Just forget all the useless videos on youtube of supposed reviews of these Vans SK8-HI MTE.
These have a scotchgard treatment on the upper and a midsole barrier of some sort for the cold.
They are supposed to be weatherrproof (as they say it) and breathable. The scotch guard state it's supposed to be waterproof and they claim "keep fabrics and materials DRY"
Don’t think Neoshell, Goretex or Event performance here. It’s not a membrane, it’s just a treatment applied to the fabric.
They are supposed to be for winter but there is only some lining in the Ankle area : pretty useless if you ask me.
No lining on the side or up the toes and as a result when it’s colder than 5°C outside you’re cold. Strange for a shoe advertised for handling snow. To be honest you can be cold in other situations too, like no activity working behind a computer for several hours in a 20 degrees room with super thin merino socks. Go figure... (the EXACT same situation with a simple pair of nike pre montreal racer and my feet are fine, not warm, but fine)
I can’t understand the reason why, It’s either one of those options:
1) It breathes so well you’re cold.
Imagine it’s freezing outside, you put a nice pair of woolpower 400 socks, your feet starts sweating and the scotchgard does such a good job evaporating all that sweat that you end up with frozen feet.
(If you don’t know what are those socks, they are the worlds best merino socks used by armies for decades - I will not even make a quick review - no need - already good reviews out there - Unrivaled performance).
Your feet starts sweating and the scotchgard does such a good job evaporating all that sweat that you end up with frozen feet.
You get the same result by downgrading sock warmth to woolpower 200 socks.
2) The material do not breathe enough, so you end up sweating a bit and as a result you get cold feets.
3) It has no lining so you’re cold
Woolpower socks can’t do their job on their own. Scotchgard is only a treatment and there is no lining. You only get a thin layer of suede as protection against the cold. STUPID.
About the water repellancy Scotchgard treatment: Do not think those video reviews showing water falling on them is sensefull.
Too much water in too little time and high water weight = it falls right off the shoe. Just a USELESS test.
THE BEST TEST for that kind of treatment is walking in grass after a long rain.
Not even 15 cm grass, i’m talking 5 cm grass lawn here.
This is probably the harshest conditions for a repellent treatment because you get a continuous super small amount of water in a completly humid environement, there is so little pression that water penetrates more easily.
I walked between 100 and 500 meters.
The toe area of the shoe was wet. (see pic)
My toes and socks were wet 15 minutes after. This is not a joke.
Then, I was cold for the next 5 hours. After that I gave up, changed socks and shoes.
I’ve been told by Vans my shoes are defective. Maybe, but nothing is gonna change the fact that you get frozen toes.
Stay away from those shoes If you need real winter sneakers. At that price tag, that’s a rip off, especially in Europe which is about a 120$ price tag.
They look cool but that's it. These are no winter shoes.
UPDATE FOLLOW UP: OK so Vans customer service was claiming the shoes were defective.
There was a sale on an online shop for the Vans MTE edition Black / Rosin colorway at -70%, couldn't resist and thought it would be a nice addition to my collection and will allow me to verify some facts.
I received the shoes. The first time I walked with them, I walked in my lawn at 11am, on this sunny day the only humidity was the one from last night. No rain for 4 days prior to this walk. 5 centimeters grass, 1 minute walk. Here's the result in pictures.
Pic taken right after the walk.
Pic taken 2 minutes after, you can see that water has already penetrated the suede.
3 minutes later, the suede is fully soaked and saturated.
I must add that the 10 first steps I was feeling strange cold bites and was wondering if that was water i was feeling. YES it was.
After the 5 minutes, the time it took me to wait to make the pictures of the soaking evolution of the suede, I decided to take off the shoes to check my socks.
That's what I discovered (I was already feeling it of course...)
YES, the darker areas shows how soaked they are after 1 minute walk in humid grass.
These are regular sports cotton socks for mid season / summer use.
This MTE edition is a joke.
Will still contact Vans and see what they have to say and will report, when I have 5 mins on my hands.
Follow Up: Contacted by email Vans Europe, 2 weeks after still no answer. Contacted by email Vans US = said to contact Vans europe. Contacted again by email Vans Europe = No Answer. It was one month ago.
Oh I went snowboarding and took them with me for this trip just for fun. The sole works great, you do not feel the cold from the sole. If the snow isn't melting, it won't soak up the shoe.