A cupsole is an outsole which is shaped like a cup around the sole of your foot. Cupsoles are premolded to fit the shoe during the production process. Then during production it is glued to the bottom of the shoe. The popular opinion when it comes to cupsoles is that they limit boardfeel and grip, but are great for impact protection. No matter what your opinion is on cupsole construction, there is a cupsole out there for everybody. Even for the die hard vulc sole fans, you might just find a couple on this list of the Best cupsoles out right now, worth checking out.
Reggie Altema is a Haitian writer from New Jersey who grew up obsessed with music and skateboarding but despised east coast winters, so the former
No. 10 - Diamond Footwear VVS
Diamond Supply Co is a skate hardware company with a strictly-skateboarding history. That tradition serves as the basis and intent for producing skateable footwear, such as the VVS. The formation made by the way the lacelet strip intersects with the toe box helps guide your foot for better board control. In fact, all the high abrasion areas of the VVS are strongly reinforced. There's also a double collar which is a unique way of making something different actually useful. The collar provides extra padding and a tighter fit if you choose to lace it that way. If not, you still get a boost in comfort, with the option of having a little bit more breathing room. Either way it skates really well.
No. 9 - DC Mikey Taylor S
Mikey Taylor's shoe was so well-received by DC riders and that its elements lay the foundation down for releases that followed it like Kalis' shoe and Mike Mo Capaldi's. Capaldi helped test this shoe and loved it before he had his own for its flexibility. Skaters loved it just as much. Whether it's the clean look, or the tough upper made of super suede or the toe maneuverability, there were plenty of reasons to like this shoe. The sockliner is also really comfortable, but the cupsole and tread are what I love the most.
It seems as though this shoe was constructed strictly for impact protection, but it's great for all-around skating. Relying on Lunarlon cushioning for shock absorption, this shoe has it in the midsole and insole. Still all of that cushioning doesn't require excessive padding so it's built like a running shoe with light padding for snugness, and an external heel counter to lock in your foot better. The rubber outsole has good grip and the tread pattern is much better than than the one on P Rod's last shoe. The coolest thing though about this shoe is that the suede is well reinforced, so holes don't magically appear soon after you started skating them.
Huf is clever about everything he does from the way he markets his brand to the products he creates. I'm speaking about him so positively because he used the same approach with his pro model and it worked out nicely. He took an upper design we've usually seen before on a vulc sole, and adjusted it so that it's better-looking and then he put it on a cupsole. For this season he used a premium oiled leather upper with a lightweight cupsole. He outfitted it with a high abrasion insole. It may seem thin but that dress shoe-looking sneaker aesthetic never looked so ready to take a beating until now.
No. 6 - Lakai Howard
Lakai prides themselves on delivering a more-than-capable cupsole. The result of their efforts is the XLK sole construction found on the Rick Howard pro model. XLK construction consists of a premium blend of materials like rubber and foam designed to reduce weight while still remaining durable and flexible. Lakai sculpts their cupsoles thereby eliminating rubber where it isn't needed. What that does is give you a shoe that weighs less, lasts longer and moves the way you need it to.
According to Vans, wafflecup construction is "skateboarding's first-ever vulcanized cupsole." They feel they've achieved something that exhibits the best a cupsole has to offer in terms of support and durability, in addition to the best of a vulc shoe's grip and boardfeel. This occurs because the upper has a foxing rubber layer applied around it and then the wafflecup cupsole gets attached to the foxing rubber. A toe bumper gets wrapped around the waffle cup, then it gets baked in an oven until everything is bonded together.
I feel like this is a great shoe, but I'm not flying that "marriage between a vulc and cupsole" flag just yet. I just think that's snazzy marketing. The Euclid looks cool on its own because it doesn't resemble one of the traditional shoes Vans makes. It looks like a technical, functional shoe, which it is. It has a molded polyurethane sockliner with gel heel pads, for an ideal fit. It has a seamless toe cap with perforations in the stripe along the side panel for ventilation. These useful innovations found in the Euclid overpower the fancy waffle cup marketing campaign. Give them a try, you'll agree.
No. 4 - Emerica G6
Bryan Herman's newest shoe got its name from the special G6 foam in the midsole that is thicker in the heel and thinner near your toes. This is for better support and board control. The shoe actually has a three-part system with the G6 foam on top followed by a layer of lighter foam for stability, and then that classic gum sole on the bottom. Think of it as a triple decker sandwich of cushioning. The G6 was also designed to keep your feet as cool as possible with a ventilation system made of varied mesh layers that serve to let air flow in freely. The best feature however is the shoe's flexibility, where you probably can only name two shoes that are a notch above the G6.
No. 3 - Supra Ellington
When you really need some support for your ankles you can't go wrong with a pair of mid top cupsoles like some Ellingtons. The collar and molded pods in the heel combine to secure and stabilize your ankle. It gives you a really nice-feeling fit which at the same time allows you to move freely. The outsole is made of rubber but also has raised sidewalls in the ollie and heel areas. These sidewalls don't get in the way whatsoever. They actually help guide your feet better when you're sliding up or flicking against the griptape. If there's anything bad to say about the Ellington, it's that It's an expensive shoe. The great thing about that is that it's well worth your investment because it will last. You'll certainly get your money's worth.
No. 2 - adidas Lucas Pro
The Lucas Pro doesn't really look like any other shoe on the market right now and those who try them may feel that there is no comparison. The biggest plus with this shoe is with boardfeel. It was achieved by doing what we might assume is "the unthinkable" -- making the toe area really thin. On the inside when it comes to the footbed it's as if you're only supported by the insole, up until the midfoot area, where a foam layer gradually increases all the way to the heel. A lot of this shoe's features are more closely related to the characteristics of a vulcanized shoe which actually is the antithesis of a cupsole, but in this case that's a winning formula.
No. 1 - Etnies Marana
This Ryan Sheckler pro model is all the rage right now. Sure he's had great selling pro models in the past, but none of them were this good. It has a rubber toe cap that's been fused-on on the outside which makes it really durable. The midsole is made out of impact-resistant STI Evolution foam and Sheckler said that it's his best shoe yet for jumping down stuff. What else needs to be said?