Best Vans Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Style
It would be very difficult to visit any public place and not spot a pair of Vans. You may think this brand is only for those who hang around the neighborhood skate park, but you would be wrong. From everyday style to practical athletic use, Vans are not just your “California skate” shoe anymore.
When looking to purchase a pair of Vans, the first thing to is to determine the purpose it will serve. Some major factors to buy Vans can be comfort, skating, or style. The comfort provided by particular styles certainly can lend a hand to long hours on your feet. Maybe you are more interested in style – most of the Vans shoes today come in a range of colors or can be personalized. If you are budget conscious, you can be sure to find a pair of Vans in your budget.
- Vans Authentic
- Signature Rubber Waffle Outsoles
- Vans Logo Tag
- Vans Era
- Padded Collar
- Heel Accents
- Vans Slip-On
- Vulcanized Construction
- Padded Collar and Footbed
The signature components of the original Van shoes have not been lost, and are easily spotted on many modern versions and styles, allowing lifelong Van fans and newbies alike to enjoy the iconic brand. While Vans mostly makes great everyday shoes and skate shoes, they’ve also brought forward new styles and designs that broaden the use to a larger variety of people including small children and adults. Classic or current, Vans delivers only the most relevant shoes created with quality features that extend their use. This best 15 list will give you a variety of Vans best selling shoes while including all the important reasons why they’re a top quality choice.
15 Best Vans Shoes
1. Vans Authentic
The rounded design and canvas material is a signature style by Vans. The iconic rubber waffle outsoles are ideal for skating, everyday wear, and brand recognition. The signature Vans flag is subtle and tasteful.
This shoe can be dressed up or dressed down. With Vans large selection of personalization, you can change every aspect of the shoes colors, materials and designs. Every closet needs a pair of shoes that can be acceptable for casual events to running errands.
Cost and Value
When it comes to iconic shoes, this particular Vans shoe is priced at an approachable price point. A best seller and a widely loved favorite, this shoe is created with high value and durability that makes for a long lasting everyday shoe, truly worth the affordable price.
- Great fit for both narrow and wide feet
- Reinforced Metal Eyelets
- Classic style
- Easy to slip on
- Can wear down if not properly cared for
- Not made for standing for long hours
2. Vans Era
From those of you really trying to avoid friction and getting blisters, this feature is a must have for protecting your ankles. The padded ankle collar provides a comfortable soft cushioning that forms lightly around your ankle and moves comfortably as you do.
The heel accents actually play two parts in this shoe. It not only adds a nice visual element, but the cushion lends a hand in the comfort and overall structure. The collar is padded and flexible to continue the trend of a stunning overall structure.
Cost and Value
You can find these great shoes for Vans average and affordable costs. The actual cost depends on your size options but overall you will find these shoes are of great value and truly worth the price.
- Padded ankle collar
- Reliable structure
- Quality stitching
- Classic design
- Durable rubber soles
- Stains quickly
3. Vans Slip-On
While slip on shoes may be convenient, you also want to make sure that the shoes are also secure and don't rub against the ankles. The padded ankle collars create a comfortable form fit around the ankle that helps to keep your foot in place during movement.
Created With Quality
This shoe has all of the original features of a Vans shoe, but has a true reliability that can stand up to a range of wear and tear. The durable canvas upper and waffle cut rubber outsoles help to increase reliability and extend the lifespan of the shoe.
Cost and Value
Depending on the design, this shoe can range in cost. Due to the structure, this shoe is excellent value, especially because this shoe will truly reflect your style. The slip on feature is just an extra bonus to the shoes value.
- Practical Style
- Cotton lining allows for breathability
- Durable structure
- Padded collar for comfort and shock absorption
- Minimal to moderate support
4. Vans Authentic Lo Pro
Not everyone is looking for an attention grabbing shoe, and don’t particular care for support or athletic needs. The minimalistic feel actually adds an advanced sophistication to a brand that leans towards a laid back lifestyle.
The Vans brand can come with a stigma that only skaters can wear them. The Authentic Pro Lo allow for anyone to gateway into the brand and feel completely comfortable. The low cut design also creates versatility and a general appreciation in a variety of users.
