There’s always that one person who shows up for a hike unprepared. Even just a little day hike, the joke growing up was that someone would always show up in skinny jeans and a pair of Vans. Vans, while one of my all time favorite pairs of shoes, are not meant for hiking. I’ve tried and slipped down rocks—their grip, while maybe good enough for a skateboard, wasn’t meant to be worn on rough terrain. But recently, Vans made a shoe with added grip and support, that you can actually hike in.
Vans UltraRange Rapidweld
Vans’ UltraRange Rapidweld is perhaps the most versatile sneaker the brand has ever made. I’m not saying you should wear them hiking—if you can, I’d go for a running shoe or trail runner— but really that you could wear them hiking if wanted to, and they’d work pretty damn well. I’ve worn them on a hike and had no problem traversing terrain of all kinds, and my feet didn’t hurt a bit after the hike, either. This is largely thanks to Vans’ Ultracush™ midsole, which offers a ton of support —especially compared to the original slip on Vans. The outsole is the classic Vans triangles, but they jut out a little bit, kind of like cleats, offering a better grip on versatile terrain.
Pretty much every bad thing you’ve heard about Vans—they don’t offer enough support, they are uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time—has been flipped on its head. These Vans aren’t just extremely comfortable to wear, they offer support similar to a running shoe. Pair that with the shoe’s signature style, and you’ve got a shoe you can, and will, end up wearing everywhere you go.
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