We spent 9.8 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

9 reasons to buy

  • The Vans Black Ball Hi SF is a comfortable shoe that can be worn all day, according to lots of reviewers.
  • Several users noted that this shoe fits great.
  • Some reviewers highlighted that they like this Vans high-top’s classic look and rubber toe.
  • A few reviewers said that this high-top is a great shoe for skating or even just for casual use.
  • A handful of purchasers reported that this shoe had gotten them heaps of compliments from other people.
  • This shoe’s classic waffle rubber outsole provides outstanding traction, which made some purchasers satisfied.
  • The canvas material on the upper of the Black Ball Hi SF broke in nicely and shaped well to their feet, according to a few reviewers.
  • Some purchasers highlighted that the removable UltraCush insoles offer not only plush cushioning but also nice protection from the cold.
  • The rubber toe cap of this shoe is applauded by many reviewers, especially those who use this shoe for skateboarding.

4 reasons not to buy

  • One disappointed reviewer commented that the rubber sole started to peel away just after a month of light use.
  • Another purchaser complained about the loud popping noise this shoe makes with every step.
  • The toe cap of the Vans Black Ball Hi SF is a little stiff and needs some time to break in, as stated by a couple of reviewers.
  • There were some comments that this particular high-top from Vans causes blisters on the heels and toes.

Bottom line

With a fresh silhouette through the Vans Black Ball Hi SF, Vans has proven once again that its signature classic façade could further improve with comfort fit for the modern market. Built with a deconstructed upper material, Pro Vulc Lite construction, UltraCush insoles, and a waffle outsole, this high-top’s overall performance is as impressive as its eye-catching style.

Although some were left dismayed with its durability, or it’s stiff toe box that takes time breaking in, this Black Ball SF variation remains as one of the brand’s highly recommended kicks.


Top: High
Inspired from: Other
Collection: Vans Black
Price: $62
Colorways: Black, Blue, Grey
Small True to size Large
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The Vans Black Ball Hi SF is available in men’s sizing from 4 to 13 in D Standard or Medium width with half sizes from 6.5 to 11.5. It is also offered in women’s sizing from 5 to 11, half sizes included as well, in B Standard or Medium width.

This surf-inspired shoe features a deconstructed high-top silhouette that allows sufficient ankle protection on and off the board. Like typical sneakers, it has a traditional lace-up closure that offers an adjustable and secure fit. 

The Vans Black Ball Hi SF is the high-top variation of the Vans Black Ball SF shoe. A classic, Vans-authentic style with a laid-back feel, this shoe boasts a durable deconstructed upper in either canvas or suede material with the brand's signature side stripes to seal off its flair.  

This Vans shoe looks best when paired with fitted jeans to highlight its silhouette. As for the ladies, these shoes can be worn with casual dresses for an edgy look, or with shorts or cropped jeans for a relaxed and always-on-the-go get-up.

This high-top version of the Vans Black Ball SF shoe retains the low-top’s signature design elements such as the Vans' signature side stripes, exaggerated rubber toe cap, and single wrap foxing tape. These details are presented not only for an added oomph to its look but also for added protection on and off the board.  What also made this shoe worth the attention is that it utilizes water-based inks and glues as well as removable UltraCush insoles for breathable in-shoe comfort.

Vans is an American brand that manufactures footwear, apparel, and accessories catering to the extreme sports category including skateboard, surf, snowboarding, BMX, and motocross.  It was founded in 1966 by Paul and Jim Van Doren with partners Serge Delia and Gordon Lee.

In 1977, the brand's signature Vans Sidestripe debuted on the iconic Vans Old Skool shoes. This branding, which was initially called the "jazz stripe," comes in the form of leather panels that enhances the shoe's durability. Since then, the Sidestripe has become synonymous with old-school Vans shoes. It has been a universal mark of the shoe's classic root that carries on up to the brand's modern silhouettes to this day.

One of the shoes that carry this signature branding is the Vans Black Ball Hi SF. It is the high-top variation of the surf-inspired footwear, the Vans Black Ball SF. It features a deconstructed canvas or suede leather with the Vans Sidestripe accent on the sidewalls, a vulcanized rubber outsole with waffle tread pattern, and an UltraCush insole for breathable cushioning. This shoe comes in several colorways for both men and women at an affordable price point.

  • The insoles are detachable and can be replaced with other insoles or orthotics.
  • The Vans Off the Wall branding is visible on the tongue while the simple Vans logo is seen on the sidewalls.


Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.