Vans Era vs Authentic Compared [What’s the Difference?]


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The Vans Era and Authentic are both low-top performance shoes, but if you take a closer look at the Vans Old Era vs Authentic shoes, you find several differences in design that may affect which style is best for you. Quickly, this is what jumps out the most to me:

  • Perhaps the biggest difference in design is the fact that the Vans Era has padding around the collar, and the Vans Authentic does not have padding around the collar.
  • Another popular Vans low-top shoe is the Vans Old Skool. One thing the Vans Old Skool has that the Vans Era and Vans Authentic do not have is the iconic sidestripe logo. Click here to view the Vans Old Skool shoes at Vans.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).
  • Both styles were originally designed to be low-top performance skate shoes. The Vans Authentic debuted successfully in the 1960’s. The Vans Era debuted later in the 1970’s as a sort of updated take on the Authentic.
  • Both styles have the waffle rubber outsole with backside heel tab logo. They both are made with durable canvas uppers and feature the thick, supportive midsole common to Vans skate shoes.
  • I did find a difference in weight (but the weight is similar). My size 12 Vans Authentic weigh 0.98 pounds per shoe and my size 12 Vans Era 0.98 pounds per shoe.

I recently tried six different types of Vans shoes. Just to give you an idea where the Vans Authentic and Vans Era compare to other styles regarding weight, I listed all of the weights below (weights based off one size 12 men’s shoe):

ShoeWeight (lbs)Photo
Vans UltraRange 0.63click here to view
Vans EVDNT UW0.87click here to view
Vans Authentic 0.98click here to view
Vans Slip On0.99click here to view
Vans Old Skool 1.03click here to view
Vans Era1.05click here to view
Vans Sk8-Hi1.15click here to view

In this article let’s take a closer look at the Vans Authentic vs Era so you can decide which style might be best for you. I will use specific sizing photos that I have comparing these styles to other popular types of shoes so you can feel more confident you are ordering the right size.

Vans Era vs Authentic History

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

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.

The Vans Era was introduced in the 1970’s, and it was the first skate shoe to actually be designed by skateboarders. Because of that, it has one very important design difference when compared to the Authentic: a padded collar area.

Vans Era vs Authentic Collar

Perhaps the biggest difference between the Vans Era and Authentic is the collar. The Vans Authentic collar is not padded. Here’s a look at mine:

vans-authentics-collar
vans-authentics

The Vans Era collar is padded to provide cushioned support around the ankle. Here’s a look at mine:

vans-era-collar

This is what makes the Era so popular is it has a very similar design to the Authentic, but has the extra padding for a more comfortable fit.

Vans Era vs Authentic Outsole

Both the Vans Era and the Vans Authentic have the iconic rubber waffle outsole.

Here is the Vans Authentic:

vans-authentics-outsole

Here is the Vans Era:

vans-era-outsole

Vans Era vs Authentic Weight

Because the Vans Era has the extra padding, it does weigh a bit more than the Authentic.

Here were the results when we weighed seven of Vans’ most classic styles, including the Era and Authentic (weight is based off one size 12 men’s shoe):

ShoeWeight (lbs)
Vans UltraRange EXO0.63
Vans EVDNT UltimateWaffle0.87
Vans Authentic 0.98
Vans Slip On0.99
Vans Old Skool 1.03
Vans Era1.05
Van Sk8-Hi1.15
TOTAL AVERAGE0.96

Vans Era vs Authentic Logo

The Vans Era and Authentic do not have the sidestripe logo. For example, here is the sidestripe logo on the Vans Old Skool:

vans-old-skool-shoes-side

The Vans Era and Authentic do not have a side logo:

side-vans-authentic

They do, however, have the rear heel tab logo. Here is the heel tab on the Vans Era:

vans-era-heel-tab

And here is the heel tab on the Vans Authentic:

vans-authentics-heel

Vans Era vs Authentic Height

I found the Vans Era and Authentic to have basically the same height. Here are mine sitting next to each other:

vans-era-vs-authentic

Both my Vans Era and my Vans Authentic have five metal lace eyelets.

Vans Era vs Authentic Material

Both the Era and the Authentic are made using a durable canvas upper material.

vans-era-material

Comparing the Vans Era & Authentic Sizing

In my experience regarding Vans sizing, all classic types of Vans shoes have a narrow, snug design. I order my normal sizing, but if you prefer a looser fit, you may need to size up.

Because they were originally built to be low-top performance shoes, both the Vans Era and Vans Authentic have this narrow, snug fit. I found the sizing of these two styles to be practically the same.

Here is my side-by-side comparison photo of my Vans Era vs Authentic sizing (Authentic on left):

vans-era-vs-authentic-sizing

Again, I ordered my normal sizing, but don’t expect a loose fit. It might be best to verify your sizing using the link below that takes you to Vans.com sizing tutorial which which matches your foot size to a Vans shoe size.

***Verify Your Size***: Vans.com now has its own sizing tutorial which matches your foot size to a Vans shoe size. Click here to view it at Vans.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).

Also, if you are looking for quick Vans sizing advice and don’t want to browse through all the comparison photos on this page, then this quick video below just summarizes my thoughts regarding how Vans fit:


Vans Era Sizing Comparison Photos

Below are the sizing photos I took for the Vans Era shoes compared to other brands (all shoes are size 12 men’s).

I personally have found the Vans Era shoes to fit true to size with a snug design. They are sized consistently with other popular types of Vans shoes (Vans Era vs Authentic sizing is basically the same).

