Verdict from 100+ user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • Several users find the iconic Vans Authentic skate shoes versatile as it can be worn for casual wear, walking, light skateboarding, hanging out, travel, and daily activities like school and work.
  • Many people find the upper canvas material impressively breathable and cool to wear all day.
  • Some people observe that the shoes remain consistent in quality and construction.
  • Numerous wearers find the vulc sole durable with superior grip and traction.
  • The canvas upper and the traditional lacing keeps the feet secure throughout the day, some wearers disclose.
  • A significant number of buyers note that the Vans Authentic on feet feels lightweight and that they can wear it for several hours without feeling fatigue.
  • Most customers comment that the price of this classic sneaker is affordable.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Several people comment that the Vans Authentic skate shoes have poor arch support.
  • A significant number of buyers note that the canvas material stains quickly and can get dirty with only a few uses.
  • Several skateboarders complain that the stitching and the canvas material show signs of wear and tear after a week of using the shoe for skateboarding.

Bottom line

The Vans Authentic silhouette has been around for more than 50 years, but its popularity remains high among sneaker fans especially the skateboarding community. The classic canvas upper and grippy vulc sole has been around and stayed consistent for decades. 

The lightweight and breathable materials of one of Vans’ iconic and bestselling shoe designs also make this budget-friendly kick worth considering for the next purchase.

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

The simple looks of the iconic sneaker like the Authentic from Vans are secured by a traditional lace-up. How to lace the sneaker has also been a worry-free exercise in the Authentic as its regular lace-up enclosure is quick to tighten or loosen. 

The classic silhouette of the Vans Authentic has been around since 1966, but its following seems to grow year after year. The reason for this enduring style influence started when the skating community started digging the classic canvas upper with a thick rubber sole that let skaters do their board tricks with ease.

Deeply entrenched in the Southern California surf and skate lifestyle, the Vans silhouette has grown to be loved by mostly young audiences through the years. From being a cult favorite in the skateboarding community, the continually being re-released Vans Authentic has been a staple of several generations that fathers and their sons, mothers, and their daughters have worn this classic low-top kick at one point in their lives.

The once strictly skating shoe later on transitioned into a lifestyle sneaker over the years with many colorways to choose from to suit every mood and season. Some of these sneakers are more aligned with women’s tastes like the Vans Authentic in yellow, Vans Authentic in all white, and red Vans Authentic shoes that are more vibrant colors than the usual neutral tones liked by men. Colorways that are popular for the men’s Vans Authentic include the navy and black.

At some point in the past releases, the shoe had suede and leather iterations aside from the standard canvas upper material. Among the favorite colorways include black/white, black/black, silver lining/true white, flame/true white, estate blue/true white, crimson/true white, and baby blue/true white.

The vintage aesthetics of the Vans Authentic is its most noticeable feature. From the low-top silhouette, the light, flexible canvas, or leather material in the upper to the thick rubber gum sole with signature waffle tread pattern for better traction, the Vans Authentic never fails to stand out. The slimmed-down profile of this classic sneaker is further enhanced with a comfortable midsole cushioning from the die-cast EVA midsole and cotton drill lining for breathability.

The world’s favorite skate shoe company started in Anaheim, California with the Van Doren brothers, James and Paul Van Doren, setting up their little shop selling a shoe model with almost minimalistic design and functions. Remaining unchanged since it started some 50 years ago, the Vans Authentic model has existed since the early years of the company. The Authentic model was first sold on March 16, 1966, and was designed by the company’s co-founder Paul Van Doren.

Also known as the #44 deck shoe, the Vans Authentic has a simple layout with a canvas upper and a thick vulcanized rubber sole. But this simplicity is probably the reason why skateboarders loved it in the first place. Known for its laidback lifestyle, skateboarders love its simple silhouette with only the upper’s canvas material changing colorways through the years.

Ever since the skateboarding culture started in the Golden State, Vans shoes seem to be attached to the growth of the sport over the years from the California skate scene to the rest of the United States. While its attachment appears to be linked to the growth of skateboarding, the brand also became popular in the punk culture with the Vans Authentic seemingly becoming a classic favorite in the community.

Over the years and the exponential growth of the Vans brand, the company had several divisions and shoe development units like Vans Syndicate, Vans Vault, Vans Off the Wall, Vans California, and Vans LXVI that have tweaked the design of the classic Authentic silhouette as part of their portfolio. The upper fabric design had several color combinations including materials such as leather, suede, and synthetic to suit the growing demands of its millions of followers.

