There are several brands of shoes across the globe, but Vans has an aura of itself. Vans is one brand of style wear that is very famous, especially amongst youngsters. It has gained popularity and prevailed in the fashion and lifestyle industry for more than two decades now. Owning a pair of Vans shoes or any Vans product is a matter of pride amongst kids and youngsters.
Vans is not just into style wear but also sponsors sports events like surfing, snowboarding, skating, and Motocross teams. With all the attention and popularity, it’s hard to believe that Vans could be bad for your feet.
However, with the increasing lifestyle disorders associated with foot pain and joint issues, many people are opting for supportive footwear instead of just stylish shoes. So, does Vans stand up to those levels? Vans has been a millennial brand, but with a billion positive responses, certain users claim that Vans shoes are bad for your feet.
Therefore, we came up with an honest and reliable opinion on whether Vans are bad for your feet? Read on to know.
What Are Vans?
Vans is a very prominent name in the apparel and fashion industry. Vans comes across as an American manufacturer of skateboarding shoes and trendy apparel. The company is owned by VF Corporation and was started by two brothers James Van Doren and Paul Van Doren, in 1966. Vans is a versatile and trendy manufacturer, and owning a pair of Vans is like having a worthy possession in your collection.
Vans originally belongs to Cypress, California but has gained popularity across the entire globe. They initially started manufacturing shoes and sold them to customers directly. They had only 12 customers for the starters, and Vans had designed only three models for display. These models were priced anywhere between $2-$5. They did not have any pieces ready to dispatch, and the rack boxes displayed in the store were all empty in a day. It gained popularity right from Day 1. Later, the company came up with a trendy logo design created by James Van Doren’s (one of the founders) son. They majorly specialize in manufacturing skateboarding shoes but have ventured into various other types with increasing demand.
Vans is a part of several event sponsorships and collaborations, be it concerts or hip hop shows, or even skateboarding events. They are majorly known for supporting and sponsoring the Warped tour since 1999. In 2001, the tour was known as the Vans Warped Tour, one of the longest-running concert series in America. Vans is also known to release various special edition series based on their collaborations. These special edition collections are always a “thing” amongst the youth.
Vans also opened their first skate park in California of nearly 20,000 square foot. Vans also owns a skate park in London in the Old Victoria Tunnels, named as the “House of Vans.”
Considering The Different Types of Vans
Vans are known for their versatility in design and colors. However, there are different types of Vans made for different individuals. Each Vans shoe is different in terms of style, comfort and may suit different likings.
Here is a list of features of the most common designs to figure out if the Vans are suitable for you.
Vans Chima Ferguson Pro
Simple design, totally slip-proof, with a good, complicated, anti-traction design, the Chima Ferguson Pro is pretty stylish and comfortable for those who use them daily. They are lightweight, easy to carry, and offer a good grip. They have a lace-up design and are available in dark color ranges.
These shoes are good but not comfortable for day-long use at all. They can be too narrow for people with broad feet. This can cause calluses and sore feet by the end of the day. Moreover, the shoes start wearing off from the heel region with excessive use.
These are marketed as skateboarding shoes but are not quite long-lasting if meant for rough use.
Vans Slip-On 59 Pro
When it comes to cushioning and support, these are probably some of the best shoes in the range. The Slip-On 59 Pro is cushioned around the wall and has thick insoles to bounce and reduce foot fatigue.
You can use it all day. It is upgraded for enhanced performance and is made of a mixed blend of canvas and suede that does not cause your feet to become sweaty. These shoes also have DURACAP reinforcement rubber underlays which are incredibly durable, while the Pro Vulc Lite construction offers good traction and flex to these shoes.
The Vans Slip-On 59’s problem is that they are not as durable as claimed and start wearing off pretty quickly. Moreover, the surface being too flat, with absolutely no heel support, can cause leg pain and other issues like pronation due to lack of ankle support.
Vans SK8 Hi Shoes
One of the best shoes for skateboarding and to give yourself the funky, full-spirited look, the SK8 Hi shoes from Vans offer an excellent grip, a convenient well-enclosed design, and cushioned collars. The benefits: it supports your ankle, your feet stay cushioned, and the re-enforced toe cap design makes sure that the shoes don’t wear out quickly.
However, they have an extremely flat design that may not be very comfortable if you suffer from flat foot or plantar fasciitis. Moreover, the canvas material can make your feet feel stuffy, and getting the wrong size can mess up with your feet big time.
