×

The 11 Most Iconic Vans Sneakers Ever

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.

Founded by the Van Doren Rubber Company in 1966 in Anaheim, California, Vans has experienced a long run as the preeminent skating brand.  Throughout the company’s history, the brand has debuted a number of styles that continue to live on in sneaker lore.

Despite humble beginnings (the brand opened its first store with just 12 customers), by the mid-70s, its durable and grippy offerings were soon being worn by skateboarders all over Southern California. The brand also endorsed top skaters at the time like Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva, which helped put the company on the map.

From historic releases like the Old Skool and Era — the latter which became the shoe of choice for a generation of skateboards — to newer collaborations and updates to classic silhouettes, Vans’ shoes continue to impact skate culture and have even infiltrated today’s street style trends.

In recent years, Vans has also expanded its offerings to include styles that are suitable for other sports such as surfing and BMX.

Ahead, we look back at 11 of Vans’ most iconic kicks, which are still available to shop. Keep reading to discover them all.

Authentic

Debut: 1966

The brand’s debut style, Vans’ Authentic was known as the #44 when it launched in 1966. It came in a variety of colorways, but the Navy look is a tried and true classic.

Vans Authentic
Vans Authentic style.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

To buy: Vans Authentic, $52; Vans.com.

Era

Debut: 1976

Vans’ Era was the first shoe from the brand to be designed by skateboarders, namely pro skaters Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta. Complete with a few minor adjustments, including padding to the collar, the shoe was built off of the original Vans Authentic model. It was also the sneaker that launched the “Off the Wall” logo.

Vans Era
Vans Era style.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

To buy: Vans Era in a similar colorways, $50-$60; Vans.com

Classic Slip On

Debut: 1977

Vans Slip-On
Vans Slip-On style
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

To buy: Vans Classic Slip-on, $65; Vans.com.

Old Skool

Debut: 1977

Vans’ Old Skool sneaker introduced the brand’s now-signature Jazz Stripe — a design that began as a random doodle by founder Paul Van Doren. The simple design has made the Old Skool silhouette a hallmark model of the Vans brand. Featuring a suede and canvas upper, the Old Skool has supportive padded collars.

Vans Old Skool
Vans Old Skool shoe.
CREDIT: Vans

To buy: Vans Old Skool, $70; Vans.com.

SK8-HI

Debut: 1978

First released in 1978, Vans’ Sk8-Hi features a canvas and suede upper with the brand’s classic rubber waffle outsoles. While the black and white colorway of the style is extremely popular, it comes in many different versions. The shoe stands out because it excels year round in different situations.

Vans Sk8-Hi
Vans Sk8-Hi style.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

To buy: Vans Sk8-Hi, $70; Vans.com.

Half Cab

Debut: 1992

Arguably the most iconic shoe in the skateboard world, Vans’ Half Cab was a modified version of the original Vans Caballero pro model. Created in 1992 three years after the original model, the shoe was lighter and faster and inspired by skaters that flipped the collar of their shoes down.

Vans Half Cab
Vans Half Cab sneaker.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

To buy: Vans Half Cab, $70; Vans.com.

Chukka Low

Debut: 2006

Designed in collaboration with the Vans amateur skate team in 2006, Vans’ Chukka Low is an alteration to the original Vans Chukka. A comfortable shoe, the Chukka Low can be worn for skating or everyday wear.

Vans Chukka Low
Vans Chukka Low style.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

To buy: Vans Chukka Low in a similar style, $65; Vans.com.

Alomar

Debut: 2010

Brought to the sneaker world in 2010, the Vans Alomar was a premium high-top release that comes originally from the “106 Low Top.” More of a streetwear silhouette compared to the 106 Low Top, the Alomar is a chukka boot. It features leather and textile uppers and offers a trendy look.

Vans Alomar
Vans Alomar shoe
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

To buy: Vans Alomar, $55; ebay.com.

Nexpa

Debut: 2011

Vans’ Nexpa is the right look for anyone looking to relax after catching some waves. Fully recyclable, the Nexpa features a molded Ultracush eco footbed with anatomical arch support. The Nexpa also comes in other colorways if you’re looking for something a bit more vibrant.

Vans Nexpa
Vans Nexpa flip-flop.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

To buy: Vans Nexpa flip-flop in an all-black colorway, $32; Vans.com.

Chima Pro

Debut: 2013

Featuring a suede and canvas upper, Vans’ Chima Pro was made in collaboration with Australian skateboarder Chima Ferguson in 2013. The updated design features lightweight internal elements like a Duracap upper reinforcement that keeps the shoe protected from everyday wear and tear.

Vans Chima Pro
Vans Chima Pro sneaker.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

To buy: Vans Chima Pro in a similar style, $50; Vans.com.

Chima Pro 2

Debut: 2018

The second edition of the Chima Pro, Vans’ Chima Pro 2 is a lightweight style perfect for skateboarding. Featuring an UltraCush Lite 3D footbed, it offers high level support so you can nail ollies, heelflips and more.

Vans Chima Pro 2 Sneaker
CREDIT: CREDIT: COURTESY OF BRAND.

To buy: Vans Chima Pro 2 in a similar style, $75; Vans.com.

Access exclusive content