Cost and Value
With few justifiable pros to this shoe, it can be a little over priced. If you are willing to put in the effort to maintain the cleanliness of the exterior, it comes at a decent value. If you are looking for low-maintenance, it may not be the best value for you.
- Lightweight Design
- Stylish appearance
- Classic Vans elements
- Not ideal for narrow feet
5. Vans Atwood
The structure of this shoe, combined with the very stylish feel makes for an ideal overall design. You can feel great inside and out about the shoe because the support will add to your comfort and the compliments will validate your purchase.
With better support than Classic Vans, this design will allow you to wear the shoe all day and still be comfortable. Allow for a little time to wear in the shoe, but once you get past the new shoe smell, you won’t want to take them off.
Cost and Value
At a tad higher price point, the versatility of the Vans Atwood creates a higher value worth the cost. The shoe design is perfect for casual and semi-formal attire and is created to last for long periods of time.
- More structure than classic Vans
- Modern design feel
- Sturdy structure
- True to size
- Less athletic dependability
6. Vans Sk8-Hi
When you look at the Sk8-Hi shoe, you know it’s a Vans shoe from the tag to the side design. It stays true to the brand, but departs from the classics - allowing you to be different and not compromise on quality.
The structure has the same signature waffle outsole, allowing for reliable grip and traction. With added support in the ankle, you can be sure this shoe will be ideal for athletic uses and everyday wear.
Cost and Value
For the added support and materials, this shoe does come at a great value. Don’t be surprised to pay a little more than for the classic styles, but the comfortable feel and functional features will completely make up for the original investment.
- Range of colors
- Comfortable and Supportive
- Versatile use
- True to size
- Sole can wear out quickly if used for full-time athletic purposes
7. Vans Old Skool
The vulcanized construction through the iconic Vans waffle design shines through on this shoe, allowing for ultimate grip during athletic and everyday use. The Old Skool gives more support than the Classic Authentic and is a little more giving than the Authentic Skate.
With a few variations in fabrics and color combinations, it’s a great fit for those who are looking for something classic with a bit of a twist. The textures are understated, but lend a touch of style while remaining timeless.
Cost and Value
If you are looking for a durable and longer lasting Vans shoe, you will find great value in this particular style. It’s low maintenance exterior also adds to the value because you won’t find yourself needing to clean it on a regular basis.
- Middle ground between classic and modern
- Durability in structure
- Versatile style
- True to size
- Can wear down if used for full time athletic purposes
8. Vans Docket
These skate shoes are great for protection and constructive cushioning. From the tongue and ankle collars to the entire upper, the Docket comes with complete cushioning around the entire foot.
Quality Upper Materials
The upper is important for the appearance and adds to the reliable construction of the shoe. Vans made sure to create these shoes with quality which is why they used a combination of suede and textiles to create comfort and durability all in one.
Cost and Value
These shoes are priced very reasonably for the padding and comfort the shoe provides. Like most Vans shoes, the Docket is affordable and made to provide the user with a supportive, relaxing structure.
- Suede and textile upper
- Double stitched toe caps
- Padded ankle collar and tongue
- Rubber constructed cup soles
- Embroidered Vans logo
- Heel may come apart after long term use
- Tends to wear out quickly with repeated use
9. Vans Half Cab
The mid top length is the perfect size in between low cut and high top shoes. The padded ankles form lightly around the ankles without being too high and feeling constricting. With a little extra protection and added style, you can't go wrong with this design.
The canvas and suede materials used in the shoe create a modern design that can be worn in a variety of settings and as everyday shoes. Coming equipped with flexibility, responsive heel gripping panels, and durable construction these shoes really are all around versatile.
Cost and Value
These shoes can cost a little more than the other styles depending on color and sizes, but the shoes are overall at a great, reasonable price. The classic yet modern style also makes the shoes of great interest while the functionality increases the overall value of the shoe.
- Vulcanized waffle outsole
- Mid top length
- ‘Half Cab’ embroidery
- Canvas upper
- Suede toe
- Material stains easily
- May not provide enough arch support
10. Vans Bearcat
The upper of these shoes are embroidered with their side stripe logo on the sides of the shoes. The Vans logo on the top of the tongue of the shoe is also embroidered with the same quality stitching. This stitching is crafted with quality and not only adds appeal to the shoe but also helps keep the materials durable and in tact during use.