Here is how it gained all the popularity!! The Vans Authentic collection comes in a low-top design, gum-colored corners, canvas uppers, and metal eyelets. These are unisex, meant for any and every occasion. The signature rubber waffle outsoles have a superiorly treaded pattern which is slip-proof and suitable for skateboard surfaces. favorite
Being low top, it provides zero support to either section of the shoe. It has the original Vans style but nothing beyond and above that. It causes extreme pronation, the canvas material can cause shoe bites, and the bottom is way too flat to support the feet’ arch. Great for style, NO for support, and not recommended for day-long use.
Vans C&L ERA 59
Rugged finish, classy looks, padded collar, and tongue region, and double-layered canvas uppers, these features best define the Vans C & L ERA 59. These shoes are all-purpose and stylish with leather patches and metal eyelets combined with the trademark Vans Waffle outsole. Best known for skateboarding, they come with a medium top yet flat design.
The toe section of these shoes looks slightly narrow, which can make your feet feel all cramped up. It has almost no feet support like the other Vans counterparts and, therefore, is not highly recommended in terms of comfort and day-long wear.
Why Do Vans Get So Much Criticism?
For each brand like Vans that has gained a lot of popularity, they also have to face certain criticism levels. However, they are certainly to be pondered about before getting a pair of Vans for yourself. Therefore, we decided to address this controversial topic and get to the reasons it faces all the criticism for:
We have all seen what a pair of Vans shoes look like. By the looks of it, they have an extremely flat design with minimal cushioning and no balance or shape at the heel or the arch section as well. Therefore, these may be suitable for children and would not hamper the growth of a child’s feet. However, they are made with the intention of skateboarding which requires a set of flat shoes for the board surface. Therefore, if used just for the sport, they offer a superior grip but may not work for day-long use as your feet will eventually start hurting.
Improper arch support
Vans shoes lack the amount of cushioning and support that your feet require with age and time. For children, they may fit and adapt to these shoes almost easily. However, with age, our skin starts sagging, and we develop various foot deformities. This can cause foot fatigue and also pressurize our ankles and joints.
Their insoles are not that thick either which eventually leaves you in pain with prolonged use. The low-top designs also lack ankle support. Ultimately, they are suitable for style but not for support. Specific variants like the Vans Pro and the SK8 Hi versions are exceptionally well cushioned and covered. However, it should match each individual’s preferences when it comes to choosing.
Vans wins points on several factors like a low-top design which offers you great movement and flexibility and does not make your feet feel all cramped up. They have metal eyelets, double-layered canvas, cushioned collars, etc. However, they don’t offer features like day-long arch support, reduced foot fatigue, lightweight, easy to run with and carry, etc. If you’d compare Vans with a pair of sports shoes from Nike or Adidas, they are more sports-friendly, whereas Vans are more skateboard-friendly. Their funky styles and flat designs appeal to kids, but adults’ growing feet demands are something Vans may not fulfill.
The canvas material that Vans uses is double-layered cotton canvas which is not waterproof. Being hydrophilic, it can absorb water and take time to dry. Hence Vans is not recommended for rainy terrains.
The canvas material is exceptionally stylish and rugged. However, several people have complained that it causes shoe bites until the material softens. This increases the break-in period of the shoes, which in turn makes them uncomfortable.
The bottom line
Vans has always been a brand that is associated with being trendy, stylish, and youthful. Owning an authentic and original Vans shoe is like owning an asset amongst youngsters. However, it has been into controversies for several reasons that make it not worthy of use. Being a prominent brand, it is bound to gain some criticism.
Vans has several designs, and each design is made to suit a particular type of individual. However, some may find it uncomfortable due to the flat design and minimal to no arch support. They are not meant for sports apart from skating, which makes them bad for one’s feet. However, from the style and design point of view, no shoe can beat Vans in any way.
Vans has and will always be a favorite amongst youngsters. However, the latest upgraded designs keep adults’ growing needs in mind, and there are designs with cushioned collars and interiors that provide basic level support.
Read the article above and tell us which one is your favorite Vans shoes variant and if you found our suggestions helpful through the comments section below.
Brandon R. Katz is a registered professional nurse who has been instrumental in providing us with an informed opinion on the medical aspects of footwear. He graduated from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and currently provides his services at a non-federal long-term care hospital in Brooklyn, NY.
Brandon proves to be the champion in the group of expert writers with his in-depth knowledge in foot health, how to take care of it adequately, and what shoes, socks, or insoles will be supreme for you. He has previously worked with hospitals where he has foreseen both inpatient and outpatient departments and has been a practicing nurse since 2009.
Brandon hails from Jersey City, NY, and has a loving family of four with a small popper called Rozo. His decision to become a nurse arises from the desire to be in the position of helping and rehabilitating people.