  Vans Authentic vs. Vans Era

For so many lovers of the Vans Authentic silhouette, the Vans Era is a tad improvement regarding comfort and durability. The Vans Authentic skate shoes were an initial hit among skaters, but it also has flaws. One of which is its lack of ample cushioning and that its canvas upper often wears out quite quickly after just a few rounds at the skate park.

Then came deck shoe #95 or the Vans Era released in March 1976. The first improvement for the Vans Era versus the Vans Authentic is its canvas upper that was improved with double stitching to make it extra durable for the heavy beating the shoe gets during the game.

Another improvement for the Vans Era over the Vans Authentic skate shoe is at the collar and interior sock liner. Vans designers added an extra layer of padding at the collar to protect the ankles from rubbing into the canvas upper as many skaters complained of experiencing blisters while wearing the shoe. Lastly, the shoe was constructed with a rubber gum outsole which improves the vulcanized rubber outsole with herringbone tread patterns in the Authentic. The improvements on the outsole of the Vans Authentic skate shoes lead to a better boardfeel and a better grip on the skateboards.

To further bolster the authority of the Vans brand as a skate shoe manufacturer, the company also tapped skate legends Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta and was offered in several colorways. The skate shoe heritage of the brand was further stamped into history with the rise of the “Off the Wall” slogan in the signature red and white skate logo usually found at the heel of every skate sneaker produced.

  Vans Authentic colorways and collaborations

Meantime, the allure of the OG of all the Vans sneakers continues with the Vans Authentic. Being on the shelves of the company for the last five decades, the Vans Authentic has taken almost all colorways, upper material treatments, and significant collaborations that had made it relevant up to this day.

Some of the more popular colorways of the Vans Authentic include the Vans Authentic in black, Vans Authentic in navy, and Vans Authentic in true white. Some of the favorite patterns and iconic designs of the brand have also appeared on the classic model like the Vans Checkerboard Authentic, Vans Flame Wall Authentic, Vans Bandana Authentic, Vans Moody Floral Authentic, and Vans Pop Camo Authentic styles.

More variants of the black Vans Authentic have also appeared like the Vans Union Authentic and Vans Authentic Surf. Soon with more vans Authentic sneakers on sale, the brand also collaborated with footwear retailers and designers to renew interest in their iconic and bestselling low-top model.

Among the noteworthy collaborations for the Authentic silhouette are the vans x Lazy Oaf Authentic, Vans x Peanuts Authentic, Vans x Star Wars Authentic, and Vans x Marvel Authentic. Fashion and streetwear brands have also joined the bandwagon in making variants of the Authentic like the Supreme “Power, Corruption & Lies” Pack which featured a reworked vans Authentic Pro skate shoe.

While other equally successful classic designs like the Vans Old Skool, Vans Era, and Vans Classic Slip-on came after the release of the Authentic, the original model has continued to be in demand and almost becoming a part of every skater’s wardrobe signifying its longevity in the company’s shoe catalog. This immense love for the Vans Authentic is also the reason why the brand hardly changed its design for more than five decades. It will continue to be the same light linen or leather upper and a waffle outsole with a tread pattern that the skating community had come to love and grew up with through the years.

  • Among the celebrities spotted wearing the Vans Authentic sneakers include singers, rappers, and musicians like Pharrell, Chris Brown, Kanye West, Tyga, Big Sean, Dougie Poynter, Pete Wentz, Taylor Swift. Luke Worrall, Justin Bieber, and Lil’ Wayne.
  • Because of its fame, the Vans Authentic shoes were also a favorite kick for actors and celebrities like Cole Sprouse, Zac Efron, Kirsten Stewart, Natalie Portman, Emile Hirsch, Gavin Rossdale, Taylor Momsen, Chris Pine, Nikki Reed, and Shia LeBeouf.


How Vans Authentic ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 18% sneakers
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Top 39% Vans sneakers
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Top 18% low sneakers
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The current trend of Vans Authentic.
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Sheena is a wordsmith turned sneaker addict. Her sneaker fixation intensified as her passion for writing grew. A hands-on mom of two sweet yet spunky kids (plus three dogs and two cats), she finds solitude in leafing through shoe catalogs to find the next "it" sneaker. Scrutinizing hugely popular and underrated kicks is her favorite pastime.