Summary

We spent 5.7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

12 reasons to buy

  • Most reviewers of Vans Era felt the comfort of the padded tongue and collar.
  • Majority of skaters wearing the Vans Era complimented the soft insole that cushions impact during skating and other walking activities.
  • Quite a lot of users commented that the skate shoe has unlimited possibilities for styling because you can customize the design of the upper with different prints and colors to suit a person’s fashion style.
  • A large number of customers of the sneaker are impressed by the durability of the custom waffle outsole.
  • Some wearers think the canvas doesn’t wear out as fast because of the better stitching and construction of the upper.
  • The wide variety of colorways and designs of this classic sneaker made some users buy more than just one pair.
  • Several buyers of this kick are using this casual sneaker almost every day of its off-the-cuff design and padded interiors.
  • Some noticed how well-built each pair of Vans Era as some commented that the canvas material looks smooth and without any stray stitching.
  • A handful of customers praised the cushioned ankles and tongue as many wearers felt their feet protected for the rest of the day.
  • A significant number of users commented that the vulcanized rubber sole with waffle tread pattern has a firm grip needed for skateboarding
  • Some of those who purchased this shoe considered it a right decision as the sneaker remains lightweight without them feeling tired after wearing the Vans Era for extended hours.
  • The low-top shoes’ slim profile and flat orientation allow many users a variety of movements as it does not restrict the feet in making skate tricks and jumps.

5 reasons not to buy

  • Some noticed that the Vans Era makes the feet prone to chafing as the tight fitting padded collar often rubs on the skin causing them to have blisters.
  • Several skateboarders noted that adhesive part of the rubber sole connecting the upper and sole breaks apart quickly after only a few rounds of skating and casual wear.
  • A small number of loyal buyers commented that while the appearance has remained amazing the comfort and quality of the Vans Era have not been maintained as new ones tend to fall apart hastily and won’t last longer than a few months.
  • Some noted that the newer batches of the vans Era are tighter and narrower than what was previously released.
  • A couple of reviewers disclosed that the insole felt thin and those with arch support issues will find these shoes uncomfortable.

Bottom line

The classic low-top silhouette of the Vans Era has been unchanged for years, but its durability, comfort, and cushioning has remained the same. With a wide array of colorways to choose from, this affordable $50 sneaker is a great every day wear for casual night outs, daily activities at work or play and even for travel. The lightweight waffle sole has high traction while its double-stitched canvas upper and padded interiors make them conducive for skating and walking for hours without the feet feeling fatigue.

Facts

Top: Low
Inspired from: Skate
Collection: Vans Era
Price: $50
Colorways: Grey
Special editions: 17 special editions
Size
Small True to size Large
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Rankings

A top rated sneaker
A top rated Vans sneaker
Top 7% most popular sneakers

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.

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The slim profile of the Vans Era is kept on lockdown by regular lace-up. The low-top sneaker runs true to size with a medium D or B width for men and women. Available US sizes start at 6 to 13 for men and 4 to 12 for women.

A classic lace-up skate shoe, the Vans Era has been in the brand’s catalog for years and has had several colorways and combinations to suit up almost every style. In fact, the looks of this heritage skate shoe design are limitless. This as Vans Customs has allowed this classic silhouette to have varied colors and prints from stripes, polka dots, and checkered patterns in the canvas upper.

The upper also had several material variations from the original canvas, to suede and leather to suit the needs and preferences of its skateboard-loving users. While patterns and prints are a fresh and stylish option, most skaters that have patronized the Vans Era over the years have been obsessed with the solid colorways like black, blue, white and red. The low-profile sneaker with cushioned details also has remained versatile as it blends well with different casual wear from jeans, shorts, pants for men and even skirts and jumpers for women.

From the skate parks in its early years, the Vans Era has now been visible as a casual lifestyle sneaker worn in malls, public parks, and other venues as many of its younger patrons have taken a liking to its slim profile and lightweight construction for daily use at home, at work or play.

As the second model to be released from the extensive Vans shoe catalog, it continues to be a favorite design in the skating community. It also had a large following among the punk culture who have embraced the ERA as a favorite kick in the 1990s. While it retails for only $50, there are some iterations of the Vans Era that retails to as high as $200 as they were issued as limited releases, collaborations with professional skaters and celebrities, and rare styles.

Among those high-end iterations of the Vans Era include the partnership with high-end retailer Supreme called “Power, Corruption, and Lies” which can go as high as $200 per pair in reseller sites. Other notable collabs and variations include the critically praised Fear of God x Vans Era and Vans Wingtip Era.

The vintage silhouette and features of Vans Era that is adapted to the needs of skaters is its main draw. The low-top shoes’ takes pride in its padded interiors from the footbed, collar, tongue, and toe box assuring comfort and impact absorption. The waffle sole with tread patterns has a solid grip and traction while its slim profile guarantees freedom of movement.

Some ten years before the Vans Era was launched, Paul Van Doren left Randolph Rubber to put up his own company. Together with his brother James Van Doren, they founded Van Doren Rubber Company with the help of other friends in 1965 releasing the Vans Authentic, its first canvas and rubber combination sneaker. The simple silhouette, lightweight, and fantastic grip had many skateboarders favored using the deck shoe #65 in their skating activities.

The design of the Vans Era came upon the need to create a shoe that is more aligned with the requirements of skaters. While the original Vans Authentic had a slimmer silhouette, the Authentic had a rugged upper and a vulcanized sole suited for board tricks and jumps. To further improve the design,  the Vans Era was designed by skaters for skaters in 1975. Vans tapped Z-Boys members Tony Alva and Stacey Peralta who made a skate-friendly version that featured additional padding in the collar that delivers improved comfort. The first design for the Vans Era was launched in March 1976 with a rubber gum outsole and a canvas upper with double stitching and additional padding for enhanced comfort.

At the onset, skaters can only own a pair of the Vans Era in navy blue and red colorways with some versions in two-tone iterations of the red and blue. Known as Style #95, the Era, later on, had several colorways as part of the company’s diversification of the style. The Era was also instrumental in the rise of the company’s “Off the Wall” slogan with the signature red-and-white logo of the company plastered at the heel.

  • The longevity of the Vans Era silhouette has also made them a favorite among celebrities that include Rihanna, Adam Levine, Ray Rice, Chris Brown, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, and Adam Brody to name a few.
  • Each version has a double-stitched canvas or leather upper with padded collar, tongue, and toe box for superior comfort.
  • Metal eyelets hold the tonal lacing for a secure lockdown.
  • The shoe has a vulcanized rubber midsole, and waffle tread outsole ensures durability and high traction.

Comparison