Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fallen Capitol review

Fallen Capitol results for weeks 1 to 4 from top to bottom.

This year has been an awaking of sorts for select shoe brands. After carefully thinking about this year, we've realized that those pros who have stayed loyal to the game but underground at the same time are finally getting the recognition they deserve. We're talking about the likes of Joey Pepper & Jack Curtin more specifically. People have been waiting for both of them to get a shoe for some time now & thankfully they are. Each of these guys have fallen into that category of "Why the fuck isn't he getting a shoe?".

We're looking to skate the HUF Pepper in the future but for now we'd like to concentrate on Jack Curtin's pro model, the Capitol. We got the chance to try out the Capitol from Fallen footwear & it surprised us more than we expected. With any vulcanized shoe, you have your premonitions about it and sort of set yourself up for disappointment because of it's expected short life span. We're so glad this wasn't the case with Jack's shoe. Throughout the review, you'll hear us reference the Capitol as a "superior vulcanized model" and by the end of it you won't even think about arguing with that statement. For such a thin shoe, it delivered some huge results.

Review information:
The review was done using our month long format and the shoe was skated for a total of 20 hours. Check below after each section to view the grading & summary. We base our ratings from 1-10. 10 being the best and 1 being the absolute worst. Enjoy.

As we stated in the first glance of the Capitol, it's probably best to get a half size smaller than what you'd normally get. With the Capitol, you're getting a shoe that's so thin on the inside, that you'll have enough comfort space with a half size smaller. Seeing as how it's a thin model, your foot will just fit in perfectly without feeling any pressure whatsoever. It'll feel centered and even more protected with the feeling of the sockliner surrounding your foot at all times.

Short Answer: Get a Half Size Smaller.

Comfort, Cushion & Support:
Again, with the Capitol being as thin as it is, it was incredible for comfort purposes. Such a easy shoe to just slip on without having to tie the laces overtime. We're currently reviewing another shoe at the moment and we have to re-lace our shoes everytime just to get it on our feet. To say the least, we're missing that "slip on and go" element from the Capitol. The best comfort spec that the Capitol has to offer must be the neoprene sockliner; it's really remarkable. As Jack told us in his interview, he wanted that happy medium of slipping on your shoe while having that snug & secure feeling. It's what he wanted and it absolutely transferred over into the finish product of today.

The cushioning aspect of the Capitol is an unexpected one. For such a thin shoe, it actually finds a way to thoroughly surround your foot with a good amount of cushioning. Aside from keeping your foot snug & centered, the neoprene sockliner is thicker than any other conventional design we've seen before. You'll find some simple cushioning around the collar of the shoe but the neoprene sockliner makes up the difference and surrounds your ankle & heel area with even more cushioning. Once you unintentionally have your board fly back on you & hit your heel area, you'll realize that bit of padding really helps.

The support values of the Capitol are slim but there nonetheless. You can expect a really thin eva insole but that will all change within the next season. Fallen is actually introducing a great structure of insoles in their next season and we can't wait for the Capitol to have it. For the review, we did swap out the eva for a slightly thicker Remind insole after the second week of review. It gave us the same performance values that we wanted and diminished any thoughts of sore feet the next day. If you have the Capitol now or plan on getting the newest colorways, feel free to swap out the insole for something that fits your needs. We did and the Capitol adjusted without any trouble. If you're a little lighter on your feet, the eva insole might work wonders for you. We're sure that as soon as Fallen comes out with their new line of insoles, no swapping will be needed when skating the Capitol.

Comfort grading: 9 - Built to be a chill shoe, the Capitol delivered more than it intended & gave us a really good skate shoe.
Cushioning grading: 6 - This shoe was made from a minimalists point of view. If you're confident in your ability to skate, you won't get hurt in these. It contributes more than you'd think with the neoprene sockliner too.

Fallen Capitol results for weeks 1 to 4 from left to right.

Boardfeel & Grip:
You should really be looking forward to these two elements if you're looking to try the Capitol. Fallen footwear has changed up most of their technology and it's actually starting to show through. The boardfeel is what you'd expect from this superior vulcanized model. The grip on the other hand is the surprise of this review. Although, it is still your average herringbone outsole, the tread marks are significantly deeper. This small but strong change improves performance & protection all at the same time.

With the addition of deeper tread marks, comes the change in grip & how it performs.
After 4 weeks of skating, the outsole showed no signs of wear & held up better than we expected. Consumers have been asking for this small change from brands for years and we're ecstatic that Fallen is willing to listen. With deeper tread marks, the shoe is not only elevated to a stronger performance level but also keeps us intrigue as to what else Fallen is coming up with in the near future.

Boardfeel grading: 10 - Don't fear a loss of tricks in these. They're thin enough to feel your board with comfort but not every pebble on the ground. Perfect balance.
Grip grading: 10 - With a strong & durable outsole, the grip never gave and stayed around for 20 hours. We wonder how much longer it could last...  

Fallen Capitol results for weeks 1 to 4 from top to bottom.

You can quote us on calling the Capitol a "superior vulcanized model". For this review, we specifically attacked the left foot only and skated on it the whole entire 20 hours. Aside from being poor at switch, this helped us bring to light Fallen's new dedication to performance & new technology.

The toe piece held up without the help of any plastic insert or any reinforcement of any kind. With that said, it's fucking amazing that we didn't just bust through the shoe after skating it for 20 hours. Even more remarkable is how consistent the shoe was. At no point did it decide to warp or transform from 20 hours of skating.

Suede durability grading: 10 - We know that Fallen started to play around with different suedes and oils but they really outdid themselves on this one. They must be studying different types of suedes night and day. It had such a smooth flick and came off of the board perfectly every time without ever tearing through.
Sole durability grading: 8 - Even for a soft rubber sole, the grip never gouged or penetrated the sole aggressively like we expected it to.
Outsole durability grading: 10 - We're used to seeing at least a small fade in the outsole right around the 4th week of review and these didn't give. Whoever made these tread marks deeper & stronger, good shit!

Initially, we had our doubts about the neoprene sockliner but after skating it, we'd love to see more of it. Aside from keeping our foot in the shoe, the sockliner can adjust to all climates. Whether you're freezing on the east coast or warm in the west coast, it'll adapt to your needs. Now that it's colder here on the east coast, that sockliner is keeping our feet warm. That alone makes the Capitol the only vulc shoe we'll be skating this fall/winter season.

If all of this information wasn't good enough to convince you to pick up the Capitol, let us sum up our actual experience skating it. We had an amazing time with the Capitol. It's a shoe that out of the box skated perfectly & granted, that's to be expected but this shoe is actually different from most on the market today. In all honestly, we probably had a bigger ratio of landing tricks rather than bailing like we're used to because of how easy the shoe conformed to our skating. Landing more tricks kept us happy, confident and consistent. If you're looking for all those things & more, we'd highly recommend getting the Capitol.

Thanks to everyone who help put this review together including Kelly, Nick P. and the crew over at Fallen. Special shoutout to Jack Curtin for putting together an amazing shoe.

If you can't find these at your local skate shop, you know the next best thing. Go directly to Jack's page over at Brick Harbor and find these super quick before they are all gone. Remember, get a half size smaller than what you'd normally get!

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