Vulcan was the Roman god of fire. Vulcanization is a process for making rubber more durable by using sulfur to create links between the rubber’s polymer chains. Vulcanized (vulc) shoes are made when that rubber sole is glued to the upper and then a layer of foxing tape gets wrapped around it. When it comes to skateboarding, vulc shoes are extremely popular because they usually don’t have midsoles, making them lighter than and much easier to feel your board with than cupsoles, so they skate really well.
Some of the best shoes of all time didn’t make this list, so don’t be too surprised. The Half Cab isn’t here and neither is the Era or Authentic. You won’t find the Nike SB Zoom Janoski here either. You’ll find them here. The reason for this is you can’t always highlight only the popular shoes and continually overlook ones made by companies without the budgets for exciting marketing campaigns or expensive team riders. Sometimes the little guys need some shine, but only if they deserve it. The ones that made this list of ten are worthy of being called some of the best vulc shoes on the market right now. A few are shoes that had success as cupsoles, and their manufacturers just wanted to cash in on the vulc market. Some others are built with sturdy insoles and thin uppers for boardfeel, and a couple of them are just great all-around.
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 Fat Beats New York employee escaped to Los Angeles where he could skate all year round. When he’s not out walking his pitbulls, he listens to Bebop and contributes to ESPN Skateboarding and Sneaker Report.