In today’s post, we have four Vans size charts for men, women, kids, toddlers, and infants.
During the early days of skateboarding when the trend was just taking wind, Vans merged so coincidentally and took the spot as the go-to brand for skateboarding shoes.
So, if you really don’t like the hassle of returns, these size charts are going to be super helpful. Now only that, we’re going to be sharing all we could find about Vans.
So we’re going to:
- Show you how to break in your Vans easily
- Compare the Vans Pro to the new Vans Classic Skate
- Compare the Vans Authentic and the Era
- Show you how to measure your feet at home
- Give you a brief history of Vans
- Answer some of the most common questions about Vans sizing
Sounds interesting, let’s dive right into it…
Vans Size Charts
Men’s Size Chart
Women’s Size Chart
Kids Size Chart
Toddlers Size Chart
Infant Vans Size Chart
How to measure your feet at home
This is a handy size guide that you can use to measure your feet accurately when buying Vans shoes.
How to break in Vans
These are four simple tricks that work for multiple Vans styles…
1. Use a plastic bag
To break in your Vans, wear a plastic bag over your socks to create a gentle sliding motion inside your Vans. This would prevent any friction and rubbing from the stiff upper of your Vans.
Just think of it as the plastic bag doing all the break-in work instead of your feet. You can wear your shoes around the house for a few days until the upper softens up way quicker.
2. Heel pad
Use a woman’s health sanitary item (you know what I’m talking about) and trim it to create a temporary mini heel pad. Stick it to the inside of the heel area to create extra cushioning and help prevent blisters.
3. Thick Socks
If you don’t want to get a shoe stretcher, you can always use this simple trick…
Stuffing your Vans with socks and lacing them really tightly is a great way to gently stretch out the upper overnight.
Shove some thick socks inside your Vans to create a strain and a bit of resistance on the upper. Of course, don’t overly stuff them to the point where it looks it’s going to damage the stitching or the integrity of the upper.
Wearing band-aids wherever you’re worried about getting blisters is a great preventative measure to take when breaking in Vans.
Vans Skate replaces Vans Pro
Vans is revamping their skate shoe lineup. Let’s go over their new naming convention and then go over the new features they’ve added to the shoes.
Unless you knew this new categorization ahead of time, you might have accidentally bought the non-skate version and ended up blowing them out after one session.
Before, Vans’ previous naming convention was, any shoe that had Pro at the end was the skate-specific version of that shoe and it would come with the DuraCap, UltraCush insole, and so on.
So, to make it more clear as to which shoes are the skate versions, Vans is changing the naming convention and calling them “The Skate Classics”.
- Authentic Pro is now the Skate Authentic
- Old Skool Pro is now the Skate Old Skool
- Half-Cab Pro is now the Skate Half-Cab
- Slip-On Pro is now the Skate Slip-On
…and so on.
The only shoes that will keep the “Pro” in the name are shoes that are designated to one of their pro riders…
So, shoes like the:
- Kyle Walker Pro
- Berle Pro
- Rowan Pro
- AVE Pro and so on will stay the same
Now that we got the naming system out of the way, let’s get into the shoe updates. Vans had over 3000 skaters test the shoes and give feedback, and these updates are the culmination of that feedback.
Vans have also designed a couple of indicators into the shoe to verify that you indeed have the skateboarding version of the shoe.
This is how you’re going to know you have the skate-specific shoes…
Tag. On the side of the shoe, there will be a checkered tag.
Checkered pattern. Inside the shoe on the back of the heel will be a checkered pattern.
Skateboarding. On the back of the shoe, the tab that seals the foxing will say skateboarding right on it.
Now that we got the naming system out of the way, I’ll get into the shoe updates. Vans had over 3000 skaters test the shoes and give feedback, and these updates are the culmination of that feedback.
DuraCap. All of the Skate Classics will have DuraCap reinforcement for extra durability after wearing a hole through the upper material.
Foxing. The foxing tape has a higher profile which gives you more rubber to wear through.
Knurl. The toe bumper has a deeper Knurl texture for longer lasting grip for your flicks.
Pop Cush. The Skate Classics will also have the Pop Cush insole which is an upgrade from the UltraCush insole. The new Polyurethane construction doesn’t pack out as much as the UltraCush so you’ll have more protection throughout the whole life of the shoe.
Straps. The internal tongue straps will keep the shoe snug on the top of your foot.
