Listing Types of Vans Shoes w/ Photos and Explanations


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Recently when I set out to buy a pair of Vans, I realized how difficult it was to find a simple list of the different types of Vans shoes available. So I decided to buy as many styles of Vans as I could so that I could compare the different Vans styles.

In this article, I will include pictures and details of the Vans I own. Quickly, here’s a list and explanation of the different types of Vans shoes:

  • Vans Authentic – Made in 60’s retro low top w/ waffle outsole and no sidestripe (click here to view)
  • Vans Era – Very similar to Vans Authentic, but with padded collar for comfort (click here to view)
  • Vans Old Skool – Made in 70’s, popularized in 90’s, retro low top w/ sidestripe (click here to view)
  • Vans Sk8-Hi – Made in 70’s known for padded hi ankle support with sidestripe (click here to view)
  • Vans Sk8-Low – Low top version of the Sk8-Hi very similar design to Old Skool (click here to view)
  • Vans Slip On – Iconic Vans slip on style with heel tab and waffle rubber outsole (click here to view)
  • Vans Ultrarange – Modern, lightweight low top built for comfort and flexibility (click here to view)
  • Vans Lowland – A 90s retro low top with leather detailing and ‘Flying V’ logo (click here to view)
  • Vans EVDNT – Modern low w/ translucent outsole known for comfort and grip (click here to view)
  • Vans Trek – A vented clog-style water shoe perfect for summer adventure (click here to view)
  • Vans Platforms – A taller platform height added to certain classic Vans styles (click here to view)
  • Vault by Vans – Unique vintage Vans collaborations with revered designers (click here to view)

Vans is always updating and offering new designs. This is where you can view the new arrivals available at Vans.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).

Although most classic types of Vans shoes share similarities, there are also subtle differences. These differences usually involve logo design, and certain design features such as padding and toe box support.

Although Vans is known for its classic retro styles (like the Authentic, Era, Sk8-Hi, Old Skool, and Slip-On) some of their more modern styles are popular due to the increased comfort combined with a lightweight, flexible design that can fit a wide range of activities. The Vans EVDNT and Vans Ultrarange are two examples of modern styles.

In this article I want to take a deeper look at some of the most popular Vans styles, and also take a look at some of these more modern styles of Vans, and how they differ. Also, at the end of the article we will discuss several things to consider when buying Vans shoes.

Different Types of Vans Shoes

Vans Authentic Shoes

The Vans Authentic is the most original design. This was the first Vans heritage silhouette to feature the iconic waffle outsole. Present day, the Authentics are offered in a wide range of colors and designs.

This is where you can view the entire selection of Vans Authentic shoes available at Vans.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).

This shoe was originally introduced in the 1960’s (it was first known as “style 44”), and because it was such a popular style, other styles of Vans were birthed from small tweaks made to this original Vans Authentic design.

This shoe is a standard low-top design, but here are the three things to know about this style:

  • No padding — The Vans Authentic does not have padding on the tongue and collar.
  • No sidestripe — This style does not have the iconic sidestripe Vans logo.
  • Narrow design — This is a performance shoe made to fit snug for dependable grip.

To read about sizing, visit my article about the sizing of Vans Authentic shoes.

To order Vans Authentic shoes in wide sizing, you actually need to go to the Vans “Custom” page, where you can make custom changes which include ordering custom wide fit shoes. Click here to view the custom wides available at Vans.com (affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).

I personally have found the Vans Authentic shoes to fit true to size with a snug design. They are sized consistently with other popular types of Vans shoes.

If you like this style, but want a more padded design, the Vans Era was created to be very similar to the Vans Authentic, but with a padded collar and padded tongue. Click here to view the Vans Era shoes available at Vans.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).

Vans Old Skool Shoes

The Vans Old Skool shoes are another popular low-top design. The Old Skool was made in the 1970’s, but rose to popularity in the 1990’s. One distinct difference it has from the Vans Authentic shoes from above, is the Vans Old Skool has the iconic sidestripe logo.

