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Which women’s Vans are best?

Vans shoes have come a long way since the 1960s. They started out as affordable sneakers for skateboarders and gradually evolved into one of the most impactful shoe brands in history. Now Vans come in half a dozen styles and in a nearly endless array of colors and limited-time designs. And yet, they still remain among the most affordable sneakers.

The best women’s Vans are the Vans Sk8-Hi Skate Shoe. These shoes’ design is intended for serious skateboarders, but their high-top style looks great in almost any situation.

What to know before you buy women’s Vans

Vans types

Vans come in no less than 10 types.

  • Authentic Vans are the original design, preserved since inception. The main marker is the waffle pattern on the front of the outsole that provides extra grip.
  • Eras look identical to Authentic Vans, but add padding to the collar for extra comfort.
  • Old Skools essentially just add the trademarked Vans Sidestripe to a pair of Eras.
  • Sk8-His use padded high-tops and a sturdier toe box to protect skateboarders’ feet. Non-skateboarders also wear them for style points.
  • Ultraranges are designed for extra-long walks. They have extra durability, arch support in the midsole and breathable uppers.
  • Platforms take other Vans types and make the sole thicker to give you some extra height. 
  • Slip-ons take Era Vans, remove the laces and make the tongue elastic so you can easily slip them on and off.
  • Sandals, flip-flops and slides are exactly that — Vans branded sandals, flip-flops and slides.


Technically, both all Vans and no Vans come in women’s sizes — all Vans are unisex in size and design. The only exception is kids sizes.

What to look for in quality women’s Vans

Upper material

Vans outsoles are made of vulcanized rubber, which necessitates natural materials for the upper, as synthetics would melt.

  • Canvas is the most common. It’s durable, breathable and the easiest to clean.
  • Leather requires more maintenance, but you get a classier look as well as better water resistance. However, they don’t breathe as well as canvas.
  • Suede also requires more maintenance, but its look is unique — perfect for someone trying to make a splash.


One of Vans’ signature looks is a wavy stripe on both sides of the shoe, similar to the Converse heel star. If you want to make it plain you’re wearing Vans, you need a pair with Sidestripes. They’re only available on Old Skool, Sk8-Hi and Ultrarange types.

How much you can expect to spend on women’s Vans

They can cost as little as $35 or as much as $120. Sandals, slides and flip-flops typically cost less than $50. The average pair of Vans costs $60-$90. Specialty and limited-time designs cost up to $120 or more.

Women’s Vans FAQ

How long do Vans usually last?

A. The average pair of Vans lasts roughly two years. Using them for skateboarding and other rough activities drops expectancy down to about a year. Carefully maintain them to make them last three years or more.

How do I maintain Vans?

A. The requirements for cleaning Vans differ slightly based on the upper material. However, all materials should always be washed by hand.

  • Suede: First, use a suede brush to remove all surface grime. Secondly, use suede cleaner and a toothbrush to clean deep-set grime. Thirdly, clean the rubber soles with soap, water and a different toothbrush. Finally, leave them out to dry.
  • Leather: First, remove surface grime with a shoe brush. Secondly, use a leather cleaner and a brush to clean deep-set grime. Thirdly, work a leather waterproofer into the upper if desired. Finally, leave them out to dry.
  • Canvas: First, remove surface grime with a shoe brush. Secondly, pre-treat deep stains with a stain cleaner. Thirdly, remove the laces and insoles before washing the shoes in warm water with mild detergent. Fourthly, press any excess water out of the Vans and wrap them in a towel to dry.
  • Laces: Remove them and clean them in warm water with mild detergent. Leave them out to dry.
  • Insoles: Remove them and scrub them with a toothbrush topped by a mixture of baking soda and mild detergent. Let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing and air drying.

What are the best women’s Vans to buy?

Top women’s Vans

Best Vans Unisex Sk8-Hi Skate Shoes

Vans Sk8-Hi Skate Shoe

What you need to know: These high-top shoes simply ooze style.

What you’ll love: They’re designed to protect the foot from skateboarding injuries, such as twisted ankles and crushed toes. They come in a variety of styles including white on white, white on red and a Spongebob Squarepants-inspired dye job.

What you should consider: Some consumers said the shoes feel uncomfortable when worn for long periods. They use suede, which isn’t compatible with vegan lifestyles since it’s a form of leather.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top women’s Vans for the money

Best Vans Era Low-Top Trainers

Vans Era Low-Top Trainers

What you need to know: These are the classic Vans style in classic Vans affordability.

What you’ll love: The rubber sole and canvas upper offer plenty of natural durability. The collar and tongue are padded for extra cushioning and comfort. There are 36 designs to choose from, including lime green, rainbow checkered and pink roses on black.

What you should consider: A few customers had issues finding the right size, reporting that they run small. Others had issues with the collar padding rubbing uncomfortably.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Vans Slip-On Core Classics Low-Top Trainers

Vans Slip-On Core Classics Low-Top Trainers

What you need to know: Comfort and ease are the names of the game for these shoes.

What you’ll love: The tongue and ankles stretch comfortably to make slipping in  them a breeze, and restrict enough to keep the foot stable without feeling too tight. The collar and tongue are padded for comfort. There are 65 designs, including all black and all white.

What you should consider: A few purchasers noted these shoes don’t offer much in the way of arch support. Others reported the shoes needing a long break-in time.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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