Verdict from +100 user reviews

11 reasons to buy

  • Many reviewers found the shoe’s look to be appealing, describing it as modern and fantastic. Some added that the gold accents looked great and the inner leopard print was cute.
  • The Vans Leather SK8-Hi Slim Zip was comfortable, most testers felt.
  • Wide-footed users also felt comfortable in the shoes. One added that they looked fabulous, especially since she always found it difficult to find high-tops that don’t result in clown feet.  
  • More than a handful of wearers received compliments on the sneakers every time they were worn.
  • Some purchasers said that the leather stretched and conformed wonderfully to the foot after some time.
  • The zipper at the back of the Vans SK8-Hi Slim Zip was convenient, some buyers agreed. It makes it easier to put the shoes on and off.
  • One reviewer attested that she wore the shoes for over two years almost every day, no matter the weather, and they lasted incredibly well.
  • The sneakers are budget-friendly.
  • Many testers would recommend the Vans Leather SK8-Hi Slim Zip to others.
  • Several wearers said they would buy another pair.
  • A few claimed that the model became their favorite Vans so far, after wearing the brand for many years.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Quite a few complained that the break-in period of wearing the Vans Leather SK8-Hi Slim Zip was painful.
  • More than a handful of purchasers observed that the zipper fell off easily and didn’t work as smoothly as time went by, especially if it was often used.  
  • Several users said that the shoes ran big and they ended up having to go a half size down for a proper fit.
  • The sole of the Vans Leather SK8-Hi Slim Zip provided too thin a support for the feet, revealed a couple of reviewers.

Bottom line

The Vans Leather SK8-Hi Slim Zip promises to be the go-to shoes for a modern lifestyle. Inspired by the legendary SK8-Hi shoe, this version slims things down and creates a smoother look with a leather upper. It has a convenient zipper at the heel.

At a budget-friendly price point, these kicks have been lauded for their comfort, even for users with wide feet. However, a few attested that there would have to be a break-in period. All in all, it’s a good option for those looking for a sleek style.

User reviews:

Good to know

The high-top Leather SK8-Hi Slim Zip from Vans comes in unisex sizes, from 3.5 boys’/5.0 women’s up to 10.0 men’s/11.5 women’s. It’s in medium width and fits true to size. It should be noted, nevertheless, that several wearers have found the shoes too big and ended up taking a half size down for an appropriate fit.

It’s a classic Vans model with a high-top collar, with the first Sk8-Hi intended to protect and support skaters’ ankles. This shoe is no exception, offering the same features albeit in a slimmed down version. It also has a leather upper that provides excellent support. Its lace-up system with the zip-up at the back secures the feet properly.

Everything, from jeans to sweatpants, could go well with the high-top Vans Leather SK8-Hi Slim Zip. Because of its edgy style, the shoes need minimal styling when it comes to outfits and could be worn for any relaxed outing. Skinny jeans and dresses are a good choice for a simple yet trendy appeal.

For a more laidback flair, shorts and skirts coupled with plain tops should be enough to show off the sneaker’s hip look. The kicks are attractive, eye-catching, and can liven up an outfit, so anything one wears is guaranteed to look extra stylish.

Just like the classic SK8-Hi, the Vans Leather SK8-Hi Slim Zip has a padded collar and a characteristic lace-up front. The Sidestripe, an iconic Vans hallmark, adorns the side of the shoe, with the Vans Off the Wall Logo on the tongue. It has monochrome stitching all over the upper as well as perforations along the toe for added breathability. Its heel has a zipper entry which makes it distinctive from other models.    

Vans started out in 1966, in a little store in Anaheim, California. Two brothers, James and Paul Van Doren, along with Gordon C. Lee and Serge D’Elia, established it under the name The Van Doren Rubber Company. Their shoes had a sticky sole and rugged style that quickly became a skateboarding favorite, paving the way for the brand’s continued success. 

Throughout the years, several trademark Vans models have passed into iconic status for their versatility, reliability, style, and quality. One of these is the SK8-Hi. Introduced as “Style 38” in 1978, the Sk8-Hi was the second shoe to feature the well-known Vans Sidestripe, or “jazz stripe,” which was created by Paul Van Doren.

Back then, it was a highly innovative shoe that focused its functionality above the ankle. It was the area where skateboarders utilized and took full advantage of their lower force the most. As a result, they needed more support and protection around the ankle for high performance. The SK8-Hi provided both, while also bringing a new stylish look to the skate park.

Due to the popularity of the SK8-Hi, many versions and designs have popped up since then. One of the most unique is the Vans Leather SK8-Hi Slim Zip. While the original Sk8-Hi featured a suede and canvas upper, the Slim Zip incorporates full leather with a slimmer silhouette for a sleek modern style. It has a zip-up system at the back that makes it stand out from other high-tops.

  • Toe caps are reinforced to endure frequent use.
  • This model features the signature Vans rubber Waffle Outsole.   
Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny McLoughlin is a researcher for RunRepeat covering football, sneakers and running. After graduating with a degree in computer science from The University of Strathclyde, Danny makes sure never to miss a game of his beloved Glasgow Rangers or the Scotland national football team. He has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.