When it comes to casual footwear, Vans has long been a go-to choice for many sneaker enthusiasts. Their iconic designs, versatile appeal, and reputation for comfort have made them a staple in wardrobes across the globe. However, in a world brimming with diverse shoe options, why stick to the familiar? Our guide is here to show you some shoes like Vans to diversify your collection.
We've picked out some of the best sneakers that draw parallels to Vans and that cater to a variety of tastes and preferences. From timeless classics to emerging skateboarding favourites, we've got you covered with our top picks from a range of top shoe brands.
It's time to step away from the norm and embrace Vans alternatives, as we showcase a range of footwear options that will complement your personal style in a way some of the best Vans shoes have in the past. Let's get right into it...
Shoes like Vans
Nike SB Chron 2
The Nike SB Chron 2 is one of the best skate shoes on the market as it combines style with outstanding performance on a board.
It features an extended toe bumper to help withstand the rigors of a skate park, and it comes packed with foam for extra protection and support.
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However, its dominance in the skateboarding world is not why we've picked the SB Chron 2. No, we've picked this sneaker because we feel it strikes an uncanny resemblance to some of Vans' most popular models.
The vulcanised rubber sole unit, for instance, is a lot like the one you'd find on most Vans. Also, the shoe's general shape and silhouette are not too dissimilar to a classic Vans Old Skool. Therefore, as far as like-for-like alternatives go, we'd say this Nike SB is tough to beat.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
Just like how Vans are some of the closest shoes to Converse, Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars are some of the best sneaker alternatives to Vans.
The shoes aren't as ready-made for skating as the Nike SB Chron 2, however, there's no denying there is a touch of visual likeness, regardless of whether you opt for a low-top or high-top iteration. The All Star is also very similarly priced to a typical pair of Vans, which means you won't have to break the bank in order to pick up a pair.
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Of course, there are some notable differences. For example, the All Star is far less padded than a usual pair of Vans. You also don't get that same iconic Sidestripe along the lateral and medial.
That being said, you do get some of Converse's iconic signature details like the rubber toecap and Chuck Taylor All Star branding. So, if you're going to diversify away from Vans, why not add one of the best Converse shoes ever made to your collection?
The adidas Gazelle has a long history dating back to the '60s which, interestingly, was around when brothers Paul Van Doren and Jim Van Doren, along with partners Gordon Lee and Serge Delia, opened The Van Doren Rubber Company. As a result, we feel the adidas Gazelle is a great alternative to Vans, particularly the Authentic which debuted around this time, as the two share a close bond in their history.
There's certainly a touch of visual likeness too, although the Gazelle is perhaps not quite as similar to a typical pair of Vans as our previous entries. This is unsurprising though given the Gazelle began life as a football shoe before transitioning into a streetwear staple like Vans.
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There are a few more crucial differences as well. For instance, this particular version features a nubuck upper with synthetic leather overlays, which is an uncommon arrangement for a Vans shoes.
Other than that though, the adidas Gazelle, arguably one of the best adidas shoes ever made, isn't too far removed from the Vans style, making it a great substitute for Vans sneakers.
New Balance Numeric 272
The Numeric 272 is a skate shoe that embodies both durability and classic New Balance heritage in its design, much like how the likes of Old Skools, Authentics, etc. embody the heritage of Vans.
Like the majority of Vans, the Numeric 272 also features a vulcanised sole that offers inherent comfort, along with a slim insole to enhance board feel while skating.
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Ultimately, the shoe bears a strong connection to Vans in the way its made and its overall shape. However, the sneaker is constructed out of suede as well as canvas, which is uncommon amongst Vans, and it features the classic "N" logo on either side rather than a typical Vans Sidestripe.
Nevertheless, it's definitely a strong Vans alternative, whether you're looking for a great skate shoe or a sneaker to wear on a daily basis.
DC Manual Hi Txse
So far, we've covered an array of great low-tops similar to a pair of classics Vans Old Skools or Authentics. However, if you're searching for a shoe like the Sk8 Hi, then the DC Manual Hi Txse is well worth considering.
Its overall shape and style are close to what the Sk8 Hi looks like. The relatively chunky midsole, the canvas upper, and the higher collar height all draw parallels with the popular Vans high-top.
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It's also a solid pick to skate in. It features a herringbone tread pattern for added grip and you get an IMPACT-ALG footbed for additional cushioning during impact.
Therefore, if it's an alternative to the Sk8 Hi you're after to actually skate in, then this DC sneaker, arguably one of the best high-tops around, is definitely a contender in our eyes.