Review: Etnies Joslin Vulc

Chris Joslin is a monster! By now, you have heard of him. Joslin first made a big splash in skateboarding by skating to Barracuda by Heart in the 2014 Plan B True video (Where’s the B/S Flip Sheckler?!). Here he went on to raise the bar for what tech-gnar could be. It wasn’t surprising to see him jump from Flow to Pro, and Etnies gave him two shoes and gave his 2nd shoe the Vulc treatment.

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Overview

This shoe is an Etnies shoe if you can’t tell by the logo. It features a one-piece toe cap (reinforced by rubber), a standard feature in most worthwhile shoes. The upper is a slimmed-down version of Joslin’s 2nd shoe; a bummer because I was looking forward to the heel strap. It’s vulcanized, and it features the first Michelin vulc sole (the main feature that brought me to the shoe) that I put to the test as a heavy shimmier.

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Comfort

The shoe has a somewhat padded tongue that consists of a comfortable and breathable mesh from the outside in; it’s connected to the shoe with tongue centering straps, which provides a better fit. The shoe has higher foxing tape on the heel and a stiffer heel counter that provides a lovely, heel lock making your foot feel stuck on the shoe. The forefoot is a little wider but, as a slightly wider foot, I felt a pinch on the side of my foot that disappeared as the shoe stretched.
Now into the shoe, I wasn’t barefoot and didn’t experience the lining directly. The insole of the shoe was flat and made of a thin ortholite and some rubber. It was luckily removable, and I threw on some FP Gamechangers. It bummed me out to see a cardboard footbed.

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Durability

The strong points of the shoe are it’s sole and upper. I skated the shoe for between 2 to 3 months. It balded a month and a half in, and it went to expand. The shoe was grippy even then but did take some time to break in for a vulcanized shoe before the boardfeel got better. I didn’t get an ollie hole, and there weren’t panels to rip through because of the one-piece toe cap. That said, the shoe’s foxing tape wore out surprisingly fast. I was around a week in when I noticed the shoe had a massive groove. My subsequent complaint was the cardboard footbed. The reason why this is so bad is that the cardboard doesn’t hold up as well. It’s a cheap material, and in the long run, it flattens out and begins to break down.

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Conclusion

The shoe is a solid okay. The shoe is stiff, it’s a bit heavy, but it’s sturdy, something not typical for vulcs. The toes and ollie hole have a rubber backing that I didn’t get to, but this area holds up well, unlike the rest of the shoe. I usually wait for a bald spot to swap shoes, and when I got one with this shoe, it felt way too soon. The Michelin sole didn’t hold up in comparison to the expectation and marketing. The foxing tape was the weakest point and built a groove surprisingly fast. If I kept skating this as long as I could, the footbed would give in and make the shoe uncomfortable at this point; you’d gamble what would break down first. I recommend grabbing these on sale if you want to buy this shoe to test out.

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