Vans released a Croc leather version of what is perhaps the most iconic skate shoe of all time – The Vans Sk8 Hi. I got my hands on these beauties because I love all things Gator, much like Biggie did. Check out the video review for a good look at the shoe and how it looks on feet, and read on for the review.
Just look at that beautiful upper. If this was a regular Sk8 Hi, I wouldn’t look twice but a good leather upper can do wonders for a shoe. It sits atop a tonal vulcanized midsole, which forgoes the traditional Vans black stripe, giving the shoe some great contrast. And I wish I could say that this upper was the best feature this shoe has, but it isn’t. The best feature is at the back, the same way it is with RR cars like the 911 turbo, among other things, ahem.
The Sk8 Hi came out in 1978, and was originally called the ‘Style 38’. It was basically a high top version of the Old Skool, the padded ankle collar adding some much needed protection from runaway skateboards, along with some support. Almost 40 years on and still sporting that signature sidestripe, the Vans Sk8 Hi remains a favorite with skaters old and new, and with multiple collab versions coming out every year, remains fresh.
I love love love the upper on this shoe. Vans put some really good quality leather on these in an embossed Croc skin pattern that has to be felt to understand how good it is. The texture is great overall and the stitching is flawless. This is some premium full grain leather, son. Smells like luxury. There is a small suede triangle at the bottom of the zipper which is a very nice detail. And yes, that zipper is the best feature on this shoe. That zipper means that you will only ever use the laces on this shoe once. Even though they are nice waxed examples. It means that you can get in and out of these with ease, without even having to sit down.
This smooth YKK zipper tells me that you won’t have any of those Yeezy zipper issues. The classic gum waffle outsole is present but won’t be seeing any griptape action. This upper is not for skating. I mean, why would you want to destroy a thing of beauty.
An Ortholite insole ensures a comfy ride and fresh feet. My only gripe with this shoe is that the collar is made of synthetic leather, and if you aren’t wearing socks that are high enough, the leather rubs against your leg and causes some discomfort.
I gripe a lot don’t I?
I find that these run a quite large so go one size down from what you usually wear and you’re good. Do not sleep on these, pick them up! These can be worn day in and day out with a wide variety of outfits, and will look great beat up at the end of it all. Can’t beat that upper at this price either.
The Vans Sk8 Hi Zip CA ‘Croc’ is available on Amazon
Video by Roshan Chikodi