This is where you can view the entire selection of Vans Old Skool shoes available at Vans.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).

This shoe was originally known as “style 36”. It has the popular heel tab logo on the back.

This shoe is a standard low-top design, but here are the four things to know about this style:

  • Padding — The Vans Old Skool has padding around the collar of the shoe.
  • Sidestripe — This style does have the iconic sidestripe Vans logo.
  • Reinforced Toe – The toe box area on this shoe is reinforced.
  • Narrow design — This is a performance shoe made to fit snug for dependable grip.

To read about sizing, visit my article about the sizing of Vans Old Skool shoes.

To order Vans Old Skool shoes in wide sizing, you actually need to go to the Vans “Custom” page, where you can make custom changes which include ordering custom wide fit shoes. Click here to view the custom wides available at Vans.com (affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).

I personally have found the Vans Old Skool shoes to fit true to size with a snug design. They are sized consistently with other popular types of Vans shoes.

Vans Sk8-Hi Shoes

The Vans Sk8-Hi shoes stick out from the pack because they are high-top design. This shoe debuted in the 1970’s and is known for the padded support it provides around the ankle.

Although it was originally designed for performance, its retro design and iconic sidestripe logo has made it a popular casual shoe in recent decades.

This is where you can view the entire selection of Vans Sk8-Hi shoes available at Vans.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).

This shoe was originally known as “style 38”. It has the popular waffle outsole and features unique stitch detailing over the toe box that is not available in some of the other classics types of Vans shoes.

This shoe is a standard high-top design. Here are the four things to know about this style:

  • Padding — The Vans Sk8-Hi is known for padding around the ankle.
  • Sidestripe — This style does have the iconic sidestripe Vans logo.
  • Toe Stitched – Unique stitching across the toe box area.
  • Narrow design — This is a performance shoe made to fit snug for dependable grip.

To read about sizing, visit my article about the sizing of Vans Sk8-Hi shoes.

To order Vans Sk8-Hi shoes in wide sizing, you actually need to go to the Vans “Custom” page, where you can make custom changes which include ordering custom wide fit shoes. Click here to view the custom wides available at Vans.com (affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).

I personally have found the Vans Sk8-Hi shoes to fit true to size with a snug design. They are sized consistently with other popular types of Vans shoes.

Vans Slip-On Shoes

The Vans Slip-On shoe is very popular for its easy-to-wear, comfortable style. This shoe debuted in the 1970’s as a performance skate shoe, but today has crept not only into casualwear, but also workwear.

This is where you can view the entire selection of Vans Slip On shoes available at Vans.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).

This shoe has the popular waffle outsole and features the iconic heel tab logo on the backside of the shoe. Here’s a look at mine:

This shoe is a slip-on design. Here are the four things to know about this style:

  • Padding — The Vans Slip-On does have padding around the collar.
  • Waffle — This style does have the iconic waffle outsole.
  • Elastic Panels – Elastic side panels near the tongue provide easy flexibility.
  • Narrow design — This is a performance shoe made to fit snug for dependable grip.

To read about sizing, visit my article about the sizing of Vans Slip On shoes.

To order Vans Slip On shoes in wide sizing, you actually need to go to the Vans “Custom” page, where you can make custom changes which include ordering custom wide fit shoes. Click here to view the custom wides available at Vans.com (affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).

I personally have found the Vans Slip On shoes to fit true to size with a snug design. They are sized consistently with other popular types of Vans shoes.

Vans EVDNT Shoes

The Vans EVDNT UlitmateWaffle is a more modern style of Vans shoes. This shoe features a lightweight and comfortable design, and has a translucent outsole which makes it stand out.

This is where you can view the entire selection of Vans EVDNT shoes available at Vans.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).

vans-evdnt-sizing

This shoe is a low-top design. Here are the four things to know about this style:

  • Comfort — This style has a padded collar and extra soft “UltraCush” insoles.
  • Support — This style has an internal stabilizing shank for extra support.
  • Standard design — I found this shoe to fit a bit looser than classic Vans shoes.

