The UltraRange Rapidweld is a good pair of shoes, and the UltraRange EXO is clearly an upgrade in some ways.
But I didn’t choose the UltraRange EXO for all the reasons you might think I did. I chose them because they’re better, but also because they’re cheaper.
Let’s start with the obvious stuff: the UltraRange EXO is sleeker and smoother, and just more modern in all dimensions.
The design is more understated but more distinctive than the classic appearance of the Rapidwelds; they’ve got a bit of personality to them.
Why did I choose the UltraRange EXO?
The EXO is my straight choice due to numerous reasons. This brand is stamped out pieces of leather stitched together to make up its exterior, while the Rapidweld uses a single piece of leather for its exterior.
Another reason is that the EXO has an insole with an extra layer of padding that makes it thicker than the insole on the Rapidweld.
This means that when wearing them side by side you notice that they don’t feel quite as rugged and they don’t have as good traction when they’re wet and covered in snow and ice.
The UltraRange EXO’s are not lighter, but they feel like they will be more comfortable. They’ve got a softer sole, and a higher-quality upper (or at least that’s what it feels like).
The sole has a lot more flexibility to it; when I press my finger on the bottom of my foot, I can feel that it bends down more easily compared to the Rapidwelds.
This adds up to a shoe that feels like it will be easier on my feet.
Differences between UltraRange EXO vs UltraRange Rapidweld
|UltraRange EXO||UltraRange Rapidweld|
|Wider shape||Narrower shape|
|Extra leather||Quality sole|
|Softer toe box||Stiffer toe box|
|Fashion style||Sporty style|
|Thick vulcanized sole||Thin sole|
The EXO provides a wider shape
The UltraRange is stiffer and is more comfortable in terms of space. But some say this makes it more durable than the EXO. I disagree.
The Rapidweld however, is stiffer because it has a more narrow shape. Most skaters will prefer this because they will get the firmness they want without feeling too boxed in.
The EXO is also softer because it has a wider shape to accommodate. Most riders will prefer this because they are used to shoes that are wider than narrower.
The biggest difference is that the EXO is more flexible, which means it is more comfortable but liable to durability issues.
The EXO has a roomier last than the Rapidweld. That’s true for both width and length. Wider shoes are generally preferred by people with wider feet; narrower ones by people with narrower feet.
This is an important decision for many people, but it’s also one of those things you can’t know until you’ve worn different-sized shoes and walked around in them for a while.
Luckily for you, I have worn both and I can conclude that the EXO is not very firm on the foot: not like the Rapidweld.
- The potential downside of the EXO is that it can feel sloppy, or give your foot more room to slide around inside.
- The Rapidweld might feel too tight though, but trust me, it is easier to solve the sliding problem than the tightness problem. (This has always been a problem for me.)
- Another benefit of UltraRangeEXO is that they include better stability on uneven ground and additional heel support.
The Rapidweld has better soles
Are Extra leather shoes are better than Quality sole shoes? This decision is solely based on preference but I have experienced the leather finishing on the EXO; simony irresistible.
Vans, being hot in this area for the past few years, make several different styles of leather Vans including the EXO.
The first thing most people notice about these shoes is their weight (though I noticed that the Rapidweld is lighter).
This is not necessarily your first concern when buying a pair of shoes, but it’s an important one especially if you are the sporty type. If you ask me, every shoe should be as light as possible.
It doesn’t matter what it’s made out of or how many bells and whistles it has if it’s heavy. It just makes you tired quicker.
EXO’s toe box is softer
While the EXO dwells more on high-quality leather, and it has a rubber sole instead of the normal Vans waffle sole, the UltraRange Rapidweld is made of.
But the main difference between the two shoes is that the Rapidweld uses an “UltraRange” technology that is specially built for all-terrains.
First off, I’ve heard that the toe box on the UltraRange EXO is slightly softer than the toe box on the Rapidweld.
My own personal experience with them seems to confirm this. With that being said, the difference is so small that I wouldn’t base my buying decision on it.
I personally prefer the EXO because of its look and because of its slightly softer toe box, but it’s still not a huge difference between the two.
The EXO is more casual
- UltraRange EXO shoes are more popular among the young crowd.
- These kinds of shoes are not as comfortable as the Rapidweld though.
- The EXO usually has a single piece of leather on the top of the shoe, with a little extra padding on the heel that is not present in sporty style shoes.
- A lot of people think that EXO shoes are good for casual wear and the Rapidweld is good for sports activities.
The last point is a misconception, however, because both kinds of shoes can be worn for either purpose. It’s just that one performs better here.
The main difference here between the two is fashion and sportiness. The sportiness is most noticeable when you walk, run or jump in these two types of shoes.
The sporty type (which is the Rapidweld), is lighter than the fashion-based EXO and this gives it more support and stability during physical activities such as running or jumping.
The EXO is more durable
In the past, people used to think that durable shoes were ugly, heavy, and uncomfortable.
But I have a different impression. Durable shoes like the EXO look much better than budget shoes, and they might not be lighter but are as comfortable.
