Stockist: Vans Official Store
Looking for a versatile shoe that you can take on all your summer adventures? Vans might not usually be a brand that comes instantly to mind when looking for adventure shoes, however with the release of their new style, this might all be about to change.
Vans Ultrarange shoes are clearly designed with a very specific purpose, to stay close to the classic Vans silhouette while simultaneously creating a product that is made not primarily for skaters, but more for durable travelling, running and hiking.
The Ultrarange is made for a person who loves two things, travel and adventure. Made to be able to fit in your hand luggage with no extra weight and be suitable to take you from a day hike to the beach and then to the next town in the evening for beers, this shoe is as casual as a flip flop, as durable as a hiking shoe and as stylish as the classic vans.
For over half a century, the Van Doren company have been creating solidly decent skate shoes. Vans is a brand that knows what they do best and stick to doing that job well. It shouldn't be too much of a surprise therefore, that their new travel light shoe, along with having the recognisable stripe, also shares some pretty recognisable features with their classic skate styles.
"The surf bootie like fit eliminates friction zones reducing the possibility of blisters and leaving no need to wear socks – a blessing for anyone on the road"
The Vans Ultrarange has a style reminiscent of classic skate shoes, but with a slightly more rounded, sleeker shape, with a mesh upper and noticeably a lesser amount of obvious stitching for a sportier look. The shoe comes in a feather-light weight, with added cushioning in the sole, which gives support for longer hikes and short trail runs. It's not a skate shoe, its not a trainer, instead it comfortably sits in-between the two. Stylish enough to simultaneously be used as a street style shoe when the sun goes down.
If you're someone who regularly goes straight from the ocean to the town, you'll appreciate the amount of effort that has clearly been put it into these shoes to make them appealing to surfers as well as the hiking market. With the thin mesh upper, the style allows your feet to breathe, while their unbelievably light weight allow you to throw them on after a surf, without any heavier material causing slightly embarrassing post ocean foot smells in the pub later.
After a week of testing these shoes out over mountain walks, beach runs, skate park afternoons and more, we're entirely sold and a bit smitten. Best of all, their surf bootie-like fit eliminates friction zones reducing the possibility of blisters and leaving no need to wear socks - a blessing for anyone on the road.
The colour options for the Ultrarange is currently limited to a few choices (although we've already fallen in love with the lavender and red options anyway!) however more colours might be introduced in the future. The sizing on the shoes does run a little narrow, so if you have wider feet, going up a half size will probably be preferable for comfort.
After bringing out an all-round shoe as technically great as this on their first try, we think we'll be seeing a lot more of Vans in the adventure travel world from now on.