Verdict from +100 user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • Majority of users share that the rubber gum sole provides a stylish contrast to the iconic Old Skool silhouette.
  • A good number of reviewers dropped positive reviews for the Vans Gum Old Skool for its excellent fit that works well for those with narrow or wide feet.
  • Numerous commenters that the Old Skool sneaker silhouette is exceptionally stylish and matches fashionable with almost any type of casual wear.
  • The reinforced toecaps are tough keeping the low-top shoe protected from repeated wear.
  • According to many skaters, the footwear can withstand a massive beating of jumps and tricks without any signs of breaking apart.
  • Most comments focused on how comfortable the sneakers felt with the sturdy and supportive collar that is padded to keep the feet protected and comfy.
  • A couple of reviewers say the availability of many colorways allows many opportunities for styling customization.
  • The vulcanized rubber gum sole has excellent grip and traction as many reviewers say this is one lasting legacy of the Vans brand.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Many reviewers commented that there is hardly any difference between this design and the OG Vans Old Skool.
  • Some parts of the signature gum-colored rubber waffle sole were peeled after a few months of use, says a handful of skaters.
  • While this low-top sneaker looked perfectly stylish, some skaters say it can hardly perform jumps and tricks without breaking apart after a few months.

Bottom line

Probably the most famous low-top skate shoe model coming from Vans' portfolio, the Old Skool is given a rubber gum sole treatment elevating the classic design. While many critics say there is hardly any difference to this low-top variant, the delight of having no less than this bestselling model in your collection makes you a legit sneakerhead. With a pocket-friendly retail price, the Vans Gum Old Skool gets a refreshed look but retains its well-loved signature features.

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

An enduring silhouette like the Old Skool would not have endured for so long and become one of the bestselling sneakers of all time of it does not have a perfect fitting. This same ideal fit that first attracted hardcore skaters to become loyal Vans patrons is maintained in the Vans Gum Old Skool. The modernized design comes with a padded collar and interiors, a reinforced toe cap, vulcanized sole construction, and a secure flat lacing to get the feet on lockdown to the board or the ground.

The Vans Gum Old Skool comes in medium width that molds well to the feet as attested by those with narrow and broad feet who experience superior comfort and cushioning after a few days of break-in.

For many fashion stylists, there’s hardly any casual clothing that would not pair well with a classic Old Skool sneaker. The bestselling silhouette from the Vans footwear catalog opens up a bagful of styling options and possibilities to look like a rockstar or a street-style rider. The wide range of colorways to choose from also gives the Vans Gum Old Skool an edge over other famous skate shoes. Elevating the look of the classic skate shoe further with a gum rubber sole provides the Old Skool silhouette an updated look that pairs well with skinny jeans and a plain tee. Whether you are headed for a casual event for the day, or some nightclub hopping affair at night, the Vans Gum Old Skool sneaker will glam up your casual garb with its classic good looks and Old Skool swagger.

The rubber gum sole treatment of the Vans Gum Old Skool is pretty much the highlight in the overall design of this modern version of one of the most popular skate-inspired sneakers of all time. The updated look gives this Old Skool model a stylish finish without compromising the reasons why it has been treasured by millions of sneakerheads who have loved the durable canvas uppers, leather side stripes, vulcanized sole, reinforced toecaps, and padded interior of this famous sneaker model.

The Vans company established in Anaheim, California by the Van Doren brothers, Kames and Paul who began selling canvas shoes with an almost minimalistic design and function in their little shoe shop and factory.

After the success of the Authentic model, the low-top sneaker also known as the No. 44 deck shoe had a minimalist layout with the canvas upper and a thick vulcanized rubber sole, the company continued making shoes especially for the growing skating community in California.

In the past 50 years, the Vans Old Skool is probably the most famous of the shoes that came out of the brand’s portfolio. It is also of the most sought-after silhouettes among the footwear released by the company as early on it was embraced by the skateboarding community and years later by the grunge and hip-hop culture for its mostly clean details in the 1990s.

Initially created for skateboarders, the Vans Old Skool is known for its original style name Style 36 in the 1970s. With millions of pairs of the skate cult classic sold today, many sneaker followers predict that the Vans Old Skool will soon surpass the Adidas Stan Smith as the most bestselling sneaker of all time.

The low-top sneaker design for the Old Skool was first seen in 1977 as a fitting follow-up to the Vans Era. It was also the first shoe of Vans to feature the now recognizable leather strip that is stitched at the side panels. The signature leather stripe or then called the Jazz Stripe was later on developed by Paul Van Doren as a symbol of Vans’ skating legacy. Aside from serving as an aesthetic add-on, the side stripe also acts as an additional layer of protection on the side panel. The strip of leather on the sides also helps protect the skate shoe from the massive beating, wear, and tear from skateboarding.

The sticky waffle soles that grip easily onto the wooden boards used in skateboarding are also among the reasons why skaters fell in love and became avid followers of the Old Skool collection. The level of customization that one can get from buying an Old Skool sneaker had also sparked a renewed interest in this classic silhouette in the late 1980s to the 1990s when skaters began spray painting, doodling, and creating new artworks on the sturdy canvas upper. This customization practice led to Vans offering skaters the option to personalize their Old Skool skate shoes in their store in Anaheim, California with various designs to choose from.

To further update the look of the bestselling sneakers, Vans introduced a rubber gum sole with the Vans Gum Old Skool. The modern look retains most of the classic features of the Old Skool with a more stylish rubber gum outsole for that sharp and fashionably chic street-smart style.

  • The reinforced toe caps assure extra durability to stand repeated wear.
  • Vans logo on heel and signature leather side stripes on adjacent sides.
  • Padded collar and fabric lining add extra comfort to the sturdy canvas low-top sneaker.
  • The signature Vans rubber waffle outsole assures extra grip and traction.


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The current trend of Vans Gum Old Skool.
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny McLoughlin is a researcher for RunRepeat covering football, sneakers and running. After graduating with a degree in computer science from The University of Strathclyde, Danny makes sure never to miss a game of his beloved Glasgow Rangers or the Scotland national football team. He has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.