Over the past few weeks, we were able to get a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the collaboration process between Anthony van Engelen and Vans as they designed their most technologically advanced skate shoe yet. "20 years ago, skate shoes just gave the appearance of tech,” said Anthony Van Engelen of his new signature model. "Now, we’re in the future, where that technical design extends to the shoe’s performance."

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With an illustrious quarter-century career, Van Engelen has remained at the forefront of skate culture due to the fearless nature of his skating and his willingness to always push boundaries. That mindset extends to his footwear too, and, as a result, the AVE 2.0 is designed to handle anything a skater can throw at it. The hero piece of the design is its unparalleled knit upper, made of technical textile with a zonal construction: extra stretch at the top of the foot and the collar make for an adaptable fit, while open knit on the midfoot increase’s breathability and a more dense knit towards the heel aids with structure and durability. Combine this knit material with RapidWeld™ (A stitchless construction for improved fit and feel with a no-sew welded upper for seamless durability) suede vamps, bottom eye stays, and toe boxes for enhanced flick, plus an external TPU heel cage for increased lockdown, and you’ve got a shoe that can stack up to even the most grueling sessions.

"I’ve found knit material to be super comfortable, lightweight and breathable,” says AVE “Combined with suede in the more high-use parts of the shoe, it makes for a great mixture of design and performance."

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The AVE 2.0 also has a torrent of tech below its top half thanks to an UltimateWaffle™ midsole and outsole—a combination of UltraCush™ cushioning, a TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) midfoot support, and SickStick™ rubber outsoles for cushioning and board feel — packed up in a neutral yet energizing color scheme that combines cream, white, and black with a hit of neon green. "Vans and I have stayed on track with innovations over three signature shoes and ten years now," says Van Engelen. "True innovation creates both a high-performance skate shoe and excitement for what’s possible in the future."

The AVE 2.0 and its accompanying apparel collection will be released on March 28 via vans.com/skateboarding and select skate shops. To celebrate the footwear release, a Global Gallery tour titled “Commitment to Progression,” will kick off in downtown Los Angeles the same day and touch down in Shanghai and Seoul shortly thereafter—with AVE himself present at every stop. Stay tuned for more info.