Best Vans Sneakers & Running Shoes – 2021 Guide

Vans have been, and will probably always be, one of the most popular shoe manufacturers around the world. Originally made for skateboarders, Vans shoes remain a brand that provide a durable pair of sneakers that everyone can count on, no matter where you’re going. Although there are still classic designs in production today, Vans have expanded their shoe empire from just skateboarding shoes and now offer an array of shoes for many different activities — including running, hitting the gym, and even snowboarding. Below we have compiled a list of our favorite best Vans sneakers and running shoes, so you can have a comfy pair of sneakers whatever you are doing.

 

Best Vans Sneakers & Running Shoes – Comparison Table

Product NameProduct ImageMaterialsFeatures 
1) Vans Men's Low-Top SneakersTextile upper

Rubber sole
Iconic Vans stripe

Enhanced heel support

UltraCush Lite outsoles and sock liners
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Vans Unisex Slip-OnsCanvas

Canvas upper & rubber sole
Slip-on design

Unisex design

Contrasting stitching
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3) Vans Mens ISO 3 ShoesEVA midsole

ultracush insole
Versatile footwear

Dose of style and comfort

Inspired by the "Modern Confort"
BUY ON AMAZON
4) Vans Old Skool Classic Skate ShoesCanvas

Rubber sole

Synthetic
Vulcanized construction

Original “waffle” design

Range of different colors
BUY ON AMAZON
5) Vans Authentic Core Classic SneakersFabric-and-synthetic

Rubber sole
Gumsole Authentic, Simple low top

Lace-up profile with sturdy canvas uppers

Matching laces, Signature waffle rubber outsoles
BUY ON AMAZON
Vans Men's Low Top SneakersSuede sole

canvas & suede upper
Lace up closure

Padded collar for extra comfort

Vulcanized original waffle outsole
BUY ON AMAZON
7) VANS Sk8-Hi Unisex Casual High-Top Skate ShoesCotton

Rubber sole

Canvas
Durable canvas and suede upper

Supportive and padded ankle

Classic vulcanized signature
BUY ON AMAZON
8) Vans Women's Old Skool Core ClassicsTextile

Synthetic sole

Suede And Canvas Uppers
Lace Fastening, Padded Cuffs

Signature Design

Waffle Textured Sole

BUY ON AMAZON
9) Vans Women's Authentic Core ClassicsCanvas upper

Rubber sole
Signature waffle outsole for enhanced board feel

Simplistic skate design

Sole is waffle design
BUY ON AMAZON
10) Vans Unisex Era Skate ShoesCanvas

Rubber sole
Very comfortable

Extra comfort

Padded ankle collar
BUY ON AMAZON
Vans Unisex Classic Slip-Ons100% SyntheticSpicoli design

Funky sole with a unique pattern
BUY ON AMAZON
12) Vans Men Docket Skate Suede Leather Logo ShoesSuede and textile upper

Rubber outsole

EVA midsole
Double stitched toecap

Versatile black and white colorway

Embroidered logos on the tongue and side of the shoe.
BUY ON AMAZON

 

What Makes Vans Shoes So Popular?

As we mentioned above, Vans originally became popular within the skateboarding community. Skateboarders loved the rugged design and simple construction and the tricky sole adheres well to skateboards, making them the perfect shoes for jumps and flips. Later, the company started using the “Off The Wall” logo that Vans are known for today, which initially meant pulling off jumps and aerials off the rim of drained pools.

However, over the years Vans have evolved from just a skateboarding company and now cater to a variety of different sports including BMX, surfing and snowboarding. With so many different designs of shoes out there now, Vans are a popular shoe for every day wear too. They have a sturdy and durable design and the rubber soles help to support your feet. Different companies such as Disney and Supreme have also done collaborations with Vans that have only aided their popularity.

Nowadays, Vans sits as one of the most popular shoe brands of all times and, with new designs and colors available all the time, there’s no wonder why.

Types Of Vans Shoes

There are many different types of Vans shoes. Although Vans started out as a skateboarding company and this is the sport that the sneakers are catered towards, some versions of Vans sneakers have become popular as an everyday shoe too, even for those who don’t skate.

First of all, there are three different types of cuts of Vans shoes — low-top, mid-top and high-top. Low-top sneakers are sneakers that do not cover the ankle and have a very minimalistic design. They were popular among skaters before mid-top and high-top shoes came into play. Low-top Vans are lightweight, low-maintenance and easy to style.

Mid-tops are not quite as popular. They can come right up to the ankle but never go over it. They are normally worn by skateboarders because they are not as flimsy as a low-top, but they do not restrict ankle movement as much as a high-top. High-top Vans are used by pro-skaters because they offer the most ankle protection. However, they are now also popular within the non-skating community too as they are considered stylish and fashionable.

Within these three cuts of Vans shoes there are a range of shoes for different purposes. The most popular Vans shoes are the classic skateboarding shoes — normally either low-top or high-top and made of canvas — and are worn by both skateboarders and non-skateboarders for every day use. There are also Vans designed for professional skateboarders, as well as shoes made for snowboarders and surfers. If you’re a big fan, you can also get custom Vans sneakers made for your own taste.

