Once a sneakerhead, always a sneakerhead. This is not the first time I've written about a pair of shoes, and I doubt it's far from the last time either. While I love a good new colorway on a classic shoe, I like it even better when it's a limited collaboration. It's even more appealing when the shoe has a personal connection.
For me, and so many others, we grew up during the rise of skateboarding. At a time when it went from misunderstood to being accepted. Many of my oldest friends and fondest memories are rooted in skateboarding. And within cycling community I know I’m not alone. Even some of the shops are showing their skateboard roots. For example, Deluxe Cycles in New York came out with their own deck recently, and Chrome is doing a collab with skateboard brand, Anti Hero. When it's in your blood, you just can't shake it.
The latest shoe added to my collection is the collaboration between shoe mecca, Bodega, of Boston, Masschusetts and Vans. The striking striking black and white half cab is one part of the collaboration called 'Return of The Dragon.' which was released in June, 2017. The full limited edition release from the Vans Vault included both the Full Cab and the Half Cab Pro in two colorways variations. But my favorite, and the one I picked up, is the white snake skin and suede Half Cab. I’m drawn to it for its simplicity, subtlety and contrasting monochrome pallet.
The Vans Half Cab model is a shoe with an interesting history. It's named after legendary skater Steve Caballero, who has been called "Skater of The Century" by some. While his tweaked out style defined a generation, it's his namesake trick, the Caballerial (a fake 360 arial) that truly defined his career, and to which his pro model shoe is named after. The Full Cab was the first model released, later followed by the Half Cab and then later the Half Cab Pro. The lower rise and sloped back Half Cab was created in response to skaters who were cutting the Full Cab and taping the top edge. This modification was done in order to gain more range of motion that is required for flip tricks. While it may seem odd to cut down your shoes, kids were also cutting up all their clothes. Back around the same time kids were cutting the fly out of their Levi's 501 jeans to show off the buttons…. Oh kids.
The particulars on the Vans Vault x Bodega Half Cabs, like all pro model Cabs, are the inclusion of premium materials, a two piece toe cap, vulcanized 'waffle grip' rubber sole, and Half Cab sewn on patches. Aside from the very limited availability, the Vans Vault edition has a screen printed insole indicating its collaboration roots. There is also a small sewn on tag attached to the Half Cab patch on the tongue of each shoe. The Return of the Dragon edition came in a special blacked out box. Another particular difference of the Vans Vault edition from the stock model is the rear rubber patch on the heel is present, but blacked out.
Although a more recent Vans Vault x Bodega collaboration called, Sub Rosa, has been released, this edition has been my favourite so far. Once the weather warms up I'll be definitely be pushing a board down the street with these on. These are meant to be rocked, not stocked.