Vans is so much more than a skateboard brand these days, a point evidenced by the fact that many of the best Vans collabs over the years have seen the brand team with some of the biggest names in fashion and pop culture.
In the last year, for instance, we've seen one of the best sneaker brands partner with the likes of Supreme and Swarovski, as well as release a "Hellfire Club" collab to celebrate the 4th season of the hit TV show Stranger Things.
As a result, we think it's safe to say Vans has certainly branched out from its roots buried deep in the early '70s Southern Californian skateboarding scene.
However, with Vans continuing to evolve, we were curious to find out what has been its best sneaker collabs as of late. So, we've put together a list of our favourite releases based on designs that stood out from the crowd as being great additions to any sneaker collection.
So, if you're interested in adding some amazing new sneakers to your own wardrobe, then check out what we feel are the best Vans collabs right now below.
Stay tuned as well, as we'll be updating our list when new shoes, like the upcoming Haribo x Vans release, join the scene. For now, though, let's get into our top picks...
Best Vans collabs
- Palace x Vans Half Cab '92 GORE-TEX "Butterscotch"
- Supreme x Swarovski x Vans Old Skool "Red"
- Stranger Things x Vans Style 36 "Hellfire Club"
- Joe Freshgoods x Vans Sk8-Hi Reissue Platform VLT LX "Coral Pink"
- RÆBURN x Vans Sk8-Hi GTX VR3
Palace x Vans Half Cab '92 GORE-TEX Butterscotch
This Palace x Vans Half Cab '92 is, in our opinion, a great example of a sneaker collaboration done right.
We're a big fan of this Butterscotch variation, in particular, as it provides the Half Cub with a pop of colour that's bound to stand out on your feet.
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While much of the usual Half Cab aesthetic has been kept the same, you do get Palace branding on the sides, tongue, and heel to showcase their input in this superb Vans sneaker.
Moreover, the shoes are covered in GORE-TEX, a material known for its durability and resistance to water. As a result, we'd argue these would be a great option for your fall sneaker rotation, especially with their autumnal colour palette.
Supreme x Swarovski x Vans Old Skool "Red"
Towards the backend of 2022, Vans teamed up with Supreme and Swarovski to release a range of Old Skool trainers that stand out with their bright, bold, and unique designs.
This "Red" colourway is one of our favourites from the collection, as we're a fan of the fairly retro colour palette that ties perfectly into Supreme's instantly recognisable box logo.
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Swarovski's input into the shoes comes in the form of hundreds of Swarovski crystals embedded into the chequerboard pattern along the sides.
Plus, as an added bonus, you get co-branded insoles to round off this amazing three-way collaboration without going overboard with the branding.
Stranger Things x Vans Style 36 "Hellfire Club"
To celebrate the release of the 4th season of Stranger Things, Vans debuted this "Hellfire Club" Style 36 sneaker that pays homage to everyone's favourite D&D group from the show.
There are plenty of nods to Season 4 here, including the Red, crackle-print sidewalls in reference to the home of Vecna, and chainlink graphics running down the side stripes.
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However, while there are plenty of Stranger Things-themed details, you do get some of Vans' most iconic elements, such as the chequerboard pattern and the signature rubber waffle outsoles, dotted throughout.
It's also worth noting the shoes come with a pre-distressed look - another nod, perhaps, to the events that went down in Season 4. As a fan of Stranger Things, we had to give these sneakers the recognition they deserve.
Joe Freshgoods x Vans Sk8-Hi Reissue Platform VLT LX "Coral Pink"
Joe Freshgoods has produced some amazing collaborations over the years, but there has arguably not been one as great as this "Coral Pink" Sk8-Hi.
This isn't just any Sk8-Hi either. It comes with a huge, platform-style midsole dressed in light Brown to completely reinvent the iconic silhouette.
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While the sole is certainly its statement piece, the upper isn't far off as it combines bright Pink tones with pops of light Cream along the side stripes and laces.
The shoes are also built to be functional, with the Vans boasting all-weather MTE outsoles to maximise grip wherever you go. All in all, a great collaboration that's bound to make you stand out from the crowd.
RÆBURN x Vans Sk8-Hi GTX VR3
We're rounding things off with another Sk8-Hi, this time this RÆBURN x Vans GTX VR3 release.
The shoes are said to be both stylish and functional thanks to camouflage-print uppers made from organic cotton canvas, complete with rubber toe caps and a waterproofing layer of GORE-TEX.
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The shoes also feature VR3Cush foam and VR3Waffle across the outsoles to improve comfort and grip underfoot.
Overall, there are not many 'frills' with this RÆBURN collab. However, as a functional and utilitarian shoe for everyday wear, we'd argue it's a tough one to beat.
Frequently asked questions about Vans collabs
Want to know a little more about Vans collaborations? We've answered some of the most commonly asked questions below.
Where can you buy Vans collabs?
Our number one recommendation on where to pick up a Vans collab is the Vans store.
However, as touched on in our list of the best Nike collabs, it's always worth checking out the collaborating brand's website as well (if it has one), just in case it has exclusive access to a particular drop.
Alternatively, resale marketplaces, like StockX or GOAT, are handy if, for example, a Vans collab you're after sells out, or if it was released way in the past.
For more information on this, check out our list of the best places to buy sneakers right here.
When do new Vans collabs get released?
New Vans collabs tend to drop at seemingly random times throughout the year, thus making it tricky to pin down exactly when a release is about to take place.
Sometimes, a collaboration will tie into a holiday, like Christmas, or an anniversary, which can give you a little more insight into when you can expect a drop.
By and large, though, you have to wait until Vans or the brand it's working with announces it has a collaboration on its way.
A good way to keep on top of this sort of information is to regularly visit the Vans News subsection on its website.
In the past, we've seen Vans announce collaborations with Cobra Kai, Tony Alva, and the aforementioned Joe Freshgoods here. So, if you want to know what Vans has in store, it's definitely well worth checking out.
That said, we try to cover any new drops ahead of time on RealKit. So, if you're looking for the latest Vans collabs, make sure you check in with us to see what's on the horizon as well.