Dr. Dog- I think it is actually great that Syndicate is that limited and prevents online sales...that way you need to step foot in a location authorized by Vans "S" as an appropriate retail environment that represents the body and sole of the brand. I may be biased because I feel like we really do it "right", but educating the customer and the buying experience is just as important as the item itself. Most stores are not capable or replicating that experience online.
While I totally understand where you're coming from and support the concept of going to and supporting those types of shops, it really sucks for those of us that live nowhere near any of the locations. Yeah, I could call around to those shops to see if they've got the pair I'm looking for in stock, but it's also more of a hassle and providing less of an environmental shopping experience than buying online.
That explains why I've had such a hard time finding anybody selling the shaka's though... Or the black and white wingtips last fall.
I may be hitting you up soon to see if you can help me out on these, though! Definitely interested in a black pair.