Vans Old Skool skate shoes were first introduced in 1977. A random doodle on the shoes named the Jazz Stripe turned into the hallmark of this brand over the years. But how good is this pair of skate shoes actually?
In my month-long journey with these shoes, I found these vulcanized shoes to provide an excellent board feel. The shoes were true to size and very comfortable to wear casually. I loved the grip and the durable construction of the shoes.
Vans Old Skool skate shoes are available in many different colors. You can pick whatever goes with your personality and style. Throughout the Vans Old Skool skate shoe review, I will provide all the information about these shoes. It will help you decide whether these shoes are the right fit for your next skateboarding adventure.
Key Features of Vans Old Skool Skate Shoe
The following features distinguish Vans Old Skool skate shoes from others.
- Vulcanized outsole
- Waffle grip
- Molded heel area
- Duracap toe bumpers
- PopCush cushioning
- Tongue straps
- Flexible upper
- Low-profile design
- Classic style
Whenever you picture skateboarding, this classic design will peak into your mind. Vans Old Skool shoes have become synonymous with skateboarding with their timeless design. There are two main elements in the design of these shoes that I felt to be the most attractive.
The revitalized shoes have the same design elements as the classic Old Skool shoes. That iconic side stripe drawn by Paul Van Doren is still on the shoes. It carries the legacy of the brand and gives a subtle character to the shoes.
The stripe is so closely associated with Vans shoes that you will recognize them from a distance.
Another important thing in the overall aesthetics is the low-top silhouette of these shoes. I personally prefer low-top shoes because they give a more versatile look. The shoes don’t have any funky design language, which is a big reason I am inclined to use these shoes.
I also loved the classic stitching pattern on the upper. The lace-up style of the shoes may seem a bit inconvenient. But this style is rooted in the origin of these famous skate shoes.
Rubber and canvas are used to make these shoes. I found 32 color options for these shoes. Among these options, the classic black is my favorite. It is because I feel the black shoes are more versatile and can be used with casual dress.
If you feel like wearing something more vibrant, there are a lot of options. You may not find all the color options on Amazon, so I suggest checking the Vans website.
Modern skate shoes may have a lot of intricate elements in their design, but I prefer the simple design of Old Skool skate shoes. The elegant side stripe, the classic stitching, and everything else just screams serenity, which I didn’t find in most other skate shoes.
As there is no funky panel on the upper, these shoes are more suitable for skateboarders of all ages. Young riders, as well as veterans, can vibe with these skate shoes alike.
If I keep the design aside, the thing that attracts the highest attention is the fit of Old Skool shoes. I chose the size 9.5, and the shoes were true to size. The fit was just what I expected. Let me tell you more about the construction and comfort of these shoes.
Old Skool shoes have vulcanized soles, which is the signature of Vans shoes. Due to the heating process, the bonding between the sole and the upper is pretty solid. The outsole has a waffle pattern, which makes the shoes lightweight.
The midsole has a medium thickness, which is good for both skateboarding and casual wear. To me, the insole is a bit left behind. But I think adding an extra insole would solve the problem.
If you are unsure which size to take, the Vans website has an easy size guide. You just need to measure the distance between the back of the heel and the top of the longest toe. Select the size from the drop-down menu, and the website will tell you what size you need.
There are a lot of size options for these shoes. For men, you will find from size 6.5 to 17. For women, you will get size 5 to 18.5.
The cushioning on Old Skool shoes is moderate. I felt comfortable wearing these shoes for hours, so you might guess the level of padding. But the arch support was nothing extraordinary.
I understand that the amount of support is quite okay for low-top shoes like this.
Before publishing this review, I looked into the user reviews of Vans Old Skool shoes online. Designwise or constructionwise, users have varying opinions.
But one thing was common in most of the reviews, and that was comfort. Almost every user said that they found these shoes highly comfortable.
Due to the vulcanization, the rubber becomes much more resistant to wear and tear. So, the shoes seem to be pretty durable. I have used them for more than one month, and there isn’t any notable sign of tears.
Here are some areas that demand your attention.
These vulcanized shoes have an outsole that is almost flat. The tread is also minimal. It allows you to get a better board feel. This is one of the reasons why this model is so popular. Catching the board with the upper is also smooth.
Due to the waffle outsole, you will enjoy better grip and traction. You will feel more stability when on the skateboard with these shoes. The ollie area has reinforcements so that you can easily perform cool tricks without losing control over the board.