The double stitched toe cap and EVA Midsoles are both very functional features that provide a durable and comfortable fit in the shoe. On the outside, the vulcanized rubber soles provide grip and protection from the outer surfaces you walk on. All around the shoe is created with a durable, form fitting structure that is a perfect choice for an everyday shoe.
Cost and Value
The actual price of the shoes depends on the color choice and size options, but overall the shoes are usually at a reasonable cost. Since the shoe is a discontinued style, some options may be more expensive due to the limited quantities left available.
- Durable and attractive embroidery
- EVA Midsoles
- Double stitched toe cap
- Vulcanized rubber sole
- Comfortable cushioning
- Some options may be expensive due to limited availability
- May not provide enough arch support
11. Vans Chukka Low
Looking for extra comfort and protection in your Shoes? This is the way to go. The cushioning footbeds in the shoe help to keep the foot close to the surface while absorbing the shock from the highest levels of impact. This feature will keep your feet feeling lightweight and protected.
Adding some extra style and functionality to similar original styles is what makes this shoe stand out from the rest. Inspired by the Chukka boot and Authentic classic, the sturdy canvas uppers, Pro Vulc construction and waffle cut rubber soles provide functionality to a modern upgrade on your favorite classics.
Cost and Value
You can find these simple and stylish sneakers for about the same prices as you can find all the rest. The style and comfort creates a good value shoe that is also at a very affordable price.
- Cushioning HD footbeds
- Close, lightweight feel
- Waffle cut rubber outsoles
- Low cut version of the Chukka boot
- Pro Vulc construction
- Shoe materials wear down quickly with repetitive use
- Comes apart at the heel over time
12. Vans Kyle Walker Pro
If you end up being skater of the year, you've got some serious skills and know what features it takes to make a reliable shoe. Kyle Walker used his hands on knowledge with the help of the Vans team to create a skate shoe that truly does it all. Comfort, protection, lightweight and durable features can all be found here.
While suede and leather are great, high quality materials, you want to make sure the quality stay the same and doesn't wear down over time. The uppers of these shoes are reinforced with DURACAP technology to help create extra durability especially in the high wear areas.
Cost and Value
These skate shoes can be a little more expensive than the usual standard price seen in most of their other shoes. Designed by a professional skater, coming with extra durability and being extremely relevant in style, the value is fairly high for these sneakers and the price is reflective of that.
- Designed by Kyle Walker
- Reinforced uppers
- UltraCush HD footbeds
- Added impact protection
- Waffle cut rubber soles
- Price is higher than their other standard shoes
- Heels may separate from shoes over time
13. Vans Chauffeur SF
Replicating loafers and boat shoes, this shoe has been created to fit relevant styles and comfort needs. The shoes appearance is sleek, lightweight and attractive. They make the perfect pair of shoes for a classy occasion, everyday in warm weather or near the beach.
Low Cut And Slip On
Lightweight, comfortable and easy to use, what more could you ask for? This shoe design forms well to the shape of your foot while being extremely easy to take on and off. The low cut designs avoids rubbing against the ankles and draws more positive attention to the tops of your feet.
Cost and Value
These shoes are priced at a fair and affordable price range. They're just about the same price as Vans best selling original styles but come with a whole new design appearance better suited for classy events. The value is great and overall the price is definitely worth the quality of the shoe.
- Similar to loafers or boat shoes
- Low cut
- Slip on
- Lightweight and durable
- Non tie shoelaces
- Cannot be worn barefoot
- Better for special occasions, not as everyday shoes.
14. Vans Rata Vulc SF
Going to a special occasion and need a pair of shoes that are classy but still are youthful in appearance? This is the perfect shoe. The non tie shoelaces add light embellishment and a minimal focal point to the shoes. While the rest of the design is focused on the rounded clean cut curves, the laces is what ties the design all together.
While features like slip on and non tie laces are great for easy usage, you also want to make sure comfort and security isn't sacrificed. Vans worked hard to design this shoe for style and function. The Pro Vulc Lite construction adds cushion, durability and a lightweight feel to this shoe design.
