Are Vans Good Skate Shoes?

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For many years, skateboarding and Vans have been intertwined. Many skaters have gravitated toward these skate shoes as their preferred choice. Are Vans good skate shoes, though? There isn’t a simple answer to this question.

Some of them are great and provide the heel support, comfort, double stitching, and grip that you need. Others are more for aesthetics than actual skateboarding. You need to learn how to choose the best options for your needs.

Namely, you need to be sure you choose the pro model if you are going to be street skating and doing a lot of tricks. You can find quality Vans that provide excellent flexibility, support, impact absorption, and that can last for a long time. Many regular Vans can work well for those who are riding longboards and cruisers.

You’ll find that Vans offers a plethora of skate shoe options, but this doesn’t mean that all of them will be ideal for skateboarding. As mentioned, sometimes it’s more about the aesthetics—form over function. If you’re going to be skateboarding though, you should always opt for the best models possible that are specifically for skating.

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Why Are Good Skate Shoes Important?

Do you need to have skate shoes for your skateboard? You don’t need to have them, and it’s possible to skate in just about anything. Some people occasionally skate barefoot, although that tends to be dangerous and just asking for trouble.

Even though you may not need to have them to skate, they are always a good idea. Quality skate shoes are designed to help the wearer to skate better and to have more control. They can make performing tricks easier, and they help riders to stay on the deck even if you have good grip tape.

They can provide more comfort while riding, and they may even make it easier for beginners to master the basics. It’s always a good idea to have a quality pair specifically for skateboarding.

After your skateboard and safety equipment, they should be one of the first things you buy. Just make sure you are choosing the best Vans when shoe shopping.

Which Vans Shoes Work Best for Skateboarding?

If you are buying Vans for skateboarding, you always want to choose the pro models. They are similar to Old Skool shoes and have the features that you need. This includes a toe box that has double stitching, which is important because it can prevent the grip tape from demolishing the shoe.

What Makes the Pro Models the Best Choice?

The toe box might have leather or rubber depending on the model. You’ll find that all of the pro options from Vans will have DURACAP technology. This provides a protective rubber layer. It’s found on the front and areas that tend to wear down faster. The added layer can help them to last longer.

Even though they provide stability, extra padding, and nice heel support, they are still flexible enough to be useful. Let’s look at a couple of the other reasons this shoe is a good choice.

Waffle Sole

Vans shoes have extra grip, which is always important when skateboarding. The waffle sole pattern on the shoe was created by Vans. It will provide you with the ideal amount of grip to help them stay on the deck. It will also allow you to move their feet around when needed without feeling too sticky or grippy.

The sole pattern might seem like a simple thing, but it can make a huge difference. Low-quality options that have less texture and grip will not always perform well, even when you have good grip tape on your deck.


One of the other benefits you’ll find with most of the Vans pro models is a cushioned insole. The system is called ULTRACUSH, and it ensures that your feet are embedded down into the shoes so you can offer more board feel.

This extra cushioning does more than just offer a better board feel, though; it also provides some added support. They are comfortable to wear, even when you are boarding for long periods.

You can find insoles from other brands for skateboarding, but the ones from Vans are some of the best ones on the market.

The Appeal

Let’s get something straight. The most important thing that you should be looking for will be how they perform. You want to choose options that are going to be comfortable, that gives you the grip you need, and that will make it easier to ride.

However, anyone who has been doing this for any length of time knows that aesthetics are important too. Fortunately, you can find a wide range of colors and designs from Vans. Just make sure that if you’re getting skateboarding shoes for street skating that you opt for the pro models.

See also: Do Skate Shoes Matter?

What About Vans for Longboarding?

If you are a longboarder, and you don’t need to have shoes for street skating, then you might be wondering if you should bother with Vans. Even though the pro models are typically used by street skaters, they can also be used by longboarders.

They are comfortable and flexible, and they can be a nice treat for your feet when you are on long rides on your board. If you are using them for longboarding, you’ll find that the shoes tend to last longer, as well. Since you aren’t using them for tricks, they won’t suffer from as much wear and tear.

Additionally, you don’t always need to opt for the pro models if you are a longboarder. You could instead opt for Vans canvas shoes if you prefer. These may be more affordable.

However, if you do opt for canvas shoes instead of pro-model suede shoes, you will still want to choose those that have the best sole and cushioning. Otherwise, after a bit of walking, pushing, and riding, you might find that your feet hurt.

Types of Vans Shoes

You will find that Vans offers a range of shoes today in a range of styles, sizes, and quality. One of the first decisions you will have to make is whether you will opt for cup soles or vulcanized shoes.

