We spent 7.8 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

9 reasons to buy

  • The vast majority of buyers of the Vans 50th Old Skool find the special edition sneaker sturdy and durable with its suede and canvas upper combination.
  • A large number of reviewers of the Vans 50th Old Skool think the checkered and gold design iterations are apt and symbolic with the anniversary special edition release.
  • Some loyalists of the Vans brand commented that the Vans 50th Old Skool has remained consistent with its heritage silhouette as well as the top to toe comfort of this iconic sneaker.
  • The 50th Old Skool sneaker does not wear out fast even after repeated beating and jumps in the skate park several skaters observed.
  • A few purchasers are impressed with the 1990s inspired box packaging of the anniversary release sneaker with 50th-anniversary gold printing.
  • A good number of reviewers find the reinforced Duracap rubber toe cap feels robust and protects the feet adequately from bumps and injuries.
  • Ultracush footbeds used in the interiors and lining of this sneaker felt extraordinarily comfortable and absorbs shock when skating according to several reviewers.
  • The legendary waffle outsole continues to make numerous users nostalgic for their first ever Old Skool shoe they bought from the company several decades ago.
  • Numerous fans of the Vans Old Skool think the 50th-anniversary issue looked gorgeous in its two variants: the checkered upper and the gold-striped models.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Some reviewers commented that the premium suede material used in the upper is not as smooth as it used to be.
  • Several customers find this shoe challenging to clean as the white midsole easily gets scuff marks and breaks apart at the rubber trimmings when used for a few months of skateboarding.
  • A few users were not impressed with the re-issue because they hardly felt anything new and unique with the anniversary edition design.
  • Some buyers do not like the colorways of the Vans 50th Old Skool as it leaves them a little option for styling especially the olive color and checkered pattern that are difficult to pair with their clothes.

Bottom line

Bringing back memories of the original design, the Vans 50th Old Skool low-top sneaker takes us back to a time when the silhouette helped raise the next generation of skateboarding masters. The time-tested design renews every sneaker fan’s love for the iconic skate shoe.

Completing the features of the Vans 50th Old Skool are the padded collar and tongue that spoils the feet with elevated cushioning. All these reasons are enough to convince the fussiest of shoe buyers to cop a pair of Vans most popular casual skate shoe.


Base model: Vans Old Skool
Top: Low
Inspired from: Skate
Collection: Vans Old Skool
Price: $65
Colorways: Purple, Grey
Special editions: 46 special editions
Small True to size Large
See more facts


A top rated sneaker
A top rated Vans sneaker

As a classic skate-ready shoe, the Vans 50th Old Skool runs true to size with a regular lace-up for a secure lockdown. The low-top shoe comes in medium width D or B for men and women. The sizing ranges from 4 to 16 for men and 3 to 14.5 for women with half-sizes for a perfect fitting.

If there’s a particular casual sneaker that Vans will compete head-on with the most popular sneakers of other brands, it should be the Vans Old Skool. The enduring silhouette of this low-top footwear is well presented in the Vans 50th Old Skool sneaker. The golden anniversary design opens up a lot of styling opportunities for its most ardent patrons.

Coming in two distinct colorways and design, the first one is the olive green suede kick with checkered print on canvas that dishes out a sense of nostalgia to the OG silhouette of the Vans Old Skool. The same reason of jubilation is awakened when one sees the 50th anniversary Golden Pack version which features a plain canvas upper with gold stripe symbolic of the five decades of the most popular Vans sneaker that celebrated its golden year in 2016.

Styling options for these two anniversary offerings for the Old Skool allow one to join the joyousness of the 50th year of the famous footwear silhouette that sparked the skater lifestyle and culture in the 1970s. Walking on these 50th-anniversary edition sneakers serves as a keepsake for the thousands, if not millions, of people who were convinced that the Old Skool and Off the Wall movement and the gravity-defying moves of the skaters had defined their generation. Over the years, this skate lifestyle has been part of every age with the lifestyle embraced by father and sons and daughters and mothers as they perform tricks and stunts in their favorite Vans Old Skool sneaker.

Aside from the beautiful aesthetics of the checkered and golden striped versions, the Vans 50th Old Skool boasts of Ultracush technology that has shock absorption features and provides superior cushioning for the feet while doing jumps and tricks. The high abrasion rubber sole with waffle tread pattern is also another prominent feature that has kept this silhouette among the brand’s most enduring and bestselling designs of all time.

The world’s number one skate shoe company Vans started in Anaheim, California with the Van Doren Brothers. James and Paul Van Doren began selling a canvas shoe model with an almost minimalistic design and function in their little shoe shop.

Started more than 50 years ago, the first shoe released by the brand is the Authentic model that has existed since the early years of the company. The low-top sneaker also known as the #44 deck shoe had a simple layout with the canvas upper and a thick vulcanized rubber sole.

However, in over five decades, what is probably the most famous of the shoes that came out of the Vans’ portfolio is the Vans Old Skool. One of the most sought-after silhouettes and the most bestselling among the footwear released by the company was initially embraced by the skateboarding community and eventually the grunge and hip-hop culture that embraced its simplicity and understated details in the 1990s.

The Vans Old Skool was initially created for skateboarders of the 1970s by the Van Doren brothers under its original style name Style 36. Now with millions of pairs of this skate cult classic sold, many sneaker fans predict that the Vans Old Skool might soon knock off the Adidas Stan Smith on the top spot as the most bestselling sneaker of all time.

The low-top design for the Old Skool was first seen in 1977 as a follow-up to the Vans Era, the first shoe intended for skateboarding that was released a year earlier to cater to the growing skateboarding community in California. The Vans Old Skool was the first shoe of the company that features the now recognizable leather strip that is stitched at the side panels.

The leather stripe was later on developed by Paul Van Doren as a symbol of Vans’ skating legacy in the years that followed and was initially called the Jazz Stripe. Aside from appearing as a recognizable branding detail, the side stripe also functions as an additional layer of protection on the side panel. As the Vans Old Skool is made primarily of canvas material on the sides, the extra strip of leather on the sides help protect the shoe from the massive beating, wear, and tear from skateboarding.

What further sparked the interest of skaters into patronizing the Old Skool are its sticky waffle soles that grips easily into then wooden boards used in skateboarding. Another factor that helped retain an interest in the Old Skool is the level of customization that one can get from buying and Old Skool kick. In the 1980s to the 1990s, the shoes were being customized by skaters by spray painting, doodling, and creating new artworks on the canvas upper. This practice led to Vans offering the custom-building of the Old Skool skate shoes in their store in Anaheim, California with various designs to choose from to suit the tastes of their most avid followers.

  • The Vans 50th Old Skool low-top sneaker came out as part of the 50th Anniversary Gold Pack in 2016 with Port Royale colorway gold side stripe and interior lining.
  • Another version of the 50th Anniversary sneaker is the Olive green colorway with Checkered, Black, and Rosin tones in the upper.
  • Reinforced Duracap toecap protects the toes from bumps and injury.
  • Double stitching in the vamp gives additional protection from wear and tear.