Summary

We spent 9.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

31 reasons to buy

  • The canvas upper of the Vans Old Skool is thick, durable, and offers protection.
  • Skaters who tried doing 50 kick flips using this shoe are amazed at the heavy-duty toe bumper and stitching between the midfoot and forefoot since those did not rip off quickly.
  • The combination of textile and suede on the upper allows air to circulate in and out of the shoe which makes the feet cozy inside.
  • The suede material used on the forefoot and heel seems to be of high quality.
  • Several reviewers consider this shoe their favorite style as it is both fashionable and keeps the feet comfortable.
  • Made with a well-assembled upper and sole that extends the longevity of this shoe, according to buyers who have been wearing this for over two months for casual wear.
  • A sleek and stylish go-to sneaker.
  • Both male and female weartesters love to pair this with ripped jeans, tapered pants, and shorts.
  • A high number of users bought this shoe due to its style versatility and said they could wear it with lots of clothing and make one look good.
  • The black and white low-top Vans Old Skool is a much sought-after colorway as it is classic and straightforward.
  • Its color does not fade or bleed quickly.
  • Reviewers said that like most Vans sneakers this sneaker requires a short break-in period to allow the feet to adjust to the shoe.
  • Its fit gets a lot better the longer one uses this shoe.
  • Its flexible upper and cushioned interior make this sneaker comfortable to wear all day.
  • The longer one wears it, the more it becomes bendable.
  • The Vans Old Skool fits true to size and users love how it looks on the feet.
  • A user with narrow feet and high arch finds this sneaker superbly comfortable.
  • This Vans sneaker can be worn sockless, and its padded collar won’t rub against the ankles.
  • Reviewers are planning to purchase another pair as its quality reached their expectations.
  • A considerable number of reviewers went for this sneaker for its pocket-friendly price tag.
  • Some reviewers purchased this classic silhouette as a gift for family and friends.
  • A lot of reviewers are obsessive with its style and comfort that they ended up buying more than a pair of the Vans Old Skool in different colors.
  • A user who bought this at a discounted price was not disappointed with its quality.
  • Reviewers particularly liked the fact that the color of the Vans Old Skool advertised online and the actual shoe is the same.
  • Given its style, function, and versatility reviewers think it is worth recommending to other potential users.
  • A handful of reviewers find this sneaker usable when doing basic maneuvering and trick techniques.
  • Several skaters who have been using this vulcanized shoe for basic skate techniques said it offers a lot of board feel.
  • The diamond design on the toe bumper offers protection and partly smoothened out after doing 100 kick flips.
  • The rubber waffle tread pattern underneath the shoe is very grippy.
  • The outsole is sturdy enough and lasts for a long time.
  • Vans Old Skool’s sticky gum sole offers stability which makes this sneaker ideal on snowy and wet surfaces.

5 reasons not to buy

  • At least one reviewer experienced having a cavity on the outsole right under the ball of his foot after some time wearing the Old Skool.
  • A reviewer with flat feet mentioned getting foot aches when wearing this sneaker quite often and recommended getting an insole.
  • It tends to rub against the back of the foot when used straight from the box.
  • It can get uncomfortable on feet when used after 8 hours straight.
  • Some skaters mentioned they need a more supportive sneaker than this one when flying off the ramp.

Bottom line

Skate wear is creating a significant influence in mainstream fashion, and this is seen with the height of popularity of the low-top Vans Old Skool. A growing number of consumers, from conservative to trendy, are banking on the simplicity and stylish appeal of this shoe. Purchasers have been marveling about the comfort and cushioning benefits of this shoe; its ability to withstand wear and tear; and capacity to adapt to various activities and functions.

In spite of the swelling number of people using the low-top Vans Old Skool for casual functions and purposes, it continues to charm a significant amount of skateboarders. They say this Vulc shoe is equipped with the essential elements of a skate shoe that keeps the feet supported while maneuvering on the board and doing basic board tricks. Its trademark sticky outsole remains grippy, while its unpadded footbed offers remarkable board feel. However, some users think that they needed an equipped sneaker other than this low-top in performing more daring skate techniques.