Vans Era vs New Balance 574 Sizing

vans-era-vs-new-balance-574-sizing

Vans Era vs Converse Pro Leather Sizing

vans-era-sizing-vs-converse-pro-leather

Vans Era vs Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars Sizing

vans-era-sizing-vs-converse-chucks

Vans Era vs Converse Chuck 70 Sizing

vans-era-sizing-vs-converse-chuck-70

Vans Era vs Converse One Star Sizing

vans-era-sizing-vs-converse-one-star

Vans Era vs Adidas Gazelle Sizing

vans-era-sizing-vs-adidas-gazelle

Vans Era vs Adidas Superstars Sizing

vans-era-sizing-vs-adidas-superstar

Vans Era Sizing vs Nike Cortez

vans-era-vs-nike-cortez-sizing

Vans Era vs Nike Blazer Sizing

vans-era-sizing-vs-nike-blazer

***Verify Your Sizing: I think these Vans Era shoes fit true to size with a snug design, but every foot is unique. Vans.com now has its own sizing tutorial which matches your foot size to a Vans shoe size. Click here to view this Vans sizing guide available at Vans.com to verify your correct size (affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).


Vans Era vs Nike Air Max Excee Sizing

vans-era-sizing-vs-nike-air-max-excee

Vans Era vs Nike Air Max 90 Sizing

vans-era-sizing-vs-nike-air-max-90

Vans Era vs Nike Air Force 1 Sizing

vans-era-vs-nike-air-force-1-sizing

Vans Era vs Crocs Sizing

vans-era-sizing-vs-crocs

Vans Era vs Hey Dude Sizing

vans-era-vs-hey-dude-sizing

Vans Era vs New Balance Numeric Sizing

vans-era-sizing-vs-new-balance-numeric

Vans Era vs Reebok Classic Sizing

vans-era-vs-reebok-classics-sizing

Vans Era vs Saucony Shadow 6000 Sizing

vans-era-sizing-vs-saucony-shadow-6000

Vans Era vs Slip On Sizing

vans-era-sizing-vs-slip-on

Vans Era vs UltraRange Sizing

vans-era-sizing-vs-ultrarange

Vans Era vs Old Skool Sizing

vans-era-vs-old-skool-sizing

Vans Era vs Sk8-Hi Sizing

vans-era-vs-sk8-hi-sizing

Vans Authentic Sizing Comparison Photos

Below are the sizing photos I took for the Vans Authentic shoes compared to other brands (all shoes are size 12 men’s). 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.

Vans Authentic Sizing vs Converse Chucks

vans-authentic-shoe-vs-converse-chucks

Vans Authentic Sizing vs Converse Pro Leather

pro-leather-converse-sizing-vs-vans-authentic

Vans Authentic Sizing vs New Balance 574

vans-authentic-shoe-vs-new-balance

***Verify Your Sizing: I think these Vans Authentic shoes fit true to size with a snug design, but every foot is unique. Vans.com now has its own sizing tutorial which matches your foot size to a Vans shoe size. Click here to view this Vans sizing guide available at Vans.com to verify your correct size (affiliate link takes you to Vans.com).


Vans Authentic Sizing vs Adidas Superstars

vans-authentic-vs-adidas-superstar-sizing

Vans Authentic Sizing vs Adidas Gazelles

vans-authentic-vs-adidas-gazelle-sizing

Vans Authentic Sizing vs Adidas Busenitz

vans-authentic-sizing-vs-adidas-busenitz

Vans Authentic Sizing vs Adidas Samba

vans-authentic-sizing-vs-adidas-samba

Vans Authentic Sizing vs Adidas Nizza

vans-authentic-sizing-vs-adidas-nizza

Vans Authentic Sizing vs Crocs

vans-authentic-shoe-vs-crocs

Vans Authentic Sizing vs Nike Cortez

vans-authentic-sizing-vs-nike-cortez

Vans Authentic Sizing vs Nike Blazer

vans-authentic-sizing-vs-nike-blazer

Vans Authentic Sizing vs Nike Air Max

vans-authentic-shoe-vs-nike-air-max

Vans Authentic Sizing vs Under Armour

vans-authentic-shoe-vs-under-armour-sizing

Vans Authentic Sizing vs Adidas 2k Boost

vans-authentic-shoe-vs-adidas-boost

Vans Authentic Sizing vs Vans Slip On

vans-authentic-shoe-vs-slip-on

Vans Authentic Sizing vs Hey Dude Wally

vans-authentic-shoe-vs-hey-dude

Other Vans Shoes to Consider

In this article we compared the Vans Era vs Authentic shoes. If you want to read about other Vans shoes, visit our articles linked below:

My Vans Era vs Authentic Conclusion

Ultimately, these two styles are very similar. The Authentic is Vans’ most original design. It was the first Vans heritage silhouette to feature the iconic waffle outsole. Present day, both styles are offered in a wide range of colors and designs.

The Vans Era debuted later in the 1970’s. It was the first Vans skate shoe to be designed by skateboarders. It was designed very similarly to the Authentic, only it features a padded collar for extra support and cushioning around the ankle.

Both the Vans Era and Vans Authentic features 5 metal lace eyelets. I found the overall height of the shoes to be basically the same. Both are made with durable canvas uppers and feature the iconic Vans rubber waffle outsole and thick supportive midsole.

I found the sizing and fit of the Vans Era and the Vans Authentic to be very similar. Both fit true to size, but have the same snug fit that is common with Vans skate shoes. Do not expect these shoes to fit wide.

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

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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