We spent 9.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

9 reasons to buy

  • Some users of the Vans Black Ball Hi HF find them comfortable to use with the molded sock liners.
  • A few loyal buyers of this Vans Surf line sneakers expressed satisfaction with the enhanced features of this high-top sneaker as it protects the feet effectively from being drenched in rain and snow.
  • A significant number of customers find them warm enough for the feet to feel cozy during cold temperatures.
  • Some reviewers find them ideal for short hikes and city walks during winter as they keep the feet protected from the harsh elements.
  • In spite of its bulky appearance, a couple of commenters say the sneaker does not feel heavy as they use it in their long casual walks without feeling tired.
  • Enhanced foxing around the shoe gives extra protection from bumps and injury to the feet aside from keeping it comfortably warm in
  • A select number of reviewers praised its vulcanized lug outsole as it keeps the feet on lockdown on the floor even in wet or slippery conditions.
  • The high-top sneaker provides ample ankle protection for morning walks and trail hikes, some customers noted.
  • One reviewer said the sneaker is also useful during the rainy weather as it does not readily get soaked for daily commutes to work or school.

3 reasons not to buy

  • One commenter noted that the leather material gets wear off after a few months of light use.
  • A few noted that the tongue rubs through the upper part of the skin when the shoelaces are tightly fastened.
  • Some users find them bulky and heavy for a casual winter shoe intended for light trekking activities.

Bottom line

Getting a winter-ready treatment, one of Vans Surf’s favorite high-top sneaker keeps the feet warm and dry during the cold months. With its versatile design and deconstructed hi-top silhouette, the affordable Vans Black Hi HF is great for casual walks whether indoors or outdoors. Endure the cold weather with its heightened single-wrap foxing tape and extended toecap to protect the feet and keep them warm and dry from the harsh elements like snow and rainwater.


Top: High
Inspired from: Other
Collection: Vans Black
Price: $75
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Vans sneakers are always known for their narrow fit. The Vans Black Hi HF is no exception to the snug fitting silhouette while staying true to size. The winterized footwear is available in medium width with sizes for men ranging from sizes 7 to 14. Women may also wear the sneaker by going down 1.5 sizes down the existing men’s sizes.

If people were to choose between a solid and equally heavy winter cleat versus a casual sneaker high-top like the Vans Black Ball Hi HF, many younger sneakerheads would probably prefer the latter. The neutral tones of black and brown, tonal Sidestripe detailing paired, and creamy white outsoles give it the look of casual sneakers while the full leather material that extends above the ankle provides this high-top with the feel of a compact winter cleat.

Walk through the metropolis at night with enough confidence that the Vans Black Ball Hi HF would pair well with a puffy overall, a leather coat, or a thermal jacket with enough confidence for the rest of the day. The sleek look would easily blend into the crowd without looking awkward as its style reflects versatility for many fashion tastes.

With modifications made to the original Vans Black Ball Hi SF (Short Foxing) in preparation for the cold days of winter, the Vans Black Ball Hi HF (Heightened Foxing) has a heightened foxing tape that is single wrapped and an extended toe cap for extra protection from the elements. The casual high-top sneaker is reinforced with Vans’ MTE or Mountain Edition technology to retain the warmth in the feet while also preventing moisture from entering the shoe with the DWR or Durable Water Repellent-treated textile and canvas upper materials. Lastly, the new winterized style is constructed with reverse waffle outsoles and a molded UltraCush Lite sockliners for lightweight comfort and superb traction that lasts all day so that the harsh elements outdoors do not hinder any of your winter adventures.

The history of the world’s most famous skateboarding shoe company started in 1966. But before the rise of the immensely popular Vans sneakers, the story began with Paul Van Doren quitting school at 14. The eighth-grader was adamant at going back to school and instead ended up as a cleaner and erstwhile shoemaker at Randy’s, a US footwear maker. While Paul worked his way up the company, he eventually became its Executive Vice-President at 34 years old as the company grows as a major shoe manufacturer in America.

But Paul Van Doren’s journey into shoemaking didn’t end up there. He wanted to make his brand of shoes with the Van Doren Rubber Company. On March 16, 1966, Paul and his brother James Van Doren and business partners Gordon Lee and Serge D’Elia opened the first Vans sneakers factory retail store at 704 East Broadway in Anaheim, California. What has made Vans sneakers unique is that it is designed and manufactured in the same store and directly sold to the public.

But aside from being just a skateboarding shoe manufacturer, the company has also ventured into the creation of the Vans Surf line. While the sales of these shoes are a small percentage compared to the skate-inspired Vans sneakers, the American brand that popularized the skating culture soon also opened its doors to other active sports. Among the surf shoes currently being sold in the Vans sneakers portfolio are the UltraRange, Chauffeur, Bali, and Desert Chukka and Low in surf-ready design for some stylish beach walking.

The company also created the Vans Surf Team to endorse apparel and footwear for the line. In 2008, pro surfer Joel Tudor was the first surfer to sign on with Vans’ apparel program. Other big names in the Vans Surf Team include the likes of Dane Reynolds, Alex Knost, Kalani Chapman, Wade Goodall, Jared Mell, and the Gudauskas brothers.

The Vans Black Ball Hi SF was first released as early as 2016 with the latest iteration dropping December 2017 for the winter-ready version, the Vans Black Ball Hi HF.

  • The Vans Black Ball Hi HF with its deconstructed high-top looks was made using water-based inks and glue.
  • The signature leather side stripe come in tonal treatment while the enhance toecap detailing deliver extra protection.
  • The single-wrapped foxing tape offers lightweight comfort for the sneaker.
  • The vulcanized lug outsole of the high-top sneaker provides maximum grip and traction.