The UltraRange EXO appears to be made with much higher quality materials. So what exactly makes them so durable? How do durable shoes differ from budget ones?
First of all, the biggest difference is in sole construction. Durable shoes usually use a heavier duty rubber, which holds up much better under the stress of daily wear and tear.
A heavier-duty rubber can even extend the life of your EXO by providing better protection for the upper part of your shoe.
The soles on your Rapidweld tend to be thinner and more flimsy which can make it break down faster over time.
The upper part of a shoe is also an important factor in durability. The Rapid’s uppers tend to be made from thinner leathers and fabrics that won’t hold up as long as those found on the EXO.
The Vans UltraRange EXO has a better sole
I think that EXO sole is better than the Rapidweld sole, and I will tell you why.
EXO’s rubber is harder and thicker, and it makes your walk more comfortable, and it also provides more protection from sharp objects.
The bottom of the EXO has a little bit of hard material protecting your feet from concrete, metal, glass, or other hard objects.
The EXO sole is about 11-12mm thick, which is enough to protect your feet from sharp objects. On the other hand, the Rapidweld sole has an average thickness of about 9-10 mm, which is not very thick compared to the EXO.
If you compare those two soles with a knife or a piece of glass or a piece of metal, you can see that EXO’s rubber is harder and thicker than Rapidweld’s rubber.
As for traction, both soles have pretty much similar traction on smooth surfaces such as streets and sidewalks.
But the thinness of the Rapidweld’s sole won’t make it lose traction power on different floors such as tile floors or carpeted floors but it isn’t as grippy as its counterpart.
Similarities between UltraRange EXO vs UltraRange Rapidweld
Both are very light
One of the main reasons I like the UltraRange shoes is because they’re so light compared to other work Vans brands out there like the Authentic
I wish I could recommend both shoes because they are both very light and seem to be built well. But they each have their own pros and cons, so it comes down to which ones you like better.
Both shoes are very light, very fast shoes. It is aimed at runners who want to race long distances and backpackers who want to walk fast over rough terrain.
The design is aimed at people who want to do more than one activity in their shoes. Over the last few years, I have used both shoes for backpacking, trail running, and even hiking with a heavy pack. It’s just a case of one outdoing the other in various points.
Both have toe boxes
A toe box is an extra layer at the front of the shoe that reduces the amount your foot can splay out to the side.
You can see this effect by scrunching up your toes in your shoes. The toe box prevents you from scrunching them up as much.
This means that your feet have less room for error in terms of angle when you are walking or running or jumping or stopping suddenly.
It also means that if you stub your toe on something, it hurts more. It also makes it more likely that you will stub your toes.
I have used a lot of Rapidweld footwear, and I now have a few pairs of EXOs. Both kinds are getting rave reviews from hikers who wear them, and the only real difference between the two is in the toe box.
UltraRange EXO has an enclosed toe box that looks like a sneaker or a work boot, whereas UltraRange RAPIDWELD boots look more like a running shoe.
Both shoes are both Vans UltraRange
Features of the Vans UltraCush special are as follows;
- The new UltraRange Midsole utilizes Vans’ proprietary UltraCush Lite foam, which is softer than previous models.
- The rubber outsole and foam midsole are combined into a single, co-molded piece.
- A step up from their classic shoes, these shoes offer a nice balance of comfort and stability.
- The new UltraRange Midsole utilizes Vans’ proprietary UltraCush Lite foam, which is softer than previous models.
- The LuxLiner sock-fit construction is definitely different from UltraRange EXO’s fabrication.
Both use grippy waffle soles
- Designed with the iconic Vans waffle tread, this heartier alternative to our UltraCush Lite technology is primed for comfort and durability.
- The LuxLiner™ construction is designed so you can wear the UltraRange EXO all day long without any discomfort.
- The Vans UltraRange Rapidweld has a waffle lug outsole that provides superior traction on ice and snow.
Both are all-terrain shoes
The UltraRange EXO are good all-terrain shoes. But they are not the best all-terrain shoes though.
The best all-terrain shoes are the UltraRange Rapidwelds. They have almost all the advantages of the EXOs – a nice wide toebox, great traction, and excellent waterproofness – and none of their disadvantages – they’re not as heavy, not as stiff, and not as hot.
I’m not saying you should buy these instead of the EXOs. If your needs are different from mine or my friends’, there may be reasons why you do need those extra features.
But if you want the best all-terrain shoe with a wide toe box for your foot (instead of a medium or narrow one), and if you want it to be waterproof (instead of having only mesh upper with a separate waterproof bootie), then this is what I would recommend.
It’s true I prefer the EXO over the Rapidwelds because of the stiffness and the lace bite, but if you like stiffer shoes, these will be great. I’m always looking for a great daily trainer. These are not that shoe.
The UltraRange EXO is a shoe that does everything well, but nothing spectacularly. It’s a solid offering from Vans.
The Vans UltraRange Rapidweld is also an all-around good shoe, and if you like a more responsive ride, this will be your favorite daily trainer on the market.
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