Running In Vans Shoes: Discover Why And Why Not

A common question among running enthusiasts who are also fans of Vans shoes is “are vans shoes good for running?”. As you probably know already, Vans has a wide base of fans thanks to their high-quality range of footwear.

Established in 1966, Vans specialize in shoes for skateboarding. But what about running? Can their shoes help you perform or should you just keep them off the tracks?

Turns out, many skaters already tried running in Vans shoes and they’re even recommended for beginner runners looking for an affordable pair to dash in. Still, the majority of long-distance/serious runners wouldn’t dream of wearing Vans for a run.

So, which is it? Is running in Vans shoes a good idea or not?

Today’s article is all about answering this question to help you make the right decision for your needs and skill level.

dangling legs of a man wearing yeezy vans : Running In Vans Shoes

Can You Run in Vans Shoes?

Technically speaking, you can run in any shoes you want, which means you can run in Vans shoes if you feel like it. The question is, should you?

While nothing is stopping you from running in Vans shoes, it’s not a recommended practice.

The average Vans shoe isn’t designed to accommodate the requirements of a runner when it comes to cushioning, support, and traction unlike athletic shoes for runners from, say, Adidas or New Balance.

Of course, the ultimate decision here is affected by several factors including your running level and wearability preference.

Note that Vans shoes typically feature an enclosed upper that keeps your feet more fixed while moving. This will alter the way you run as your feet are more restrained from the sides and the top.

Reasons for Running in Vans

Although it’s widely considered a casual shoe or a walking shoe, the average Vans shoe does offer a few features that can benefit you as a running shoe such as:

  • Vans shoes are great if you’re concerned about the comfort of your feet, especially if you’re planning on going for a long run. You’ll feel a level of comfort that’s comparable to running barefoot or with socks on.
  • Many runners don’t appreciate the sensation of having a barrier between their feet and shoes while running. If you share this attitude, then Vans shoes can help you solve the issue.

Unlike the usual low-top profile of running shoes, the high-top design of a Vans shoe gives your feet a more free range of motion as you run.

  • You don’t have to be a fashion guru to want to look good as an athlete. While conventional running shoes can look pretty stylish, Vans shoes can be superior to most brands in the appearance departments when it comes to the trendy, classic look.

The company simply did it properly as their shoes go well with most outfits, including running gear.

  • Finally, Vans shoes are very easy to put on and slip off, which is amazing news if you’re the sort of runner who takes breaks during runs or just can’t wait to get out of their running shoes as soon as they’re finished exercising.

This is because a Vans shoe, unlike a sneaker, doesn’t typically have a tongue. Not to mention, this saves you from the annoying “side-stuck” tongue of a sneaker.

Reason Against Running in Vans Shoes

Now, let’s talk about the negatives of running in Vans shoes:

  • The biggest downside of Vans as running shoes is their lack of adequate support, especially if you’re planning on covering a long distance.

old school black and white vans on the floor

This will lead you to experience a gradually increasing pain in your feet and legs. If you’re a flat-footed runner, you’ll feel even more pain using Vans to run.

  • While a Vans shoe does offer skaters a good grip on their skateboards for doing tricks, they don’t provide enough traction to prevent slipping accidents if you were to run on a wet surface.
  • The primary material of Vans shoe’s lining is canvas, so they may cause your feet to develop sore or blisters due to the combination of repeated friction and sweat.
  • Lastly, Vans shoes are fitted with enough cushioning or padding to absorb shocks and reduce pressure on the foot. Despite the rubber sole being rather sturdy, the cushioning is very lacking compared to traditional running shoes.

Types of Vans

Vans produce 4 main types of shoes that share the same general features and are designed for durability. They go as follows:

  • Vans Authentic — the most popular type, originally meant as a replacement for the high-top model. These are available in a variety of patterns and colors.
  • Vans Old Skool — these are fitted with a high-top shape and thick rubber sole. They look similar to the previous type but slightly higher for an extra rise to rest your feet in.
  • Vans Slip-On — the simplest version of Vans with virtually no enclosure. If you want additional grip, you can place an extra sole at the bottom or on top.
  • Vans Sk8-Hi — these are most often used by skaters as the special high-top design provides the foot with more support for doing tricks.


Main Features of Good Running Shoes

Now, here’s a breakdown of the main features of good running shoes:

  • Cushioning — this is a key characteristic in running shoes to minimize injury and stress.
  • Arch support — a good running shoe should absorb impacts, which is where arch support comes in. It maintains the natural positioning of the feet along the entire sole.
  • Comfort — running shoes should be breathable with a soft inner lining.
  • Lightweight — A good running shoe should be made out of lightweight materials to allow for quick movement.
  • Flexibility — running shoes are often made out of bendy materials to help runners move their feet easily, supporting natural gait and reducing the risk of injury.

Photo taken of Van shoes from above.

Final Thoughts On Running In Vans Shoes

While nothing is stopping you from running in Vans shoes, we’d advise against the practice. The average Vans shoe isn’t designed to accommodate the requirements of a runner when it comes to cushioning, support, and traction, unlike conventional running shoes.