Cost and Value
These shoes are around the same price as the Chauffeur SF, but come with more fabric around the top of the foot and a minimal rounded appearance. The appearance and structure is attractive and well designed, making the value completely worth the cost.
- Great for casual and classy events
- Slip on
- Lightweight construction
- Non tie shoelaces
- Classic waffle cut outsoles
Back heel tends to fall apart with use
15. Vans Chukka
Since the original release of the Chukka boot, Vans has created spin-offs of this shoe. Try out the Desert Chukka Boot. From the leather to the new technology, Vans constructed a flexible and comfortable boot. The ink and glue used to construct this boot is all water based, and the UltraCush sockliners provide premium comfort.
It’s great when a brand can venture away from its norm, but not completely forget its identity. The Chukka Boot is stylish and you can feel confident you will get the same aesthetics you know and trust from a Vans shoe.
Cost and Value
Modern style and ultimate comfort will come at a price, but the durability will make it worth it. The high top style and long lasting reliability makes the shoes valuable and worth the cost.
- Durable materials
- Fashion forward
- Timeless design
- Extreme comfort
- The sizes run larger than normal
Is the top 15 list too “everyday” for you? Didn’t really see anything that would set you apart? Marc Jacobs and Vans have partnered to create the Marc Jacobs collection. A corduroy inspired collection, these shoes are a collectors item. Keep an eye out for your favorite Vans shoe to get a Marc Jacobs spin. These shoes would be recommended as purely a fashion statement, and would require great care.
When selecting the best Vans for you, the most important factor to consider is what you need from your shoe. If you are looking for athletic wear, everyday wear, or just pure style, there is a Vans shoe for you. Don’t be afraid to try different styles of Vans. One of the most fantastic aspects of a brand like Vans, is the ability to allow the shoe to fit into your lifestyle. Start with one style and continue your Vans journey for years to come.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Vans Shoes
When looking to purchase a new pair of shoes that you’re planning on wearing everyday, it’s important to know your shoes are going to be comfortable and reliable. Brand reputation is a very relevant way to the asses companies and easily find the best shoes possible.
Creating a good brand reputation isn’t easy though. Companies have to work hard to create features and designs that provide superiority from the rest of their competitors. While Vans is commonly recognized as a skate shoe brand, they’re also very reputable in youth shoes and everyday, casual sneakers.
Since 1966, the Vans team has being working hard to create unisex designs that can be enjoyed by all while providing a form fit and comfort for long periods of time. If you look around, you’ll see many different types of people wearing Vans shoes, and they’re not all teens and skaters. The brand has appealed to adults with styles like their Old Skool High-Tops and Chauffeur SF slip on loafer.
Vans uses relevant materials and technology to deliver all your basic comfort needs. From the durable canvas materials to the resilient waffle cut rubber outsoles, the shoes designs are able to remain simple and attractive while also providing simple, lightweight security.
From personal experience as well, I can tell you that if you treat the shoes well and don’t put too much hard use on them, they can actually last for a few years without showing any signs of damage. It’s personal reviews like this and the ability for users to customize their shoe designs that also truly enhance the brands high quality reputation.
Style and Design
When you think of Vans shoes, the first style that probably comes to mind is the most popular and original, Authentic shoe. If you look around at a skate park, a high school or at any local event, you’ll see many different styles of this one shoe design everywhere. It’s truly a best selling classic that makes a great everyday shoe.
While this popular style is loved by many of its users, you may be looking for something that stands out a little more. Although Vans may keep their original favorites, they’re also continuously working hard to create a larger variety of different styles that can reach a broader audience.
Now days, you’ll be able to find everyday sneakers, high-tops, slip-on shoes, sandals and even shoes that work well for special occasions and casual events. No matter what kind of styles Vans creates, it’s always a design that is minimal, attractive and can be enjoyed by any gender.
Style is very important to some people and a lot of us like to feel that what we wear, represents a part of who we are. While Vans creates a large variety of styles and color combinations, you may just still not have found the one that right for you. Maybe you’re looking for something unique that stands out from the rest. With Vans amazing customization options, you can choose from almost any of their sneaker designs and change/add any colors or patterns to even the smallest details of the shoes. This is a great option for those who like to stay in style and be apart of the design process.
