Vans Old Skool Review

9.6 score
[Editors rating (9.6) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = (WalkJogRun) score (9.6)/10

Editor rating: 9.6 / 10
User's rating: based on 2 user ratings
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Vans Old Skool is as classic as it gets when it comes to skate shoes! This original fan favorite offers a low-top, lace-up design that brings a whole new meaning to street-style. Suede and canvas uppers combine with Vans’ signature waffle sole to form a shoe that was made for life on the board. Vans was started back in 1966 by two brothers, Paul Van Doren and Jim Van Doren. They partnered with Gordon Lee and Serge Delia to open their first retail store in Anaheim, California. This little shop was called The Van Doren Rubber Company, they made shoes right in-house and sold them. By the early 70s skaters had grown to love the innovative sole and durable designs, especially of the ‘Authentic’ Old Skool model.

This deck-inspired pair has remained a go-to pair with skaters for the past four decades and to this day continues to dominate the parks. If you’re shopping for a true skate shoe than this is one of the best pairs that money can buy.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Waffle Sole
  • Vulcanized Construction
  • Multiple Colorways
  • Authentic Skater Style
  • Canvas/Suede Upper
  • Narrow Fitting
  • Sizes Run Small


There’s nothing old when it comes to this modern skate shoe! It offers an upper unit that’s made from comforting canvas and suede materials and boasts the iconic side stripe that they’re famous for. This pair comes in a plethora of colorways so there’s something that will suit every sense of style and is unisex by design for versatile shopping. The canvas material is lightweight and breathable for and comforting wear and helps to prevent a build-up of sweat and odor-causing bacteria. Controlling excess moisture is an important part of any shoe because it not only keeps you more comfortable but also eliminates smelly feet and shoes.


Perhaps the most infamous aspect of Vans’ footwear is their signature waffle sole which the old skool proudly sports. The waffle sole original had a diamond patterned tread but this proved to be an issue because it didn’t hold up well and tough wear and tear. So, in a bid to improve on longevity, Vans’ added vertical lines to the pattern which resulted in their now infamous tread pattern. This innovative outsole offers unparalleled grip on both wet and dry surfaces so you can skate with peace of mind knowing that you’re not going to slip. It’s made to last and won’t wear down with daily stress so you can enjoy this shoe for a long time to come


Every teenager and young adult knows Vans’ name! What started out as a popular brand with the skater community exclusively has since transcended into a favorite among people from all walks of life. Young, old and everything in-between, there are no limits to who can enjoy rocking a pair of Vans’ shoes. They’re comfortable, stylish, and versatile so what’s not to love?!

Vans was founded in 1966 by two brothers Paul Van Doren and Jim Van Doren. They partnered with Gordon Lee and Serge Delia to open the very first retail location in Anaheim, California. Back then they made their shoes right out of the back of the store and quickly became know by skater for their incredible styles. Skaters had grown to be impressed with the durability and superior style that these shoes had to offer and helped to propel the Vans’ name straight to the top. Since their debut, they’ve shown no signs of cooling off and have reached new heights of popularity with people from all aspects of life.


Okay, so you’re picky with the color of your shoes… Well, there’s no need to panic when it comes time to go shopping because the Old Skool was made to please! It comes in so many different color combinations, it would be practically impossible not to find one that you love. Choose from options like Black/White, Tiger’s Eye/White, Black Mono, Blue Topez, and so many more. No matter what your sense of style is, there are so many of these shoes to choose from you would be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t like at least one of the options.


This pair was made tough to outlast the rest! It offers vulcanized construction that makes for an incredibly long-lasting shoe and is durable enough to stress to the max. Vulcanized construction was once the most popular way to make shoes but fell behind the cold cement style in the 1980s only to make a huge comeback in recent years. When a shoe is vulcanized it uses a metal last, not plastic which makes it far more precise and securely bonds all parts of the pair together created a fused product. It is the original and arguably the best way to craft a sneaker.


This sneaker is the original skater shoe and is still as stylish as can be. It offers a low-top look and lace-up structure that combine for a street-ready look. This is the shoe that started the skater trend that’s become such a popular way to dress today. It’s laid-back and sporty vibe is what makes it so alluring and guarantees that it will still be just as popular many years from now. A classic side stripe lets the brand name instantly be known as this is an iconic Vans symbol and really adds to the overall style that this pair delivers.


These sneakers offer a rubber sole that’s excellent for wearing in both dry and wet conditions. Rubber is a waterproof material that also offers superior traction on wet and slippery surfaces. The Old Skool has a uniquely designed waffle sole that will hold up well under pressure and guarantees to keep you stable on your feet. Its canvas upper unit is both lightweight and breathable so you can forget about hot and sweaty feet while you’re on the go. The great thing about this pair is how comfortable the materials are to wear and the fact that they won't smother your feet causing excessive sweating which is just downright uncomfortable.


Laces are one of the best kinds of fasteners, especially for athletic-inspired pairs. Laces let you adjust the fit of your shoe so that it feels just right and help to keep them firmly on your feet. The Old Skool comes complete with a front lace-up closure system that is both easy to use and securely fitted so you can perform your best without worrying about your shoes falling off. Laces are also considered to be quite stylish and add to the pairs overall appearance.


One of the downfalls to this incredible pair is the fit. Overall, it's very comfortable but the size tends to run a little small. Some wearers found that they needed to purchase a whole or half-size larger than their usual size just to feel like they had enough room. If you have wider feet or tend to wear a half-size normally then it's a good idea to order up from your usual. For example, if you wear an 8.5 normally you should opt for a size 9 in these shoes. This will ensure that they aren't too small for you.


As with the sizing, this shoe runs a little narrow in the forefoot. If you have wide feet you should consider a half to a full size up from your usual in order to be sure that you have enough room for your toes. Or, if it's just the width that's an issue you can try to widen them by stretching the material yourself. This can be done by putting something wider than your foot inside of the shoe overnight. If you repeat this for several nights in a row it should stretch the fabric enough to make the shoe more spacious. It won't stretch it so much so that it looks distorted unless you put something that's way too big inside.

Bottom Line

Vans’ Old Skool is a must-have for skaters and is equally as popular with just about everyone else too! This pair goes back to the roots of this style of shoe and delivers a seamless look that is perfect for casual occasions. Its vulcanized construction ensures that this shoe will last for quite some time despite daily wear and tear making it an economical choice. Anyone who is fashion-conscious will love the on-trend vibe that the Old Skool exudes and the nods of approval they bring in from passerbys.

The upper of this shoe is made from breathable canvas and suede materials that allow for plenty of airflow around your feet. This keeps you cool and comfortable while helping to prevent a build-up of sweat and odor-causing bacteria. The Old Skool’s waffle sole offers something uniquely Vans’ and guarantees the best traction on wet and slippery surfaces.

I rated this shoe very highly based on its performance, as well as, the overwhelming amount of positive feedback from wearers. It has been a classic design for over forty years and shows no signs of losing popularity any time soon!