Shank. Between the outsole and footbed, Vans has added an internal shank on the back end of the shoe to add some stability, reduce the sloppiness, and add a little primo protection.
Sick Stick. The Skate Classics come with the Sick Stick outsole, which is more grippy and durable than the original gum rubber.
Depth. They’ve also increased the depth of the waffle tread pattern, which means your tread lasts longer and doesn’t blow out as quickly.
Fit-wise, the Skate Classic shoes also have the same fit that you’re used to. So, if you want to get a pair, get the size you normally would get in Vans.
Vans Authentic vs Era
Let’s take a look at two very similar and often confusing shoes, the Vans Authentic vs Era.
Starting off with the Authentics, they were first released in 1966 and they were originally called the Vans #44 Deck Shoe. They were simple shoes and actually became really popular with the skaters at the time.
Capitalizing off that popularity, Vans released the creatively named Vans #95 which is the shoe we now know as the Vans Era. The Era was designed with skateboarding in mind, which leads us to our differences…
Sizing. Sizing-wise, I actually got my Eras true to size but I went up half a size with the Authentics. The Authentics definitely feel a lot better and they don’t feel as tight.
Collar. Pretty much the only significant difference between the Vans Era and the Vans Authentic is the fact that the Eras have a padded collar that has a leather-like feel to it for more support.
Stitching. They also have slight differences in the stitching patterns due to the padding of the collar.
Tongue. One more difference that I found was that the Authentics actually have a slightly longer tongue.
Colorways. Back in the day, another difference was the fact that the Eras came in different color combinations from the Authentics.
Browsing their site today, the Authentics have more traditional color options with some crazy patterns in the mix while the Eras have patterns that are kind of all over the place.
So, it seems like Vans is still trying to maintain that difference.
Price. Both shoes share similar prices with both ranging anywhere from $50 to $60.
How do Vans Era and Authentic feel on feet?
Not surprisingly, the Vans Era and Authentic feel pretty much identical on feet. The only real difference, on feet again, is that the padded collar of the Era feels a lot better on the ankles.
Which one should you buy?
If you want the best bang for your buck, the Eras are going to be the best for that. While both shoes cost the same, with the Era, you obviously get that padded collar.
However, I know that some people prefer the Authentics probably for the slightly slimmer silhouette and for that pure canvas shoe aesthetic.
Overall, the Era and the Authentic are both great canvas sneakers and I really don’t think you can go wrong with either one.
Brief history of Vans
Let’s talk about the man behind Vans first…
While gaining experience with shoe manufacturing during the 60s, Paul Van Doren saw the results of the revenue split between retailers and manufacturers with retailers pocketing the majority of the money.
Paul wanted to combine manufacturing and retail into one single entity. So, in 1966, Paul took his family and moved to California, and on March 16 1966 at street 704 Est Broadway in Anaheim California, Paul Van Doran and three partners opened up their first ever shoe store.
The Vans dream was born…
While it was common for shoes to have names back in the day, Vans shoes didn’t. Instead, they had a style number. This was mainly due to the fact that Paul operated his business in a very technical way.
Style 44 (Authentic)
The first shoe that Vans would release would be the Style 44 which would later be named the Authentic.
Due to Paul’s know-how of how to manufacture shoes, he was able to make these shoes very durable and with very good traction, which resulted in Vans being very popular with a rising skateboarding crowd at that time.
During the 70s, Vans shoes became so popular that Paul eventually saw the potential to market his shoes exclusively to this kind of crowd.
Style 95 (Era)
In 1975, with the help of skateboarders Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva who are members of the popular skateboarding group, the Z-boys, Paul created what at the time was known as the Style 95, or the Era.
While this helped Vans increase their overall sales, they were about to release their next big shoe which would be known as the rebel skater shoe of America.
Style 36 (Old Skool)
In 1977, Vans released what at the time was known as the Style 36 and what would later be dubbed the Old Skool.
Unlike its predecessors, the Old Skool was dawning a new smaller detail that caught the eye of anyone who looked at it, and that was the Jazz stripe.
This iconic style was originally just intended as a doodle by Paul but will then go on to be incorporated in leather material on the side of the shoe instead of canvas which was what the rest of the shoe consisted of.
And while these small details seemed insignificant, it did a lot for the shoe because no longer did Vans shoes have a great school feel which was the sentiment at that time.
They instead became something for people who wanted to be different, and the Jazz stripe has since become a staple of Vans’ identity.
