Vans doesn’t hand out pro models very often. But, when they do, it’s for skaters that stand out, and Elijah is one of them. I first heard of Elijah through Girl and Chocolate’s Pretty Sweet. He has a killer part and does some solid skateboarding. It is no surprise that Vans would reach out to him after his Propeller part and give him a shoe (that you rarely see him wearing).
Fit and Comfort
I went with my regular shoe size, and the shoe fit my slightly wider foot well. The shoe also has an internal bootie system that makes the shoe fit like a sock and prevents the tongue from moving around. As for the lower half of the shoe, you have the Vans Waffle Control, which fuses the midsole and insole. They are pretty well cushioned and have some arch support, for that I was thankful. The model I skated featured mesh that may have helped with the heat.
Boardfeel and Grip
Having both Insole and Midsole fused and coming from Vans, I expected good boardfeel and grip as usual for the brand. While I did feel my board and switched to a more mellow concave, I will say that it did reasonably well. Not as much boardfeel as expected, but it was good.
As for grip, the toe cap helped out a lot. It was initially too grippy for me, and it took a while to get used to it. The sole itself didn’t feel very grippy. I expected more but found myself slipping out during slappies and disappointed.
These shoes feature a rubber toecap and Vans Duracap. Duracap is like an internal rubber toecap that extends the shoe’s life and helps keep its shape; this may also be why I didn’t feel the mesh did much. The Duracap was underneath the shoe’s eyelets, and I’m thankful for it as they began to warp but didn’t rip. The skate shoe may have felt like a sock, but it did not get floppy and unsupportive. Even after I wore out, the toecap and the suede ripped they kept their shape.
The sole features a different pattern than the traditional Vans waffle pattern. It had deep grooves in the middle and the heel area, with a thicker and shallower design on the forefoot. That did take time to wear out.
I will point out that on my pair, a tear on the inside of the footwear appeared and began to expand as I skated the shoe. But, I will run this off as my pair being faulty.
The Berle is a reliable shoe that, sadly, Berle himself is missing out on. It is comfortable and very sturdy. While you can’t replace the insole and the grip is a little disappointing, the shoe is durable, and you’re more likely to get bored of it before you finish skating it.
All in all, I give it a 6 out of 10.