Vans Atwood vs Authentic: Which Is Better?

The major difference between Vans Atwood and Authentic is that Vans Atwood is bigger in bulk than Authentic.

Vans Atwood vs Authentic

It also has a more padded tongue and collar than Vans Authentic. Also, the Vans Atwood has a higher vamp than Vans Authentic.

Vans Atwood has more in bulk than Authentic. More material, mostly for comfort and support but it is still the same purpose with the Vans Authentic.

First impressions

Vans Atwood

Vans Atwood vs Authentic

From a first glance, what do we notice about the Vans Atwood?

  • Double stitching
  • Durable canvas upper
  • Signature white waffle outsole
  • Lace-up closure
  • Low tops
  • Huge Vans label

The Vans Atwood model is designed for skating. Although it is bulkier than the Vans Authentic, it is still flat (and yet comfortable enough) to use for skateboarding.

Starting from the canvas upper, you will notice how smooth it looks. The double stitching there makes sure it joins well with the sole as Vans skateboarding shoes are not the most durable shoes.

The signature rubber waffle outsoles almost make up for that. They add simplicity to the shoes and make you look effortless in them. The white color is neutral makes it easy to pair with almost any piece of clothing. The same for the black.

The shoes are low on top, exposing the ankle. If you are not key on protecting your feet that much and just enjoying the ride, these are still good. Warning they are not the most comfortable shoes.

The lace-up closure helps you adjust the fitting and with the metal eyelets, you are sure that they are not spoiling anytime soon.

The tongue of these shoes is connected to the upper that runs from the forepart of the upper. The tongue is very padded for comfort and the collar is slightly cushioned.

At the side of the eyelets is a small Vans label. There is a bigger one on the tongue and the heel. It is different from the other designs that have a label on the inside with other information like the sizes in different measurements.

The simple design makes the shoe very functional. The sole has a lot of traction, the durable upper protects the feet, and the design is wide allowing the shoes to be light and airy.

Vans Atwood vs Authentic

Although they are not the best for walking about or playing any serious sports, they are great for strolls and skating.

Vans Authentic

Vans Atwood vs Authentic

From looking we immediately notice these features:

  • Low vamp
  • Two-piece upper
  • Double stitching design
  • Lace-up closure
  • Signature white waffle outsole

The whole pair is white! From the canvas uppers to the rubber soles, these Vans Authentic shoes fall under the sporty and minimalist category.

From afar, the upper looks like a one-piece material with double stitching designs.

However, on closer inspection, the forepart of the upper is one piece sewn to the other part that covers the rest of the feet. The tongue is attached to the fore upper so that the other part of the upper covers the tongue.

Vans Authentic is said to be the most similar design to the original Vans shoe. It still has a waffle outsole that is not only beautiful but durable. It gives your feet an athleisure look too.

These shoes are low tops, in fact, lower than the Vans Atwood above. The upper sports the double stitching design that aside from connecting the two pieces to make the full upper, also adds to the style of the shoes.

Also, you will notice that the vamp of the Vans Authentic shoes is lower. That means that they are not as wide and as free as the Vans Atwood.

The advantage of the Vans Authentic is that it is very simple, not just in look but in structure. That’s why they look smaller and simpler than the Vans Atwood.

Vans Atwood vs Authentic

These won’t give you comfort or support of any kind. They will still have the same traction and grip, and even give a great feel of the board while skating. They are also great for other light sports like skateboarding.

Vans Atwood vs Vans Authentic: Let’s get down to the comparison


Almost all Vans rubber soles are vulcanized. That means that the rubber is heated with special chemicals to increase its flexibility and durability before it is joined with foxing tape to the upper.

Also, aside from the regular diamond pattern, both models have a special design on the footpad that gives the shoes more grip and traction.

Vans Atwood vs Authentic


Atwood soles are heavier and bulkier than Authentic. While Authentic is slim, great for board feel, and very similar to the original Vans, Atwood is bigger giving a bit of comfort.

Vans Atwood vs Authentic


Difficulty in break-in

Another difference between the two models is that the Vans Atwood is more difficult to break in than Authentic.

This is because of the other materials that make the shoes bulkier than the Authentic. Even at that, the Atwood soles detach faster than the Authentic. The good news is they can easily be reattached.


Everything has a but and vans shoes have them but in durability. Vans officially state that their shoes will last you between a year and a little over that.

While you will be quite comfortable and love skating, even more, these wear out depending on how often you use them. Here are two reviews online that show just that:

Vans Atwood vs Authentic

While one lasts for less than a month, the same Vans Atwood sees someone nearly through his years in high school. I am guessing one was used way more than the other.

Vans Atwood vs Authentic

Vans Authentic doesn’t have these issues though. Like Vans said, a pair of Vans Authentic will last you a year even after steady use.


Regardless of the fact that they are both Vans, there is a huge gap between their prices.