To read about sizing, visit my article about the sizing of Vans EVDNT shoes.

Below I compared the sizing of my Vans EVDNT to my Vans Slip On shoes. I felt like the EVDNT fit just a bit looser.

vans-evdnt-sizing-vs-slip-on

Ultimately, my recommendation would be to order your normal sizing.

Vans Ultrarange Shoes

The Vans Ultrarange is another modern style of Vans shoes. This shoe features a lightweight and comfortable design, and feels on the foot much like a modern athletic shoe.

This is where you can view the entire selection of Vans Ultrarange shoes available at Vans.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).

The design of this shoe is made to mimic the Vans Old Skool shoes, with a modern twist:

This shoe is a low-top design. Here are the four things to know about this style:

  • Lightweight — Out of all the Vans styles I tried, this one weighed the least.
  • Comfort — This style has a padded collar and extra soft “UltraCush” insoles.
  • Grip — Rubber-wrapped reverse waffle lug outsoles to improve grip.
  • Standard design — I found this shoe to fit a bit looser than classic Vans shoes.

To read about sizing, visit my article about the sizing of Vans Ultrarange shoes.

Below I compared the sizing of my Vans Ultrarange to my Vans Sk8-Hi shoes. I felt like the Ultrarange fit just a bit looser that other types of Vans shoes.

vans-sk8-hi-vs-ultrarange-sizing

Ultimately, my recommendation would be to order your normal sizing.

Picking the Right Types of Vans Shoes

How do Vans Fit?

You will definitely want to consider the fit of Vans shoes. My advice would be to visit my Vans sizing guide that includes pictures of Vans sizing vs other popular brands. For example, here are my size 12 Vans compared to my size 12 Crocs:

crocs-classic-sizing-vs-vans

For brand specific comparisons, visit my articles linked below:

Most classic types of Vans shoes have narrow sizing.

To order Vans in wide sizing, you actually need to go to the Vans “Custom” page, where you can make custom changes which include ordering custom wide fit shoes. Click here to view the custom wides available at Vans.com (affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).

The Weight of Vans Shoes

Because Vans shoes are performance shoes (most of which have a low-top design), Vans have a lightweight design compared to other types of shoes.

When I weighed all of the different types of Vans shoes that I own, I found the Vans Ultrarange EXO shoes to weigh the least. My size 12 men’s shoes weigh 0.63 pounds per shoe:

vans-ultrarange-exo-weight

For comparison, I found the average weight of the different types of Vans shoes that I own to be 0.94 pounds per shoe for a size 12 men’s. To read more, visit my article about how much Vans shoes weigh.

Discontinued Types of Vans Shoes

Below is a list of Vans shoes that have at one point in time been produced, but are not currently available on Vans’ website. That does not necessarily mean they are discontinued. Some of these styles of Vans shoes may still be in-stock on third-party shoe sites.

  • Vans Atwood (click here to view)
  • Vans Alomar
  • Vans Doheny
  • Vans Chukka Low
  • Vans Half Cab
  • Vans Ward
  • Vans Ward Hi
  • Vans Chima Pro

Vans Shoe Comparison Articles

If you want to read more about how Vans shoes compare, visit my articles linked below:

Vans Authentic vs Old Skool

Vans Old Skool vs Sk8-Hi

Vans vs Nike Blazer

Vans Era Sizing Guide

Vans Era vs Authentic

Why are Vans Shoes so Popular?

Vans have re-emerged in popularity in recent years due to a resurgence of retro styles in both youth and adult casualwear, but especially in teens where the Vans shoe brand has been among the strongest upward trending brands since the year 2000 (source).

Vans are popular because they fit a wide array of outfits, and offer a comfortable fit that blends well with the athleisure trends of present day. Certain types of Vans shoes are also customizable, which makes them popular for youth who want to put their own unique spin on their shoes.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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