Some of these shoes are more iconic and best-selling than others. Below we have listed our favorite Vans shoes for everyday wear, and sport and running wear. Take a look at the top picks, all available to you on Amazon.

 

The Best Vans Sneakers and Running Shoes

1) Vans Men’s Low-Top Sneakers

The Men’s Low-Top Sneakers are a great Vans shoe for everyday wear or for hitting the gym. They feature a textile upper with the iconic Vans stripe and give you an athletic feel with an enhanced heel support, helping to keep you comfy no matter what you are doing. The sole is made of rubber and is very durable and the UltraCush Lite outsoles and sock liners promote an extremely lightweight shoe, making them perfect for working out.

Even though this is an athletic shoe and not a traditional Vans skateboarding shoe, it still has the great look of a Vans shoe with a low top lace-up silhouette with minimal structure. These shoes come in 3 different colors.

Key Features:

  • Iconic Vans stripe
  • Enhanced heel support
  • UltraCush Lite outsoles and sock liners

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Vans Unisex Slip-Ons

Remember all of the fun that you had watching Fast Times with these Vans just like Spicoli wore in the hit film. The unisex design makes them perfect for men and women. You don’t need to fuss with laces or worry about the shoes falling off because of the slip-on design that makes them easy to wear. Vans offers these shoes in several patterns as well as solid colors to match your wardrobe. You get a sturdy bottom that turns them into skate shoes when you want to grind or daily shoes for wearing around town. The shoes have contrasting stitching with the Vans logo near the top.

Key Features:

  • Slip-on design
  • Unisex design
  • Contrasting stitching

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3) Vans Mens ISO 3 Shoes

With an athletic fit, the Vans Mens ISO 3 sneakers are perfect for different sports, including running and hitting the gym. With an enhanced heel support these shoes stay comfortable as you exercise and there are also UltraCush Lite outsoles and sock liners. These men’s shoes have the classic waffle sole that gives you great grip on a variety of different terrains and the EVA insole both cushions and supports your foot, helping to keep it in place while you exercise too. The shoe has an overall modern look and the classic gray color fits right in with any gym wear.

Key Features:

  • Versatile footwear
  • Dose of style and comfort
  • Inspired by the “Modern Confort”

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4) Vans Old Skool Classic Skate Shoes

The Vans Old Skool shoes are one of the most classic and famous of all of Vans’ shoes. Perfect whether you are a skateboarder or not, the design of this shoe represents a timeless skate style for both men and women. The vulcanized construction gives both comfort and durability, ensuring that these shoes will last you a long time, and the sole is rubber for extra strength.

The sole of the shoe has the original “waffle” design that Vans became famous for, giving you an excellent grip, especially on skateboards, and great flexibility too. The canvas upper comes in a range of different colors, so you can have a pair to match every outfit!

Key Features:

  • Vulcanized construction
  • Original “waffle” design
  • Range of different colors

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5) Vans Authentic Core Classic Sneakers

Another classic Vans shoe, the Vans Authentic Core sneakers are also great for both skateboarding and everyday wear. With a more simple design than the Vans Old Skool, the Authentic has many of the same features, giving you both comfort and durability. The sole is again rubber for extra strength and it features the classic waffle design that promotes excellent traction against both the ground and skateboards.

The upper is made of durable canvas and there are metal eyelets to hold the shoelaces in place. With their retro design, these shoes are available in a very large range of different colours and designs, including classic black and white, camouflage and checkerboard.

Key Features:

  • Gumsole Authentic, Simple low top
  • Lace-up profile with sturdy canvas uppers
  • Matching laces, Signature waffle rubber outsoles

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Vans Men’s Low Top Sneakers

Though Vans has a reputation among skateboarders for its shoes, you don’t need to hop on a board to wear this pair. Vans made these shoes in a classic shade of black with white accents to match everything from the suit you wear to a wedding to your favorite everyday jeans. As they run true to size, it’s easy to pick the right pair and buy them online without worrying that they won’t fit. The rubber sole uses two different patterns. One is a diamond pattern around the toe and heel, while the other is a crosshatch pattern around the arch. The two patterns work together to help you stick to any surface, but the combination also lets you glide when needed. You can show off your love of the brand with these shoes, which have the Vans logo on the tongue and heel.

Key Features:

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7) VANS Sk8-Hi Unisex Casual High-Top Skate Shoes

The VANS Sk8-Hi Unisex Casual High-Top sneakers are one of the most classic skateboarding shoes Vans has to offer. These lace-up high-top shoes are inspired by the classic Old Skool, yet also support your ankle for maximum comfort. Perfect for wearing everyday or while you skate, these shoes have a durable canvas and suede upper and a supportive and padded ankle. As with many of the Vans shoes on this list, these also have the classic vulcanized signature waffle sole, giving you great traction and grip on multiple terrains, including your skateboard! These are available in a range of colors, including the classic black and white.

