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

12 reasons to buy

  • Vans Black Ball SF is loved by lots of reviewers as it is comfortable for everyday walking.
  • It comes true to size according to a lot of reviewers.
  • This type of sneaker, especially the one in white, is ideal for jeans, shorts, and summer dresses.
  • Several buyers said this shoe is very lightweight.
  • It allows room for supportive inserts, noted by a few users.
  • Some wearers said this sneaker is well-constructed and held up for a long time.
  • The sole is cushy and comfortable with the addition of thicker midsole.
  • Many users said it comes with a waffle outsole that felt grippy like the Vans Authentic.
  • Its canvas and nubuck material is sturdy enough.
  • Some of the reviewers who liked the fit of this shoe went for another shade
  • The Leila Hurst signature colorway for women makes the feet look small.
  • There’s enough room in the toe box, according to a user who has just given birth.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Several reviewers felt this sneaker runs big.
  • This sneaker rubs against the back of the foot.

Bottom line

The Vans Black Ball SF is a vintage-looking shoe that has met all the demands of modern lifestyle regarding aesthetics and comfort. It also grants remarkable cushioning with the presence of a breathable and molded sockliner, as well as a lightweight midsole.

It has a sturdy canvas upper that keeps the feet protected for an extended period, while its sticky outsole is equipped with support and stability. This shoe is appreciated not only by surfers and skateboarders but also by sneaker lovers who are after functionality and durability.


Top: Low
Inspired from: Other
Collection: Vans Black
Price: $65
Colorways: Black, Blue, Purple, Red, White
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Expert Reviews

Experts are sneaker fanatics, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

  • First look | Syncopatic Syncronization

  • First look | Syncopatic Syncronization

  • First look | Syncopatic Syncronization

  • First look | Syncopatic Syncronization

  • First look | Syncopatic Syncronization

Become an expert

The Vans Black Ball SF low-top sneaker is built with a durable canvas upper that permits air to flow in and out of the shoe. This sneaker runs true to size and available in sizes that range from 6 to 13 US for the men’s and 5 to 11 US for the women’s. The vulcanized sole incorporated the Pro Vulc Lite feature where the base of the shoe is maintained at reduced weight, taking away lots of load from the feet. Inside the shoe is a molded-heel UtraCush sockliner that cups and supports the feet from tons of discomfort.

Pro surfers Dane Reynolds and Leila Hurst are creating waves off the shore and onto the streets by tapping not just surfboard lovers but skateboarders and sneaker enthusiasts with the release of the Vans Black Ball SF in signature colorways. The Reynolds’ version is coated with solid shades which can be matched with shorts, denim, or joggers. Its style is ideal for after morning surf sessions, casual work, or a night out within the city. The feminine counterpart is the Hurst colorway covered with water-based floral prints and light colored canvas. It bursts with a summery vibe when paired with pastel-colored slim pants, solid-toned capris, denim, and skirts in contrasting hues.

Vans Black Ball SF comes with a classic silhouette that’s loaded with comfort such as an extra cushioned footbed that gives a pleasant feeling to the feet, plus it’s molded on the heel for added support. The vulcanized sole construction is lightweight which reduces a great amount of tension from the feet, especially when walking for hours. Under the shoe is a waffle-patterned outsole that holds firmly on the ground and prevents the feet from slipping easily. The relaxed form of this sneaker entirely reflects the laidback feel of surfer shoes.

The popular  Vans sidestripe initially seen in the Vans Old Skool comes back with the arrival of the Vans Black Ball SF influenced by surfing culture. With a partnership with pro surfers Dane Reynolds and Leila Hurst, Vans comes up with the Vans Black Ball SF with signature black and white and floral colorways.

This surf-inspired sneaker is deeply rooted from the 1977 first Vans skate shoe the Old Skool that was born at the time when East Coast surfers were transitioning into skateboarding. The Old Skool was the first model that bore the swoop of leather on the sides of the shoe called the sidestripe, which serves as reinforcement on the medial and lateral wings of the shoe. It later became an identifying symbol by Vans.

Unlike the earlier style of Vans which is the Authentic, the Old Skool has a noticeably relaxed aura and simple to wear with any casual outfits. Its straightforward cut instantly earned a cult following among surfers and skateboarders, which has been revamped over the years using varied materials while staying close to its original, essential surf and skate elements.

One of the modified takes on the old school classic is the Vans Black Ball SF made with a solid toned cover for the men’s, inspired by the creative and carefree styling of American pro surfer Dane Reynolds. A feminine version of this shoe was inspired by Leila Hurst which features a floral-printed canvas upper with signature leather sidestripe and water-based floral design.

  • UltraCush is a thin yet durable cushioning property which uses compressed foam that takes away a lot of weight from the shoe.
  • The Vans Black Ball SF comes with a classic rubber waffle outsole with a single layer of long-lasting and textured foxing tape.
  • Its half-moon toe cap reinforces the tip of the shoe.


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.