing the Vans Gilbert Crockett Pro 2 in the black on black colorway. I’m going to be going over whether the Vans new Wafflecup sole is helpful or hype and the $80 dollar question to buy or not to buy?
Don’t hate the player hate the game
If you’re reading this you probably want to make sure you’re spending your hard-earned dollars on a skate shoe that’s gonna do you right.
Depending on who you ask, what makes a good skate shoe, you’re going to get a very different answer. Generally the top priorities center around boardfeel, impact protection, durability, break-in period and not to be discounted, looks.
I don’t think I’ll get a lot of push back about those broad categories so I’m going to try to normalize my reviews and judge shoes based on those categories.
You got sole kid
So the standout feature on the Gilbert Crockett Pro 2’s are the Wafflecup ‘hybrid’ sole. While I’m not going to do an exhaustive explanation of the differences between a cupsole and vulcanized sole I will hit the high notes.
Cupsoles are a one piece molded sole that wraps from the bottom of the sole to the sidewalls of the shoe, i.e. they actually ‘cup’ the bottom of your foot. They are known for their protection, durability, long break-in period and *lack* of boardfeel. As a huge generalization skaters that are ollieing down stair sets might skate cupsoles because it offers some added impact protection against things like heel bruising.
Vulcanized soles are just a flat sole that have specialized ‘foxing tape’ that wraps around its edge and binds it with the sidewall of the shoe when it is baked in an vulcanizing oven. They are known for their short break-in period, great boardfeel, less durability than cupsoles, and *lack* of impact protection.
So with the shoe construction lesson out of the way what makes the ‘Wafflecup’ sole of the Gilbert Crockett Pro 2’s so great?
To answer that let me explain the ‘waffle’ part of the Wafflecup sole.
Vans Old Skool skate shoe is one the most iconic skate shoe or even sneaker of all time. It features a ‘waffle’ pattern vulc sole that is arguably one of the best soles for broardfeel ever made. At least that’s what people who ride Vans all the time will tell you. Obviously that is a subjective claim and one that’s based a great deal on perspective and what you’re used to.
What makes the Gilbert Crockett Pro 2 Wafflecup sole unique is that they have a molded rubber cupsole that keeps waffle vulc design but doesn’t get baked. As much as I like getting baked this could be a good thing if it offer’s the best of both worlds.
So does it work?
In a word yes. First off no I don’t think that the Gilbert Crockett Pro 2’s Wafflecup design is the best sole evaar but it is definitely one best cupsoles I’ve ever ridden. My current go to shoe is the Converse CTAS Pro Hi’s with a vulc sole. It’s a very minimal vulc sole, with almost no impact protection and, at least in my opinion, incredible boardfeel.
The reason why I’m so impressed with the Gilbert Crockett Pro 2’s Wafflecup is that when I switch to it from the Converse CTAS’s I barely noticed. It was a good bit stiffer and if I was paying attention I did notice slightly less board feel. These were unbroken in shoes though. After riding them for about a week they are starting to soften and I would imagine that after a month or so they would be very close in board feel to the Converse CTAS’s. So boardfeel is great and most likely is going to get better.
Do You Have Protection?
No I’m not talking about your heels catching a STD. I mean impact protection. So Gilbert Crockett Pro 2’s do feature Vans Ultracush insoles which do help but since I am not a person that has the ability or the interest in ollieing stair sets I can’t tell you exactly how that will feel. I can say that when bailing on vert they offer more protection than my Converse CTAS’s. That’s not saying a lot. I’ve gotten several heel bruises from stepping/falling down the ramp while trying to learn rock to fakies.
So basically I view the Gilbert Crockett Pro 2 Wafflecup sole as an upgrade impact protection from my Converse or from the Vans Old Skool but not a huge one. My take is that Vans kept the boardfeel by keeping the protection minimal to moderate.
So this will be short and sweet. I’ve been wearing and skating these for about a week and they’re just starting to get broke in. I have a wide foot and the taper of the shoe from the ball of the foot to the toes I’m not fond of. Not the fault of the shoe just something that my particularly shaped hobbit feet don’t care for. I will do a long-term review or update this one after a few months of skating these.
How do they hold up
Again this based of a very small amount of time with the shoes. Even after a week of skating theses the look almost brand new. I’m sure the black on black helps hide some wear but I’ve already broke my first pair of laces due to sliding on my knees pads after falling on vert. So all indications point to these will be a great slow wearing shoe. Again I will update this post or do a followup long-term review.
Middle schooler’s vocabulary aside how do the Gilbert Crockett Pro 2 look? They look damn good by my eye. That being said this is a completely subjective viewpoint so make up your own damn mind. The style is basically just a direct copy Vans Old Skool’s with some pretty standard colorways. I played it safe and went with the black on black but I kind of regret not getting the sexyness that is White & Black colorway.
TLDR or what people used to call the conclusion before Reddit
After spending sometime and skating the Gilbert Crockett Pro 2’s if I had it to do over yes I would buy them again. The great boardfeel with a slight upgrade in impact protection combined with the Vans Old Skool looks are a win in my book.
Should I buy the Gilbert Crockett Pro 2 shoes?
Instead of doing your critical thinking for you I’m going to break it down in to two easy buy and don’t buy categories.
I would buy Gilbert Crockett Pro 2 if you’re looking for:
More boardfeel than a typical cupsole shoe
Like Vans Old Skool look
Shorter break-in period
I would not buy Gilbert Crockett Pro 2 if you’re looking for:
Lots of Impact Protection
Like a more ‘modern’ looking shoe
Hope that helps.
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Just get out and skate!!