Vans Atwood had a price range of $65 to $100. There are few that cost $65 or $100 though. You will mostly find them at $70 and $80.

Unless there is a flash, or a new color if these come out I doubt you will see them that low or that high very often.

Vans Authentic on the other hand goes for as low as $45 and never exceed $90.

Usually, they go for $65 a bit with many factors, you can get them higher or lower than the prices stated. That said, Vans Authentic is cheaper than Vans Atwood.


Okay, insoles here is no different. All Vans shoes come with the same insoles.

Unfortunately, they are not the most comfortable insoles in the world. They feel like rubber, are thin and they don’t have any type of support.

The two models however come with these insoles. The Vans’ insoles have Vans written on them.

Another thing about them is that they are really difficult to remove. They are glued to the midsole so they are very difficult to remove.

If you want to prevent blisters, and pains and get some level of comfort, you should rip those Vans insoles out and get a new pair.


Vans Atwood is proudly wide. The goal is to make them wide enough so that they are light and airy. You are advised to size down by a half.

For Vans Authentic, true are the opposite. They are true to size and fit that way too. This makes sizing very easy for customers no matter their feet size. They are also very snug when put on.

Vans Atwood and Vans Authentic both come in children’s, men’s, and women’s sizes.


From the pictures and the first impression reviews, we have had a good look at both models. They have a lot in common and those similar features make it hard to find which is more aesthetic.

Vans Atwood with its shiny canvas upper, double stitching, and prominent labels is very stylish.

Vans Authentic has a simpler design though. It is meant to match the design of the original Vans.

They still have the canvas upper and the waffle outsole but even with the designs, the Vans Atwood just has the effortlessness that Vans Authentic doesn’t have.

Overall quality

Comfort, durability, fitting, support, and all the other factors that make us rate some shoes higher than others all make the overall quality.

Between Vans Atwood and Vans Authentic, Vans Atwood has more quality than Vans Authentic. Not only is it more modern, but it is also more comfortable with the paddings in the tongue and collar.

It may not be as durable but while they last they do serve their purpose. Vans Atwood is definitely way ahead than Vans Authentic.

Vans Authentic has the traditional original look going for them. Its simplicity and multiple purposes it serves makes it a minimalist shoe.

Why should you buy Vans Atwood?

I guess a brand like Vans speaks for itself but with so many models under the brand, it makes it tricky to pick just one.

So why Vans Atwood? Let’s start with its purpose. Vans Atwood is a skating shoe.

It is designed for that purpose and so you are sure that while it may not offer much in other aspects, as a skater these will be your first love.

Vans Atwood had a look that matches its purpose. It is as stylish and cool as it is functional.

The signature waffle midsole coupled with the lovely canvas upper gives them a simple athleisure look.

They don’t offer arch support and other things that people will special feet need but they come with insoles that give you an average level of comfort. The paddings also add to the comfort.

Also, they are great for people who have wide feet or people that need more room in their shoes. You can always size down if you like your shoes the normal size.

The Atwoods are great for walking, skating, and other sporting activities that won’t need extra support or special footwear. Their lightweight and breathable features make them an instant favorite.

Why should you buy Vans Authentic?

Vans Authentic is very simple. That’s something that can’t be overemphasized. Most people even consider it the best pair of shoes ever. Here is why:

Vans Authentic is unique for its universal design. It is so simple that it agrees with everyone.

There are no details, no extra irrelevant designs, and no added items at all. It can also be easily styled. Coming in over 10 colors, Vans Authentic goes with just anything.

Vans Authentic are lightweight. When I say lightweight, I mean they fit perfectly fine and add no extra weight on the feet.

They are great for simple things and if the weather favors you, going about in them every single year.

Also, add to that that they are expendable. They will stretch to snugly fit your feet without ruining them.

They use a form-follow-function method making them a great minimalist, durable athleisure shoe.

Vans Atwood or Vans Authentic: Which will you go for?

And now to make the final choice. Drum roll! Alright, after a lot of research and comparison, I would go for Vans Atwood Now that doesn’t mean Vans Authentic is bad, no far from that. Vans Atwood just has better features.

When it comes to sizing the Vans Atwood is wider and so you can ways size down easily or the get the same size that you wear. Vans Authentic will not be very good if you have wide feet.

Remember when I said Vans Atwood is bulkier than Vans Authentic? Well, that bulk is a good thing.

It comprises the paddings for comfort and the removable insoles that gives a level of comfort. It is way better than just a very simple shoe that feels like cardboard.

And one more thing. When you compare them in aesthetics, Vans Authentic is very simple and effortless. However, besides Vans Atwood, they look very beat up and not what you want to wear.


And that’s it, guys. I have made my choice. What is yours? Remember that while reading, your feet determine which one stays or goes.

Listen to them so you don’t have to deal with return policies later. I hope you enjoyed reading this. Do have a lovely day.


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