Key Features:

  • Durable canvas and suede upper
  • Supportive and padded ankle
  • Classic vulcanized signature

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8) Vans Women’s Old Skool Core Classics

These Old Skool Vans are the same as the Old Skool Vans we mention above, except these ones are specifically designed for women and give a better fit to the female foot. They still provide all the same features as the men’s Old Skool design, including a durable leather and fabric upper with the iconic side stripe and a lace up closure for a secure fit. They have a padded tongue for added support as well as cushioned footbed for comfort. The sole of these shoes are just as durable as the men’s and still come with the iconic waffle design. Perfect for women, they ensure you get the best fit of the Vans classic.

Key Features:

  • Lace Fastening, Padded Cuffs
  • Signature Design
  • Waffle Textured Sole

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9) Vans Women’s Authentic Core Classics

Similarly to the Old Skool women’s shoes listed above, these Women’s Authentic Core Classics are another Vans shoe specifically designed to fit a women’s foot. With the same classic deign as the men’s, these shoes still feature the simplistic skate design with the canvas upper and rubber sole. The sole is waffle design for great grip and traction and the canvas material and laces give a snug yet comfortable and supportive fit. Perfect for both skateboarders and those who want to wear these sneakers every day, they come in a range of colors so you can buy a pair to compliment every outfit.

Key Features:

  • Signature waffle outsole for enhanced board feel
  • Simplistic skate design
  • Sole is waffle design

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10) Vans Unisex Era Skate Shoes

These Vans Unisex Era Skate Shoes are another classic design from Vans. Similar to the Authentic Core classics, these come in an all black and are perfect to wear as school or work shoes. Very comfortable, these low top, lace-up shoes come with a padded tongue and lining for extra comfort. There is also a padded ankle collar to ensure they don’t rub against your foot. The simple design means they do not stand out and are the perfect shoe for many outfits. These can be worn everyday or as a skateboarding shoe, and feature the waffle outsole for a firmer grip.

Key Features:

  • Very comfortable
  • Extra comfort
  • Padded ankle collar

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Vans Unisex Classic Slip-Ons

Choose Vans when you want to live out your skateboard dreams. This pair of slip-on shoes matches the Spicoli design down to the checkerboard pattern across the top. The Vans logo appears in black and white on the front along with a red version of the logo on the back to let you know that they’re authentic. Each shoe has a funky sole with a unique pattern that uses various designs to give you more grip in the park or anywhere else that you go. Why settle for shoes that have laces you need to tie before heading out the door? These shoes slip on and off in the middle of the day and whenever you want to get comfortable.

Key Features:

  • Spicoli design
  • Funky sole with a unique pattern

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12) Vans Men Docket Skate Suede Leather Logo Shoes

The Vans Men Docket shoes look more like a traditional skate shoe that you would find with other brands. A part of the Vans Performance range, the Docket is a classic skate shoe with timeless performance construction. With a suede and textile upper, these shoes have a double stitched toecap for durability and they have been designed with an EVA midsole and constructed using Ortholite, making them the perfect performance shoe by providing long-lasting cushioning and air flow for a cool foot.

The gum rubber outsole is durable and is deigned to grip the ground or board well, too. They come in a versatile black and white colorway and have embroidered logos on the tongue and side of the shoe.

Key Features:

  • Double stitched toecap
  • Versatile black and white colorway
  • Embroidered logos on the tongue and side of the shoe.

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Vans Shoes FAQ’s

What does the “Off The Wall” slogan mean?

The Vans “Off The Wall” slogan was first used in the 1970s and came from skateboarders pulling off jumps and aerials off the rim of drained pools. The slogan has remained with the company ever since and now has a more modern meaning symbolizing freedom and individuality.

How do you spot fake Vans shoes?

There are many ways you can spot fake Vans shoes. First of all, the price is something you should look out for. A good pair of Vans shoes can cost around $40 or more, so if the price is lower than that or seems too good to be true, they are probably fake. You can also look out for the company trademarks inside and outside the sneaker. If anything seems off or is wrongly spelt or is an odd color, then it is probably fake. The stitching is another thing to watch for because the shoe should be durable — if it is not then you may have purchased a fake pair.

Look out for where you purchase your Vans sneakers from too — you should go to a reputable website so you know the product is going to be genuine. These are just some of the things you should look out for when trying to spot fake Vans shoes.

How do you clean Vans shoes?

Vans shoes are not designed to go in the washing machine, but you can do this if you are gentle with them and put them in a bag on a gentle spin. You can also wash them by hand with mild detergent and warm water, letting them air dry.

 

Conclusion

Vans shoes are popular for a reason — they are comfy, durable and perfect for a range of different activities. Although they were originally designed for skateboarders, Vans have created so many different styles that you will be sure to find a pair you love. Whether you’re looking for a shoe for skateboarding, running, hitting the gym or every day wear, Vans have a shoe for you.