We spent 6.9 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

12 reasons to buy

  • Several reviewers are drawn to the Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue due to its classic flavor.
  • It is aesthetically appealing that it can add style to any casual garb, according to a large number of users.
  • This high-top Checkerboard SK8-Hi edition looks more impressive on foot than in pictures, conveyed by some buyers.
  • The padding around the collar and cushioned sole make this sneaker appropriate for everyday wear, mentioned by some
  • It becomes comfortable after a few times wearing it, noted by a significant number of users.
  • A couple of reviewers emphasized that the air vents on the vamp keep the toe box cool.
  • The Vans Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue is a well-made sneaker that lasts for a reasonably long time, noted by some users.
  • The suede material on the forefoot and reinforced toecap protect the shoe from immediate damage, especially when doing repeated skate tricks like ollies.
  • Some of the skaters who have tried this on cited that the strong stitching around the shoe makes this sneaker hard-wearing.
  • Several buyers consider its price tag affordable.
  • The Vulcanized bottom on this SK8-Hi Reissue sneaker grants excellent communication with the board, stated by some skaters.
  • The trademark outsole with waffle design offers good contact with the ground, especially on abrasive grip tape.

2 reasons not to buy

  • It needs ample time to break in since its quite tight straight from the box, few buyers mentioned.
  • A small number of wearers stated that its suede cover catches dirt and lint easily.

Bottom line

The old-school high-top is treated with Vans’ iconic square pattern with the launch of the Vans Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue which immediately catches the attention of skaters and non-riders who value timeless style, unparalleled durability, and remarkable comfort.

The retro, checkered design on the canvas add flavor to the already well-applauded blueprint of the SK8-Hi. This Reissue is brimming with supportive features for daily grinds or board tricks. The reinforcements integrated into this shoe makes it a wise purchase especially if one is looking for a shoe with long-lasting service.


Base model: Vans Checkerboard SK8-Hi
Top: High
Inspired from: Skate
Collection: Vans Checkerboard
Price: $65
Colorways: Green, Grey
Special editions: 2 special editions
Small True to size Large
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A top 5% best sneaker
A top rated Vans sneaker
It has never been more popular than this April

The high-top Vans Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue is wrapped with the traditional high-wearing suede and canvas upper. The forefoot and heel regions may feel firm during the first few tries locking the feet down with its flat cotton laces, but its durable textile cover will soften up through constant use. The longer the feet stay inside the shoe, the more flexible this sneaker becomes. This high-top runs true to size and available in women’s sizes that spread out from 9.5 to 14.5 US and men’s sizes from 8 to 13 US.

Vans fused two iconic styles into one shoe with the release of the Vans Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue. The checkerboard motif that has been showing up in the archives of Vans since it was wedded to the Vans Classic Slip-On over four decades ago, surprisingly offers a fresh twist when merged with all-time favorite silhouettes such as the SK8-Hi.

What makes the Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue distinct from a pile of retro-inspired sneakers is the choice of colors that replaces the vintage black and white theme. The solid suede panels on the forefoot and heel give a stunning contrast to the square pattern that runs from the base of the midfoot to the edge of the collar. The design itself instantly tones up a simple pair of graphic-layered shirt and slim-fitting denim, creased tees and zipper track pants, or solid colored tank tops and distressed jeans. This high-top, checkered SK8-Hi variety also pumps up any unbuttoned, patterned polo over white round-neck shirt and pin-rolled cotton pants, or thick sweatshirt matched with tapered bottoms.

The Vans Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue is a testament that the old school charmer still has a growing network of followers. Vans simple formula of sticking to its roots is one of the reasons why its decades-old silhouettes remain to be hot commodities generations after generations. For the high-top Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue, Vans managed to retain the supportive components of earlier iterations, which includes the quilted collar, reinforced toe, and well-fortified heel. The feet also get adequate protection with the use of durable suede and canvas cover. These attributes make this SK8-Hi reinterpretation suitable for skateboarding or merely styling up.

The ever-prevalent checkerboard design first appeared on a Vans slip-on sneaker, initially named as the Vans Style #48. This checkerboard-bearing slip-on sneaker was introduced to South California skate and surfer’s market in 1977 on the same year the Old Skool was presented displaying for the first time the Sidestripe (formerly Jazz Stripe) leather on the sidewalls, which subsequently became a trademark of the brand.

The silhouette of Style #48 was inspired by a slip-on shoe produced by the Randolph Rubber Company, where Paul Van Doren was an executive vice president of before he co-founded Vans with his brother James Van Doren and colleagues Gordon Lee and Serge D’Elia.

The checkered concept was pitched in by Paul’s son Steve Van Doren, who was inspired by the creative expression of young teenagers doodling alternating black and white square pattern on their Vans shoe, specifically around the rubberized midsoles. He tweaked such idea by applying the same motif on the canvas upper to come up with a design that eventually became a long-standing symbol of skateboarders and surfers.

From the SoCal West Coast district, the design earned international attention with the launch of Sean Penn’s 1982 film, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” In the movie, Sean portrayed the stoner character of Jeff Spicoli who was seen flaunting the Vans Style #48.

The checkered pattern later became an enduring style used in some of the classic sneaker models of Vans, including the SK8-Hi, or the Style 38 as it was formerly called when it was unveiled in 1978. Its black and white retro checkerboard pattern added character to the plain canvas façade of the SK8-Hi which was later refashioned into tons of color options.

After Vans released the SK8-Hi Reissue Pro sneaker during the brands 50th year anniversary, it dropped the Vans Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue which gives the nod to the vintage style. The launch of this modified form is a testament to the undying global popularity of the checkerboard style and the SK8-Hi model.

  • The Vans Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue bears the Vans logo on the tongue and heel.
  • This sneaker is made with a vulcanized outsole that allows skaters a lower-to-the-ground
  • During the 50th anniversary of Vans in 2016, it released the Vans 50th SK8-Hi Reissue Pro, a checkerboard-designed version with upgraded elements such as UltraCush HD sockliner and DURACAP reinforcement on high-wear sections.


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.