Are Vans Considered Tennis Shoes?

Vans are termed tennis shoes in the context of dress code requirements in organizations. Due to the fact that they are laced-up shoes with rubber (or similar) soles, they are called tennis shoes, as stated in a lot of organizational dress code and conduct.

However, when it comes to a pro playing Tennis, Vans is seen as a skateboarding shoe and not a Tennis shoe.

What is considered a tennis shoe?

As Business Casual in Organizations

A tennis shoe is been considered casual shoes, in the corporate world. These are laced-up shoes with rubber designs or soles that suggest that you are in here for a good time and not really a business one. Tennis shoes are non-formal shoes like Vans, Converses, Nike, Adidas, and New Balance, which are not required for a business dress code.

Instead of the serious-minded demand, they are built for trips, vacations and are perfect for daily activities. They also arrive in different styles, colors, and usually have laces. Casual or “tennis†shoes are been called tennis shoes is because of course, they look like the ones Nadal and Federer wear to win Grand Slams on TV. But there is a huge difference.

The casuals are great-looking shoes as well and look similar to real tennis shoes because of the lacing, soles, and in fact the general build. But tennis fashion shoes are basically sneakers. They are flexible in every part of the world. I am not saying pro-tennis shoes are not meant to be flexible. It is one of their best attributes for optimizing fast movements. They also have great traction and are utterly comfortable.

“Tennis shoes†in a casual sense can go with every dress code you can think of except suits. But that was in the past. Wearing suits on converse shoes is awesome! But despite all the awesomeness, 99% of offices still demand that workers rather wear their brogues or classic cover shoes for interviews, seminars, or even corporate parties.

For Pro Tennis players

Of course, professional shoes tennis players wear are also referred to as tennis shoes. While you can use the Vans shoes to play Tennis. They are really not manufactured for the sport, only as skateboarding shoes or more recently as a fashion outfit.

What shoes do you go for when the dress code says, “No tennis shoes�

The warning “No Tennis Shoes†is usually found in workplaces especially in corporate job interviews. Another situation is at a wedding party that has a strict dress code. Maybe a corporate wedding, LOL.

There are so many shoe options to choose from when the warning sign bursts your bubble. Relax; I won’t be mentioning any Oxfords or Derbies. This list is for the casual goons. Let’s begin;

Chukka Boots

I am sure you must have predicted the first option on this list. Well, you guessed right. No list is complete without the mention of Chukka boots.

They have a unique lacing system with seamless stitching that goes all the way down to the sole area. It can be worn to many types of events including weddings and corporate events and also on casual grounds.

They conjure a formal look well as a casual one at the same time. They always look polished and neat. Chukka Boots shoes can also be worn with any high-class dress code too. They come in both leather and suede designs and also have minimal lacing that never complicates issues.


This might seem controversial but it is a splendid option for casual seekers. This also depends on whether it is still accepted by the no “tennis†shoe rule. Sandals are perfect for the summer as you will need all that air caressing your feet while you get into business.

For dressed-up and formal situations, a good pair of sandals will stand out for both men and women because it surprisingly blends well with any formal clothing style. There are smart casual sandals made of leather that fits your non-tie suit ensemble, coats, collared shirts, and suspenders.


Are Vans Considered Tennis Shoes?

Loafers are in-between the moments’ corporate shoes that will always make you feel comfortable in any job situation or no matter the job you do. They are not as stuffy as the oxfords, brogues, and derbies and not also as casual as your “tennis†shoes. They keep you in between and blend well with trousers, jeans, chinos, and suits.

Monk Straps

Are Vans Considered Tennis Shoes?

These shoes are for folks with a more expressive formal taste. They are one of the most versatile formal shoes that can be worn on any grounds. They also work well with suits, chinos, and jeans as well as shorts or any other rebellious dress codes.

The expressive design of your Monk Straps also gives you a sex appeal like no other formal shoe on this list.

Chelsea Boots

Are Vans Considered Tennis Shoes?

Chelsea boots are a fine blend of dress-up shoes and casual styling. They really look good on any form of dress code from both the casual and formal worlds.

I will always recommend dark-colored or leather design Chelsea boots as an option for tennis shoes. This is because of the tonal vibe that will always give you a rebellious and trendy edge.

Dr. Scholls

Are Vans Considered Tennis Shoes?

The Dr. Scholls loafer is another great closed-toe shoe that gives you a laid-back edge in a non-tennis shoe environment. It is one of the most common options for ladies who want to look semi-formal when called upon.

It matches really well with skirts, trousers, and any type of formal tops. Looks like a tennis shoe, but I don’t think it is.

How to identify tennis shoes from non-tennis shoes

Shoe Structure

The structure of both shoe types is not the same. Non-tennis shoes are meant to be presentable and not too flashy. They are sleek, polished, and gives a gentleman/lady vibe.

Number of eyelets

Another difference is the number of eyelets and the lacing ensemble. Shoes classified to be non-tennis shoes do not possess many eyelets and their lacing is less flamboyant. It is always kept to the barest minimum. For the tennis shoes, it is exactly the opposite.

The Soles

Soles are the most defining part of shoes for me. When you have a shoe with a separate sole part for its heels, you know this isn’t a tennis shoe. Tennis shoes have flat soles that highlight their casual nature.

What workplace can you wear Vans and get away with it?

Are Vans Considered Tennis Shoes?

At fast-food chains

Most fast-food chains seek professionalism even in the dress codes of their workers. But there is room for some casual modes. This is with the intent to keep the team closer to the customers.

You will easily notice that at workplaces like Chick-Fil-A, workers have a specific book guide for dress codes and Vans shoes are usually acceptable.

McDonald’s is also a great working place to wear your Vans shoes. They recommend sketchers and slip-on shoes which is great news for casual dressers. Vans shoe brands come in both modes and you do not have to worry about breaking any rules here.

At factories and warehouse

Warehouse jobs are usually uniform-like and most shoes accepted are boots or versatile sports shoes that keep workers both on their toes and in maximum comfort throughout working hours.

Vans shoes also possess versatility with their great grip and powerful rubber soles that prevent you from slipping. The casual look also gives you this friendly approach towards work and is always welcoming to every organization.

At corporate offices that don’t care too much

Yes, there are some cooperate organizations that adopt a more casual approach towards value and services. You don’t want to look too loud or flashy and Vans are the perfect shoes for this kind of semi-formal look.

Just make sure you use the right color and the lacings are compact and neatly done.

Final Words…

Are Vans Considered Tennis Shoes?

Vans are not good options for a formal environment because they are classified as tennis shoes with all the attributes they possess. Wild lacing, rubber soles, and sometimes loud color shades. They are usually worn by causal lovers; those who will prefer to go to work looking dapper than the other guy/lady.

They are expressive, fancy, and comfortable, and maybe even better than the oxfords and brogues on office grounds. But when there is a rule, it stands.

The inevitable warning “No Tennis Shoes†might weigh a lot of people down but not you. There are numerous options to chose from that will present you as formally as possible while making you feel trendy as well.

We have been able to identify shoes like Chukka boots, Chelsea boots, Monk Straps for men and sandals, and even low-cut sneakers for women.

All footwears mentioned blend well with any formal clothing you might have in your wardrobe. It is important to know what fits your style and also makes you comfortable too.

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