Vans simple shoe designs create a style that can work well with a large variety of clothing and occasions. Known for being a long lasting everyday shoe, the relevant appearance creates a youthful tone that can also be enjoyed by a variety of ages, even adults. While the original designs will always stay classics, Vans will continue to update their styles to consistently bring forward functional features.
From low-mid-high tops, Vans functional designs provide a lightweight form and comfortable fit in each type of shoe. Their combination of quality materials, clean cut designs and added insole cushion creates a form fit that settles comfortably around the foot.
Most of their designs are going to be found in their common low cut style. This style perfectly forms underneath the balls of the ankle and aligns to your back heel. This form fit provides comfort and prevents irritation and your shoes from rubbing against your ankles.
You’ll find a few Vans shoe designs in mig-length style which forms lightly over the ankle but without completely enclosing the area. These shoes are usually found with light cushioning around the ankle materials to help keep your feet comfortable.
High top styles can be found from Vans, which form over the ankle completely surrounding it and just barely coming in contact with the shin and calf. These styles can be a little snug or constricting around the ankles which is why Vans creates these types of shoes with lightweight padding. This helps the shoe to form comfortably around foot and ankles without causing irritation or friction.
Some other smaller features found in a variety of Vans’ designs include, padded ankle collar and tongue, UltraCush HD footbeds, Pro Vulc construction and waffle cut rubber outsoles. All these little features play their own important roles and work together with the shoe to create an all around form fit and comfortable design.
No matter what style or design you choose to wear from Vans, you’ll always find that the shoes form well to the foot without ever causing discomfort. The lightweight yet durable appearance is one that can truly be enjoyed by all the the form fit is what allows the shoe to be realizable enough for everyday use.
While canvas is the most commonly used material in Vans shoes, the brand also uses a variety of other materials to create their attractive uppers. You’ll be able to find suede, leather and textiles materials in a variety of classic and new styles as well.
No matter what material Vans uses on the uppers of their shoes, they’re all created with equal quality and durability. Vans aims to use materials that are lightweight and comfortable in feel and still provide a protective structure. If you’ve worn Vans shoes before, you’ll know the shoes do exactly just that.
While the outside of the shoe is important for an attractive appearance and durability, the inside and bottoms of the shoe should also come equipped with the same level of durability and reliability.
In every Vans shoe, you’ll find that the bottom outsoles are all created with the same patterned traction and material. Vans uses their signature waffle cut rubber outsoles to provide durability and a lightweight grip that can work well on a variety of surfaces. These rubber soles are made to absorb impact and stay strong no matter where you choose to walk to.
On the insides of Vans shoes, you’ll find lightweight UltraCush HD footbeds and sock liners. This thin cushioning helps to form to the shape of your foot while providing a close contact feel that is not only lightweight but also durable. In some of their shoes, you’ll also find that the sockliner is removable which makes for any easy clean and ability to keep your shoes fresh.
Overall Vans durable materials is what creates the brand reputation to be a positive one. If you take care of your shoes, your shoes will take care of you. The durability on these shoes is truly great quality and is made to provide long lasting comfort.
Versatility can be found in Vans shoes in a variety of ways. If you’re looking for a great everyday shoe, you’ll want to make sure it fits well in a variety of different settings. The more a shoe is able to work well in a variety of occasions, the more likely you’re going to wear them and favorite them for their wide range of uses.
Versatility is a big feature the Vans company thought about when creating all of their shoe designs. The unisex shoe styles are minimal and attractive while also providing a youthful, fresh appearance. The styles of Vans sneakers truly create a common ground for enjoyment no matter what your gender or type of aesthetic is.
The unisex designs may be extremely versatile in use but the design is also good for another reason. Vans shoes can work for any age group, from infants, toddlers, kids, teens and adults. This isn’t a shoe company that targets one audience, they work hard to create versatile designs that be enjoyed be literally anyone.
