According to Vans, yes, yes it is. Or at least enough of a “departure from the norm” to name these kicks the Prison Issue #23. Maybe the 23 is a throwback to Michael Jordan and the Bulls (obligatory Chicago is the greatest city ever quip) due to the color swatch and the fact these could be basketball shoes. I’m not gonna lie to you, my vertical leap improved at least 0.23″ after strapping (pun intended) on these bad boys. It’s funny, when I lost all that weight and learned how to dress myself I always told myself I would never wear polos, topsiders, or shoes that in any way involved velcro.
One dry-cleaning mishap, meeting Will, and a trip to the Rack later and my whole world is upside-down and Off-The-Wall (two points if you figure THAT out). Velcro is a bit of gamble, I will give you that. But its the third strap that makes all the difference in the world. Two straps? No dice. One strap? Ridiculous. Three straps? Brilliant! People will see them sitting on the rack and say, “What in the HELL were you thinking? Velcro?!?!?!?!?” Then you wear them out and the compliments start rolling in. Next thing you know you’re back at the Rack (greatest accidental trip ever, btw) so they can buy their own pair. For the record, these shoes are just as tedious to don as shoes with laces. Velcro for style, not convenience.