After about 10 hours of skate time, we take a second look at the Vans [Rowley] Pro. Available in 3 synthetic colorways. Black, Navy, and Red (pictured) all using a really nice looking synthetic-nubuck upper!
The bright red that once popped has been muddied (quite literally) by the dirty winter skating that is just a fact of life here in Chicago. Even still, the Rowley Pro looks great and seems to be wearing smoothly.
Closer look at the toe, ollie area and lace cage, the usual offenders are getting the business end of the grip. The synthetic nubuck is smooth and takes a fair bit of abuse which is surprising, considering how thin the upper feels. Over all the shoe is extremely light but feels protecting, especially around the tongue and top of the shoe.
The vulcanized waffle soles have deep pockets all over, but the ball of the foot is wearing fast, Its the area that always makes you look at a Vans shoe and wish you could get a re-tread. The bottoms still feel super gummy and grippy though, so as longs as that lasts the board feel and maneuverability are going to be excellent.
Vans Rowley Pros feel super padded and comfortable when skating all day, and thats likely due to the inserts. Super cushiony at the heal and ball of the foot. Even if you don’t skate in them they are nice shoes to just stand around in. Needless to say, hard slams get a bit more cushion then the typical Vans shoe.
Summing it all up there are a few things that need to be mentioned. Most important, the sizing.
In the comments of the First Look we had several people talking about the sizing. Most felt that the Rowley Pro is running large. It would probably be advisable to try a half size down. The size 10s we are skating feel loose. If you tighten them then its not to bad, but the heal is slipping. If Vans fixes this its going to be a solid skate shoe. Get the right size and you may fall in love.
They are easy on, easy off. The soft mesh collar doesn’t offer to much ankle protection, but they don’t dig in either. The Rowley Pro feels so light but protective up front and on the ball of the foot, this means skating all day isn’t an issue.
Despite all the synthetic nubuck, the feet breath! No doubt your feet my sweat, but not like other synthetics.
(For full disclosure, the PR Coordinator for Vans could not confirm the origins of the glues. After looking into the issue further, Vans said they just couldn’t be sure.)
Vans size 6.5-16 $65.00 (synthetic in Black, Navy, and Red)