Oct 9, 2021 6 min read

Running in Vans: Good or Bad Idea? Type of Vans Shoes

Running in Vans

Can you run in vans?” is the question we have asked severally. Vans are a type of athletic shoe typically worn by skateboarders, not runners.

The shoes have a high top and enclose the foot. This feature makes them comfortable to wear while skating because they do not fall off your feet as normal sneakers or boots would.

Most running shoes are made with foam padding for support and comfort on longer runs. However, most vans shoes have a thin rubber sole with no padding at all.  Because of this, some people question the safety and effectiveness of using them to run.

Running in Vans is a common practice among skaters. It is often recommended for runners looking for low-cost shoes with a good board feel.

At the same time, most long-distance runners don’t think vans are good for running. According to them, vans shoes are good for skaters because they are light, durable, and predictable.

Can You Run in Vans?

Although you can run in Vans, the advice is not to do it. They are not good for running and may have effects on your foot.

However, the discussion doe not end here, we need to evaluate whether these type of shoes further.

These shoes come with an enclosed upper that helps with keeping your feet more stationary and dryer. When you run in them, they will change how you run since they have more enclosed sides and upper.

Examining the pros and cons of these shoes may help us get a clear understanding of whether Vans are good running shoes.

Pros and Cons of Running in Vans


  • Vans are very comfortable to wear, especially when you plan on exercising for long periods. They provide the same type of comfort as when in socks or barefoot.
  • If you don’t like the feeling of having some barrier between your feet and shoes as you run, then Vans are the perfect solution. They have a high-top design, unlike the low-top design of running shoes. The design gives you enough freedom of motion to move your feet around as you run.
  • Running in Vans can be very trendy and stylish if done properly. Having a pair that goes with your outfit is always a plus.
  • They are also incredibly easy to take off if you want to stop walking for a while. Vans have no tongues meaning they can easily slip off. This is unlike sneakers, where the tongue will get caught on the side of your shoe.


  • They lack support, which is one major downside of using them, especially for long distances. You will feel increased pain in your and legs if you choose to wear Vans . For runners with flat feet, the pain intensifies when you run in Vans.
  • There have also been multiple reports of people getting blisters or sores after using Vans. This is because they are not made with the same materials as sneakers. Not only that, but your feet might slip off the board as you run in them, causing you to trip.
  • They do provide good grip for when you skateboard or do tricks. However, they don’t give much traction to stop you from slipping if you were to run.
  • Vans lack adequate cushioning. Although they have a sturdy, firm rubber sole, they do not offer enough cushioning for the pressure exerted by the body while running.  Studies show that running exerts between 5 and 12 times your weight. It’s only running shoes that have mechanisms to absorb this amount of weight.

We surveyed to find out how many people preferred Vans to be their running shoes. These were the findings in the table below.

No. of people interviewed.Percentage of people who used vans for runningPercentage of people who did not use vans for running
100 interviewed physically25%75%
200 online survey15%85%

According to this survey, most people did not prefer Vans as their running shoes.

Types of Vans

There are four different types of vans, and these include:

  • Authentics,
  • Old Skools,
  • Slip-Ons
  • Sk8-His.

Each one is slightly different but shares the same general characteristics. They are all designed for durability.


Authentic is the most popular of the four types. These shoes were originally made to replace the high-top version of the shoe. They now come in many different colors and patterns.

Vans Authentics
Vans Authentics


However, they are still very popular amongst skates. They provide a good grip for your feet to keep them from slipping off the board.

Old Skools

These shoes have a high-top design and a thick sole made out of rubber. They also look like the Authentics but have a slightly higher top and an extra compartment for your feet to rest in.

Vans Old Skools
Vans Old Skools



These shoes are probably the simplest ones from Vans since they do not enclose your foot. However, you can still put a sole both underneath and on top of the shoe to give it extra grip for skating purposes.

Vans Slip-Ons
Vans Slip-Ons



These shoes are often worn by skaters, even if they do not wear the other types. The high-top design and extra compartments for your feet cause these shoes to provide a lot more support while doing tricks.

Vans Sk8-Hi
Vans Sk8-Hi


The History of Vans

Vans was founded in 1966 by Paul Van Doren, James Van Doren, and Serge Del Nunez. It is a shoe company that specializes in skateboarding shoes, athletic footwear, and clothing. It specializes in accessories such as bags and hats, and other related items.

Vans History

The company’s founders wanted to create a style of shoes that did not resemble the stereotypical ‘basketball shoe.’ Over the years, this company has become one of the most popular men’s casual fashion styles. Originally, Vans used leftover materials from factories to produce their shoes. However, in 1979, they began mass-producing the products.

The shoe was presented to the general public at the World Expo in 1970. The brand became popular with skateboarders.

The popularity was brought about by the comfortability and support in the shoe. Vans has been popular ever since, with its high top and durable design. Celebrities such as William and Justin Bieber have been seen wearing this type of shoe on multiple occasions. Will Smith was even seen wearing them in the early ’90s when Vans were not as popular as they are now.

Features of Running Shoes

· Cushioning– Running shoes will have more cushioning than vans to absorb impact when the feet of a runner hits the ground. This feature is essential in helping to minimize injury. However, the cushioning varies from one brand of running shoes to another.

· Arch support– Since running shoes are meant to absorb impacts, they often come with added arch support. This support keeps the feet of athletes in their natural position. You can find this support throughout the entire rubber sole of a running shoe.

· Comfort– Running shoes tend to be more comfortable than vans since they are designed for running. They are also breathable, with most of them having the engineered breathable mesh upper.

· Lightweight- A Running shoe features lightweight materials for fast movement. The lighter the shoe, the faster a runner is able to run.

· Flexibility– Running shoes are made with bendable material so that people can easily move their feet. Bending of the feet of an athlete is essential since it offers them a natural gait, and minimizes chances of injury.

· Price– The price of running shoes ranges from cheap to expensive. However, running shoes are usually more expensive than vans. This is because they are meant for running. They require different materials and thus costs more money to manufacture.

· Waterproof– Since most running happens outside or on some tracks, it is important to have shoes that keep your feet dry. Most running shoes come with a good mesh top so the shoe can breathe. The mesh top also prevents water from seeping through as easily as it would be compared to a pair of vans.


In Summary, Vans don’t seem like the best kind of shoe to wear while running. They are good as skate sports shoes. Their soles are also created to be a bit hard to help in traction.

Although athletes can still wear them, they may not enjoy the same benefits found in running shoes. Instead of benefits, a runner will face an increased risk of getting foot sores and blisters.

If you are a runner, a pair of running shoes would be, and is, the best bet for the job.

I am a middle-aged runner with aspirations of qualifying for the Boston Marathon in 2022.

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