Just like any classic and popular sneaker, this shoe is not free from flaws. Reviewers mentioned that it requires a break-in time as it tends to be tight when taken out of the box. A small fraction of reviewers had foot issues after wearing the Vans Old Skool for a prolonged period. Nonetheless, its durability allows users to wear this shoe for a long time which is why purchasers consider this sneaker an excellent possession. Apart from all these, the highly in-demand Vans Old Skool has a pocket-friendly value.

Facts

  • Top

    Low Top

    Extremely popular sneakers because of their price range, versatility when it comes to style, and freedom of movement. Almost everyone is guaranteed to have low-top sneakers in their shoe rotation.

    Mid Top

    Mid-top sneakers extend toward the ankle for a little more support and hold. These lie somewhere in the middle between low-top and high-top sneakers in terms of usage and popularity.

    High Top

    Sneakers with collars that go above the ankles for optimal hold and support are some of the most sought-after models in lifestyle shoes. Most of these shoes take their roots from basketball and have easily or fashionably crossed to mainstream wear.

    Good to know

    Regardless of cut, it's always good to start with sneakers that can be worn for the daily grind, also called as "beaters" by some, as these are usually cheaper, easy to clean, and still gives that lifestyle "edge" before going for those wallet-thinning models.

  • Inspired from

    Sports

    Sneakers dominantly take their heritage from running, basketball, skate, tennis, training, hiking, and football. Still retaining a few of their performance-based technologies, these sneakers have transcended their respective niches and have successfully and popularly transformed themselves as staples of fashion footwear.

    Casual

    Sneakers designed for a laidback, "cool" vibe that is built for lifestyle wear right from the get-go.

    Good to know

    Brands are now blending elements of performance and casual appeal in basically every sneaker. One can hardly go wrong with a sports-inspired sneaker or a simple casual shoe.

  • Collection

    Good to know

    Shoes sharing the same inspiration, history, materials, or technologies are routinely assembled under one compilation for the convenience of those who may wish to categorize or label their own collection as such. The classic collections like the Adidas Originals, Air Max 1, Air Force 1, new balance classic sneakers, and the Classic Leather head the pack of frequently asked about collections.

  • Price
    $60
  • Special editions
Show more facts

Rankings

Vans Old Skool History

Vans Old Skool is today’s much-favored sneaker worldwide, adored by a broad spectrum of users for its simplicity, style versatility, and affordability – a fashionable sneaker with a $60 price tag.  Some even predict this fast-growing crowd favorite might take the throne of the widely sought-after classic Adidas Stan Smith.

Initially created for skateboarders in the mid-1970s, the Old Skool was introduced by brothers Paul Van Doren and Jim Van Doren under its original name Style 36. Little did the Van Doren brothers know this skateboarding low-top would later become steady a wardrobe staple for men and women.

Vans Old Skool came from modest beginnings and was not Van’s first foray into skate shoes. Skateboarding was spiking a fever in the mid-1970s in California, and this prompted Vans to come up with their very first skate shoe called Vans #95 in 1976.

After dropping the Vans Era, the brand introduced Vans Old Skool which appeared a year later in 1977. The Old Skool is the first shoe that bears the instantly recognizable strip of leather stitched on its outer panels that developed into a famous symbol of Vans in the coming years.

Initially called the “Jazz Stripe,” the design of the Sidestripe popped as an accidental discovery by Paul which led to the creation of this skate shoe. He was scribbling away when he absentmindedly came up with this simple streak motif to go on the sides of the shoe. The Sidestripe, first seen on the Old Skool, is an essential part of what would later be deemed as Vans’s iconic sneaker.

Apart from aesthetics and identification, the Sidestripe functions as an added protection to the sides of the sneaker. Since the Old Skool was crafted primarily for the adventurous and daring skaters and it is highly vulnerable to wear and tear, the extra strip of leather that snakes on the sides helps extend the lifespan of the shoe.

Skaters at that time marveled at the Old Skool due to its sticky sole. Back then decks are made of plain wooden boards without the abrasive grip tapes seen in most skateboards today. Vans Old Skool’s outsole is made of durable rubber that grips well on the wood board.

The low-top Vans Old Skool survived the vibrant era of the 1980s. In fact, its versatile upper design became a canvass for creativity by its loyal followers as a personalized pair of kicks was in style at that time. In some way, customization has been a central aspect of Vans’ tradition.

