I recently picked up my trusty Vans Old Skool and noticed that the sole was starting to go… again. Time to order a new pair then. But it also seems like the perfect time to write about these shoes and why they’ve been my favorite pair of sneakers for years, and why I think they’ll continue to be in the future.
My love affair with Vans started in high school. Along with Converse, Asics Onitsuka Tiger, Dunlop Green Flash (anyone know what happened to them? I’ve not seen a pair in years), and Adidas Stan Smiths they were the sneakers to own. Specifically, I’m talking about the slip-on black and white checkered Vans. Match them with a pair of skinny jeans and you were ready to go.
I Now Favor More Minimal Styles
The checkered design isn’t a pair I still wear often, but it’s definitely one I look at fondly whenever I see them in the shop. Instead, I now go for the more minimal designs. I’ve had plenty of pairs of Vans Authentic in various shades and colors. I especially like anything in a subtle pastel hue. It’s the perfect shoe for summer.
For the last few years, I’ve tended to stick to a black and white pair of Vans Old Skool. I love how versatile and comfortable they are. The colorway means it’s easy to wear these shoes with pretty much anything in my wardrobe. From jeans and chinos to slacks and shorts. They can both finish off a casual outfit or add a casual touch to slightly more formal wear.
The shape is also perfectly minimal. They’re a bit wider than Vans Authentic, but not as chunky as a pair of Sk8-Hi. Not that I don’t like these shoes, quite the opposite. It’s just that Old Skool really hits the sweet spot for my personal style at the moment.
Vans Win the Popularity Contest
There is one downside to these shoes. Their popularity means they are pretty ubiquitous. Walk down any high street and you’re sure to see someone wearing a pair. They’re not exactly ideal for someone who likes to make a statement with their footwear.
But, I can get past this. Not every item I own needs to be completely unique. There’s something to be said for a simple piece that goes with much of your wardrobe. And if you want to stand out, you’ll have plenty of options to do so with other items in your fit.
Or you could choose a more out-there pair of Vans. Like much of the sneaker world, Vans produces its fair share of collaborations. With these, you get the classic Vans design mixed with elements from other designers.
At the time of writing, you can grab a pair from a collaboration with Parks Project—a brand that donates part of its profits to parkland conservation, as well as Pride-themed shoes (pictured above). None of these designs could be classed as boring—quite the opposite.
It’s this versatility that means that now mine have worn out, I’m going to order another pair. And as soon as they start wearing thin, I’m sure I’ll replace those too.