I used the Old Skool shoes on different terrains to test how they respond to various situations. On flat surfaces, you can easily feel the board. But when you go over ledges or stairs, you don’t feel much protection.
The flex in the outsole is the reason for this. The comfort may be the same on all terrains, but the support you need for confidence is lacking.
As I have already mentioned, I have been using this pair for over a month. During this period, I have used the shoes for skateboarding and as casual wear to go to college and get-togethers.
I didn’t notice much deformity in the shoes. The upper is still in good condition, and there is no sign of wear and tear on the shoes.
Enjoying these shoes as casual wear is nice. But they go over and beyond when you go skateboarding with them. I have done multiple skateboarding sessions in the last month and used these shoes each time to test how they perform.
As the fit was perfect, it almost felt like I was not wearing anything extra. They were like a part of my feet. I practiced for long hours with no sweating issues because the shoes were breathable. But when I came back, the shoes got quite dirty, and some stains were tough to remove. I assume the canvas upper is to blame for that.
Here are the highs and lows of the shows from my experience.
- Timeless design with a modern touch
- Highly durable construction
- True to size
- Comfortable enough for hours of skateboarding
- Suitable as casual wear
- A lot of size and color options
- Breathable upper
- Excellent board feel
- Arch support isn’t great
- Side stripes are prone to getting dirty
The biggest benefit of these shoes, in my opinion, is their versatility. If you are a skateboarder, they are a great option. But if you are not, there is no problem in buying a pair of Old Skool. Whether you go to college or a friends’ reunion, these shoes will fit everywhere.
As these shoes are on the casual side, you shouldn’t wear them in dressy environments. Otherwise, you can pair almost anything casual with these shoes. For example, shirts and shorts will make a great combination with these shoes.
Old Skool skate shoes can be used to express a unique style in many different situations. I have found users that wear these shoes to their work, camping, and other places. As these shoes don’t have additional elements that cling to the shoes, the pair is a good option as a lifestyle shoe.
Vans has a huge lineup of shoes for skateboarders. But none of them are as versatile as these classic shoes. For example, SK8 Hi Glow Skull shoes have a funky design that might only attract a certain group of young users.
On the other hand, Crockett High or Half Cab models are not suitable for use in all situations. As far as I am concerned, Old Skool is the most versatile model of all Vans shoes.
The last time I checked on the Vans website, Old Skool skate shoes were selling for $70. On Amazon, they will cost $65-74, depending on sizes and colors. I browsed the Vans website to check the prices of other models. Most models have a higher price than Old Skool. I spent $65 on the pair I bought.
So, I must say these shoes are priced reasonably. Fit, comfort, versatility, and durability are the factors that allow me to say these shoes provide excellent value for money.
If you look for cheaper alternatives, you might find a handful. For example, Cariuma OCA is a good alternative. Lugz Clipper is also more budget-friendly. But you will miss the incredible fit of Vans shoes. And those cheaper options will not be as durable as old-school shoes.
Even though these shoes can withstand quite an abuse, you should pamper them sometimes to get the best service from them. Here will be some cleaning and maintenance tips.
- Vans doesn’t recommend washing its shoes in a washing machine. So, you should hand wash the shoes.
- You can use baking soda and mild detergent to clean the inside of the shoes.
- Using warm water is recommended, but the water temperature shouldn’t be higher than 40℉.
- Always air dry Old Skool shoes to keep them in good condition.
- The most common issue I faced with these shoes was the creasing in the nose area. To prevent this, you can use a shoe tree to store the shoes.
- Another common problem is the insole getting worn. If your feet aren’t aligned properly, you will notice partial wear. In that case, replace the insole with a new one.
You can use the Vans Water & Stain Shield to keep stains and moisture at bay. This is available on the official website.
Vans Old Skool skate shoe is a tale from the past that is still relatable. The classic design, subtle color, and versatile use of these shoes make them extremely popular worldwide.
Skateboarders, especially experienced ones, can benefit the most from these shoes. Other than that, anyone can use these modest shoes for casual purposes.
As there are multiple color and size options for these shoes, I suggest you take some time to figure out what looks best on you. Once you are bored with a specific color, you will only want to pick another color. Yes, that is how comfortable and lovely these shoes are.
Vans Old Skool on Official Website: https://www.vans.com/en-us/shoes-c00081/old-skool-shoe-pvn000d3hy28
Vans Old Skool on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Vans-Unisex-Skool-Black-White/dp/B000R3UCDA/
Video Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddMoBGS0cAg
I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts on these shoes. Have questions or comments about Old Skool? Feel free to engage in a lively discussion.