Since the brand started, Vans has been custom-building shoes out of fabrics chosen by customers who walk into its modest store in Anaheim, California. This practice was partly carried on in 2004 when Vans officially launched its custom segment that allows consumers to design their sneakers by uploading images and choosing from a variety of materials offered by the brand.

Vans Old Skool low-top sneaker reached its celebrity status during the 1990s when it became an integral part of the grunge era and hip-hop culture. At that the time, Vans Old Skool’s rise to popularity was unstoppable. It became a sneaker of choice of virtually anyone, from avid skaters, sneaker enthusiasts, rockers, to pop artists and fashion influencers.

Vans further played a significant part in the growth of sneaker and skate cultures when it inked a long-term partnership with off-the-wall skateboarding shop Supreme. Their team-up gave birth to the very first collaborative project for the Old Skool in 1996. And their offspring, Supreme x Vans Old Skool, was considered a holy grail by die-hard sneaker fans while this movement additionally validates the Old Skool’s iconic status in the market.

In the coming years, the Vans Old Skool is continuously revamped into seemingly countless versions of casual footwear to address the needs of just about every potential sneaker wearer thinkable. Collaborations grew massively as the brand continuously hooked up to with various retailers, designers, artists from the fashion, sporting goods, entertainment, and music industries.

Vans Old Skool Style

Vans Old Skool’s simple silhouette, which comes in a variety of colors, attracts a wide spectrum of users, from the conservative to the extremely fashionable. It has ventured out of its primary scope -- the skateboarders -- and migrated into the sneaker-loving society.

Its modest design takes on the basic composition of a skate shoe as it is fortified with a durable canvas and suede upper and a padded collar which offers quality ankle protection. Skaters said its thin tongue and basic footbed construction offer a remarkable boardfeel. On the flipside, the outsole is made of super grippy rubber in waffle pattern which apparently offers superlative traction and keeps the feet stable even on slippery surfaces.

This vulcanized low-top Old Skool sneaker is versatile and said to be comfortable the longer one uses it, which makes it a go-to sneaker for many and a practical all-year round footwear preference. Its unisex design creates no boundaries, be it in style or usage, as it can be paired up with a wide gamut of clothing for any season.

Fit & Sizing

The low-top Vans Old Skool sneaker has a classic lace-up front that allows users to cinch down this shoe according to one’s preferred fit. This sneaker with a round toe generally runs true to size and available to both genders. The sizing ranges for this sneaker are 3.5 to 16 US for the men’s, and 5 to 17.5 US for the women’s.

Notable Features

Vans’ Old Skool low-top sneaker has a modest construction yet loaded with key features that it naturally blends into anybody’s sneaker closet. Versatility is one. Its unrestricted design promotes boundless possibilities in the areas of style and function. Marked with a simple Sidestripe on the medial and lateral panels, this classic unisex sneaker allows users to be playful and stylish with their wardrobe selection.

Durability is another asset of the low-top Vans Old Skool since it is reinforced by a thick textile upper, assembled using strong double stitches. This apparently allows skateboarders to do simple board tricks without getting their sneakers beaten up immediately.

Underneath the shoe is a hard-wearing rubber in waffle tread pattern which offers traction, preventing users from slipping on wet grounds. Apart from these, the Vans Old Skool offers support on the toe, heel, and lace loop areas with the added suede protection.

Additional Info

  • After Vans teamed-up with American fashion designer Marc Jacobs and fashion boutique Opening Ceremony for collaborative works on the Vans Old Skool, this simple sneaker catapulted to a higher fashion profile.
  • Vans reissued some of its classic silhouettes on its 50th Anniversary in 2016, which includes the low-top Vans Old Skool. By fall of the same year, this sneaker became one of the brand’s high-selling models worldwide.
  • Vans continues to team up with lifestyle retailers, designers, artists, pro skaters, among many others in coming up with new styles of the famed Old Skool. In 2017 alone, the brand hooked up with legendary skater Daniel Lutheran, fashion retailer Opening Ceremony, outdoor brand North Face, plus many others giving consumers a shower of Vans Old Skool styles.
  • One of the limited edition releases of the Vans Old Skool falls under the Bodega x Van Vault Sub Rosa Pack. The exclusive number of pairs of the Old Skool was released on November 4, 2017, at $90 each.

Comparison