DISSECTED: Vans LXVI Graph
It’s safe to say that if you assume the Hypebeast moniker then you are or were at some point an avid sneaker fan, to put it lightly. Consequently it should come to no surprise that footwear is one of the most featured product types to these here viral pages, and as writers it is our job to thoroughly educate our loyal readers on each release from its inspiration all the way up to availability. One aspect however that seems to demand the most attention and often detailed explanations surrounds the makeup of said release. Like an automobile, each shoe is built with a slew of parts that when separated they’re just a piece of unassuming material, but together they have the ability to enhance athletic performance and maintain the stability of one’s body. Therefore, to help shed some light on what really makes up a contemporary sneaker model, Hypebeast kicks off its newest series dubbed DISSECTED, which will not only highlight footwear but some of your favorite products. First up is Vans’s latest release, the Graph, from its inaugural LXVI line.
Earlier this summer Vans announced an addition to its long list of brand extensions dubbed LXVI. This retrospective line blends the California label’s iconic heritage with the construction methods found in modern athletic footwear. Introducing six new proprietary technologies with comfort, flexibility and weight at the forefront of design, this range looks to reach uncharted lands of counterculture style enthusiasts that wouldn’t typically be found on an action sport’s playing field.
From a range that offers five cutting edge models, we decided to highlight the Graph, which is being touted as “the lightest Vans shoe ever.” Its inspiration aligns the classic Era design structure with the aesthetics of a technically-sound running sneaker to create a comfortable and lightweight all-purpose shoe. Starting from the ground up, the Graph features a modernized flexible thread outsole dubbed WaffleFlex. This proprietary design features lateral flex grooves and spaced out thread blocks that reduce weight and increase flexibility. Within the outsole sees the addition of yet another patented technology, the UltraCush Lite. Using custom molded EVA and open cell foam, the UltraCush Lite does everything it can to maintain stability and improve comfort. Additionally, Vans introduces the ActionFit feature within the sole which is an innovative design initiative offering a heightened heel to mimic the fit of running shoes, whilst maintaining a balanced feel. This allows for focused heel cushioning and helps its user run properly on the balls of their feet.
Moving on up to the midsole and body of the sneaker, Vans unveils its fourth proprietary technology for this forward-thinking model, labeled RapidWeld. This progressive upper panel construction replaces the need for conventional stitching utilizing a thin film between panels, bonding them together when pressed and heated. This therefore creates an extremely strong bond between every panel providing enhanced durability, flexibility and comfort when compared to conventional stitching techniques. In addition to its extremely lightweight upper, each Graph model follows up with economical open weave mesh panels that increases airflow and reduces waste.
Lastly, we take a look at the opening and interior of the shoe which sees the employment of two additional trademarked designs: the LuxLiner and PleasureCuff. Enabling the shoe to conform and move with the shape of the foot, the LuxLiner features a free floating liner as an extension of the tongue that moves independently from the outer shell. Additionally, the PleasureCuff uses a Lycra-coated neoprene cuff that wraps around a soft layer of open cell foam at its core. Both design elements are applied to support comfort and increase breathability.