The Old Skool would go on to become one of Vans’ go-to shoes and also one of the most popular classic.
And even to this day, it is still one of their flagship shoes and is beloved by many people the world over.
Let’s move away from the history and talk about the shoe itself.
Vans Old Skool
The Vans Old Skool comes in a full-on canvas upper alongside the leather jazz stripe accompanied by a durable gum sole bearing the iconic waffle pattern.
Even though the shoe itself is nice to look at in simple colorways, Vans allows you to go wild with the design.
Since the 80s, Vans has had a big focus on customizing. This is mainly due to the fact that skateboarders heavily customized their shoes back in the day whether it be with a pen or spray paint.
The Vans Old Skool comes in some rather impressive colorways, and due to the design, it almost doesn’t matter which color you decide to go with as the silhouette itself looks good in almost anything.
Not even to mention the amazing collapse that the Old Skools have been a part of like the Van Gogh collab, the Peanuts, Golf Wang, North Face, Supreme, and many more…
As a fun fact, the Old Skool was used in the very first collab project that Supreme did with Vans back in 1996.
This was when Supreme had just existed for two years, and for a first triumph, I think they did great.
Now, let me give you my own opinion on the Old Skools.
I think that the Old Skools are a very cool shoe. I mean they’re definitely one of the better choices of sneakers. The variety of options you get is literally limitless with the offering of being able to customize this shoe yourself.
I think Vans has hit it out of the park with the Old Skool and that also goes for some of their other models as well.
Although I’m not too crazy about them, I still think they are a very cool sneaker and I do get why they are a staple of the skateboarding community and why people are still wearing them to this day.
The impact of the Old Skools is simply amazing. I mean being able to have a model that is directly associated with a sport is an amazing achievement.
And I think this is what initially got the ball rolling on the Old Skool’s popularity.
Vans Size Chart – FAQ
Do Vans Run Big or Small?
In general, Vans shoes are known to run smaller than most other similar sneakers on the market. However, Vans performance shoes like the Sk8-Hi are supposed to fit snug to provide better support.
But here’s what I can tell you in terms of sizing, if you have narrow or regular feet, you can go true size and true width and still be fine especially because Vans are canvas and canvas stretches a bit after it fully breaks in.
But if you have wide feet, going a half size up might be the safest move for you.
If your feet are super narrow, your feet might be swimming inside and so you might need to size down a bit.
How do I know what size I am in Vans?
To get the right size in Vans, measure your feet in inches or centimeters and use our sizing chart to find the right size. For example, if your feet measure 10.6″, or 27 cm, you need to get the US 9, the UK 8, or the EU 42.
What size is a women’s 7 in Vans?
Because Vans shoes tend to run a half size smaller than most sneakers, a women’s 7 might translate to US 7.5 or UK 5.
Do Vans run bigger or smaller than Nike?
According to our test and comparison, we found that Vans tend to be smaller than Nike. The Old Skool, Slip-On, Sk8-Hi, Authentic, and EVDNT UltimateWaffle all run smaller than Nike Air Max.
Should I size down in Vans Authentic?
Similar to most Vans shoes, the Authentic runs true to size but has a snug fit to provide better support for your foot. However, it might run small for people with wide feet.
How tight should Vans be?
Vans should fit true to size but not too tight or too loose. However, Vans skate shoes need to fit a bit tight to provide skateboarders with lateral and ankle stability.
Do Vans run smaller than Adidas?
Yes. Vans tend to run smaller than Adidas. According to our test and comparison, most Vans shoes run smaller than the Adidas Superstars.
Are Vans unisex sizing?
Yes. Vans are unisex. But what’s the difference between men’s and women’s Vans? Vans men’s shoes are from US 3.5 to US 16 while the women’s go from US 5 through US 15. Also, some Vans are more masculine or more feminine and both come in medium width and have the trademark Vans snug fit.
Are Vans Old Skool true to size?
The Vans Old Skool fits true to size for people with narrow and regular feet, but the people with wide feet do find the Old Skool a bit tight and so need to size up.
Do Vans stretch out?
Absolutely. Vans do stretch out with wear because they’re made of canvas and canvas stretches over time. If you find your Vans to fit a bit small and you want to stretch them out, stuff some super thick chunky socks into your shoes and let the shoes stretch overnight.
This pretty much wraps up this Vans size chart. I hope we were successful in giving you a clear image on whether Vans run big, small, or true to size.
Stay safe and see you in the next one 🙂