Aside from style, you’ll also find that the waffle cut rubber outsoles also provide a basic sense of versatility. The lightweight yet resilient traction provides comfort and grip in a large variety of surfaces and settings. From indoors to concrete or outside on grass or dirt, Vans shoes are created so that you don’t have to limit your activities just because of your shoes. This durability is truly versatile in letting the user accomplish it all.
All around, it’s Vans functional design and quality materials that allow for durability and the enjoyment of all users. Contrary to the original belief that Vans are just created for youth shoes, you can know see the unique versatility that the shoe provides. If you like the style, you’ll be happy to know that it can be worn any day, by any kind of person. Vans is truly the top brand in creating everyday shoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Does Vans only create skate shoes?
A. While Vans does mostly create skate shoes, they also create sandals, slip on shoes and a few boots. You can also find a large variety of clothing and accessories from this company. The clothing may seem to appeal to the younger generations and to mostly skaters, but trust me, there’s enough styles for everyone to at least find one thing they like. From graphic designs t-shirts to comfortable hoodies, Vans has a little bit of everything you need to stay in style and comfort.
Q. Does Vans carry the same styles in shoes for men and women?
A. Yes they do! Vans unique unisex styles in shoe designs allow them to be enjoyed by everyone. Vans carries all of their styles in men’s and women’s and also carries a kids, toddler and infant styles as well. While the kids styles slightly differ from the men’s and women’s choice, you’ll basically find all the same classic favorites for both genders.
Q. Do Vans shoes provide enough arch support for those with high arches?
A. Vans are created for those with ‘regular’ feet and are designed mostly as skate shoes. While the shoes do provide a little padding in the arch, it’s not going to be enough for those with high arches. It is recommended to only wear shoes that comfortably form to the shape of your arches to help evenly distribute the weight of your movements. It may be a good idea to purchase removable insoles that you can add into the shoes. Just remember that if you are going to do this, the shoes may fit more snug so you may want to consider ordering a size up to compensate for this.
Q. Can Vans shoes be personalized by the buyer?
A. Yes they can! Vans offers an amazing online display where you can choose from all your favorite classic styles and literally change anything about the shoes. You can choose from different material types, select from solid to patterned colors and even graphic images. From the heel counter to side stripes and ankle collars, every little detail can be personalized by the buyer, you! This is one feature about Vans that truly makes the brand a favorite by all people. Of course, with all things amazing customization comes a hearty price. Be prepared to pay for your unique sense of style choices.
Q. What is the average lifespan of a pair of Vans shoes?
A. The lifespan of your shoes depends on how often you wear the shoes, where you wear them and how rough or light you treat the shoes. With regular use you can get at least 6 months to a year of good use before needing to replace the shoes. As long as your shoes don’t show any signs of wear or damage like loose soles or holes in the upper, you can continue to wear them. Just remember that when the shoes do show these signs it’s time to replace them, not wear them until they’re literally in pieces.
Q. Does Vans offer replacement shoelaces?
A. Yes they do! If your shoes are still in tact after months of use but you’re finding the laces wearing down, you can easily purchase replacements online or at any of their retail stores. If you’re also someone who likes to add a little more customization to your shoes, you can buy colored and patterned laces from Vans as well. Also, because Vans has different lengths and styles of shoes, the laces can be found in a variety of lengths so you can find the perfect one that matches exactly to your shoes.
Q. How do I keep my Vans shoes clean?
A. While the standard cleaning technique of hand washing your shoes with mild soap and warm water works well for most shoes, the canvas materials that Vans are made with may not work as well with that type of cleaning. Canvas is more sensitive to stains and contact from outer surfaces so it is recommended to clean your shoes as soon as they become dirty to extend their lifespan. The best way to clean your Vans shoes is buy purchasing their cleaning products which are specially designed for Vans shoes only. From wipes to sprays and a water resistance coating, you can find everything you need to protect your shoes from damage and keep them clean.
Q. Do Vans shoes come in wide sizes?
A. Unfortunately Vans shoes only come in one size for width which is their standard medium length. It fits very well for those with ‘regular’ feet but if you are someone with wide feet, Vans may not be a good choice for you. You can try to order a size up or if you’re a women, order in men’s sizes, but overall there’s not much you can do to extend the width of these shoes.