They grip the pedals very well out of the box because of the rubber and barbecue of the waffle pattern. They also don't look retarded in public and is something you could ware to work/school and not get asked if you are wearing clown shoes. They are very flexy so hiking in them isnt that bad.
The Vans gravel is a great shoe while it lasts. My pair wore out in less then a month of trail riding and i mean like full on holes in the bottom worn out. Also for whatever reaason i would get really bad blisters on my feet from them which was due to the lack of a padded insole. i was super disappointed by this because they were good shoes and i had high hopes for them.
In summary i would say that they were a major disappointment that functioned well and looked great but didn't last. If you are a sponsored rider and get them for free they would be great, but if you buy all your stuff stick with five ten.