Vulcanized shoes will have several layers that are pressed together and glued to the sole. You’ll find that the arch and heel support aren’t as prominent. However, many like the thin sole, which allows their feet to be closer to the deck, providing more “boardfeel”.

Cup soles will have more support, and the shoes tend to be studier overall. Rather than being made from several pieces, they’re made from a single piece that’s stitched onto the bottom of the shoe. These types of Vans tend to be more expensive, but they are also more durable.

Vans Low

The Vans low tops can be a good option for those who want to have more agility and freedom of movement while riding. You’ll also find that these shoes are a bit lighter than the other types of skate shoes.

However, if you find that the skateboard hits your ankles a lot, or if you need some added ankle support, these might not be the shoes for you. Instead, you might want a mid or high pair of shoes.

Vans Mid

The Vans mid-shoes will provide you with some more stability around your ankles without inhibiting your movement and ability much. You can find some comfortable shoes of this type that could be a good solution if you don’t like the high tops or the lows. This is a popular option.

Vans High

These are not simple slip-on shoes, and it can take some time to get them on. They provide a lot of comfort for the heel, support for your ankle, as well as protection from boards hitting the ankles. Some of the Vans models will work for street boarding, but others might not provide the freedom of movement you need.

Everyone will have a different type of shoe that appeals to them and that works for their style. Vans slip ons are a good option for some, but they don’t always have the support for the heel you need. The Vans slip ons look nice, but you have to be sure they will work for your purposes.

See also: Are Converse Good Skate Shoes?

How Long Will the Shoes Last?

There’s no hard and fast answer to this question, as it will depend on a wide range of factors. Typically, the Vans pro models will last longer. However, depending on how much you use the shoe and how you ride, whether you have new tape, etc.

Typically, the heels, bottoms, sides, and tops of the shoes will wear out the fastest. The better quality shoes you have the longer they will last, as long as you take care of them. You can also repair them with shoe goo, but it isn’t a permanent fix.

Once you have your first pair, you’ll have a better sense of how long the shoes are likely to last your feet going forward.

If you find that you are going through shoes every couple of months, it might be a good idea to buy several pairs at once when you find them on sale. Others might find that their shoes can last for a year or longer.

Are Vans Only for Skaters?

Here’s a question that gets thrown around quite a bit. Since these shoes are seen as skateboarder shoes, does that mean that only a skater can wear them? Not at all! They’re shoes, and anyone can have them whether they skate every day, skated once, or if they’ve never skated before. It doesn’t matter.

However, you would likely be wasting money if you’re spending on pro-model skate shoes and you don’t skate. In those cases, opting for canvas shoes would probably be a better option.

What Should You Look For When Buying Vans Shoes?

When you are buying skate shoes, there are certain things you have to keep in mind. You need a shoe that fits right—it shouldn’t be too tight or too loose.

Other things you need to look for include:

·         Quality stitching

·         Suede

·         Support for the heel

·         Cushioning and insoles

·         Board feel for your feet

·         Padding on the toe box

·         Grippy soles

·         Flexibility

Take your time to find a skate shoe that will work well for your riding style and that will feel good on your feet. Remember, buying better quality suede shoes is better than getting cheap shoes. A shoe with the above qualities will last longer and perform better. Choose a company with a good manufacturing process. You want to also make sure they’re not fake Vans.

The Problem with Cheaper Shoes

After spending money on skateboarding gear, the last thing a lot of people want to do is spend more money on quality shoes. However, spending a bit more on shoes that will last is always the right call. The cheaper shoes often have a host of problems.

They will not last as long as better-quality shoes like Vans. They don’t provide the extra support you need, they may have a poor insole, and they could suffer from wear and tear much faster.

Those who ride a lot could even find that their new skate shoe will have holes after a few days of wearing them. You won’t get the heel support you need. Buying the best quality shoes from the start could help you to save money in the long run.

Related: How to Lace Skate Shoes

Should You Choose Vans?

Vans aren’t the only shoes of this type on the market, of course. Nike is a brand that offers skate shoes with nice cushioning for your feet and heels. Vans are some of the best known, though. Check out what Vans offer for shoes and prices. For many new skaters, Vans will be the company they think of when they are buying their first pair of shoes.

The shoes from Vans look great, from the Vans slip ons to the high tops, and when you opt for a high-quality pair, they feel and perform great, as well. If you want to buy this brand, make sure that you check around for sales, so you can get a good price on them.

When you are choosing shoes, be sure to check out some reviews. Look for professional reviews, as well as reviews from people like you that have used the shoes. This will give you a better idea of what you can expect in terms of comfort, quality, heel support, how they feel on your feet, and longevity.