Vans Authentic vs Old Skool: Who is the Winner?

There are a lot of Vans Product Lines in the market, at some point, you might get stuck trying to figure out which model you should go for.

Our choices between Vans Authentic vs Old skool boils down to the preferred sizing offered by these shoes, their features, similarities, and differences.

If I was to choose between Van Authentic vs Old Skool, I will go for Vans authentic. This does not in any way mean that Oldskool shoes are not worth the hype. Old skools come in handy for certain occasions.

Nevertheless, I’ll prefer Vans Authentic because of its lightweight design and its ability to break in easily. I always love my shoes to have an easy mold around my feet; Van Authentic helps to achieve that.

Moreover, Vans authentic offers a little bit of casual styling to my dressing. It sounds awesome for me to blend my clothes with Vans authentic and achieve a classic Vintage outlook.

Vans Authentic vs Old Skool

Comfortability is another feature that I usually look out for in my choice of shoes. Although both Authentic and Old Skool Vans shoes offer a true-to-fit sizing, I’m a big fan of Vans authentic, so I’ll always stick to it.

Why is Vans Authentic a better option?

  • More user friendly
  • Lightweight
  • All-round Comfort
  • Better styling
  • Provides better arch support

User Friendly

Let’s assume this is my first time shopping for the Vans brand. I will need a shoe that is easy to wear, durable, with a cool wrap around my feet. Vans Authentic fit the description.

This also includes the fact that they are multipurpose shoes that you can rock for skating. Its low-top design and the canvas/synthetic material make them a “use for all” kind of shoes.

From the ability to use them even on icy cement to its easy-to-lace-up shoes, Vans Authentic is your first-time companion.


One of the best things to consider in the Vans Authentic vs Old Skool comparison is the weight of both shoes. Compared to Vans Old Skool that weighs an average of 1.03 pounds, vans authentic weighs 0.98 pounds.

This makes it relatively low on the scale. This makes it easier for you to wear Vans authentic for long hours without experiencing any amount of pain on your feet.

Vans authentic come in such a way that you can take them for your rock-hard skating missions. You wouldn’t want to find an annoying weight on your feet while you are trying to take different swings on a skateboard.


Vans authentic is your all-around comfortable shoe. Vans became popular for their perfect fitting on the feet of users. Vans Authentic has an easy-to-break-in feature that makes them even more comfortable as you wear them.

Its weather-permitting features and contemporary styling makes it an awesome brand. Its basic design makes it a comfortable shoe for your daily activities.

While it is inarguable that Vans Authentic is flat and might feel like walking on cardboard paper, you can decide to purchase the ComfyCush Authentics.

These offer more support and comfortability for users with higher arches or individuals that stand for long periods.


Vans Authentic has made a name for itself for the outstanding styling that it comes with. Its iconic design has earned it an exceptional title. This 1966 styled shoe comes with a simple and detailed design.

This makes it a universally admired commodity and an effortlessly cool shoe. It has a waffle sole that offers great traction, and a 100% canvas fabric type that allows breathability.

Styled with firm stitches, laces, and a rubber collar on its toe, it comes in a manner that not only allows your toes enough spacing, but also they ensure easy movement of your toes.


Apart from the fact that Vans Authentic stretches, they also have slight arch support that makes them comfortable even for flat feet users.

Its support and comfortability are because Vans Authentic laces don’t run up so high to inflict pain on you. Instead, they provide an awesome ground grip that makes them a great choice for skating.



Four critical differences between the Vans Authentic and Vans Old Skool shoes

Vans Authentic vs Old Skool
Vans Old Skool
  • Vans Authentic has a more breathable upper to Vans Old Skool’s Canvas and Suede upper
  • Vans authentic pairs run half a size larger than the initial size
  • Vans Authentic has an iconic plain design to the Old Skool’s stripe side
  • Vans Old Skool has padded collars while the Authentic doesn’t


Vans Authentics are simple classic 66’ model shoes that are of Canvas material. Its canvas uppers provide a breathable structure and enough ventilation to keep your feet warm and dry.

This is comparing them to Vans Old Skool that are combinations of two materials; Canvas and Suede leather. 

Vans Authentics come with gum-colored sidewalls, but unfortunately, there are no extra paddings in the collar or the tongue. Vans Old Skool comes with a Canvas/Suede upper but it also includes a padded collar around your heels and a thin tongue for extra protection.

Vans Authentic uppers maintain their simple design. Vans Old Skool strives at putting in a little bit of durability into its uppers with the use of suede material.


The Vans Authentic vs Old Skool Sizing has been a constant debate issue as most users are finding it hard to conclude this. Both Vans Authentic and Vans Old Skool should run to a true-to-size fitting.

However, I’ve discovered that most Vans authentic pairs run half a size larger than the initial size.

This is comparing them to the Vans Old Skool that runs true to size. There are higher chances that you might end up purchasing the Vans authentic pros in place of Vans Authentic because the differences are slim.

This will leave you buying shoes that are too tight for your feet if you didn’t size up.


Since 1966, Vans authentic which started as the #44 sneaker has its iconic plain design. Vans authentic came as an idea of the company to provide the market with a simple and basic shoe with a sturdy frame.

This includes its ability to match any outfit. It wasn’t a long time after the shoes hit the market that skateboarders personalized their use, because of its structure.

The Vans Authentic features a Vulcanized crepe rubber outsole, and the Vans signature waffle soles to solidify its authenticity. 

On the other hand, the Vans Oldskool features an iconic stripe side which usually comes in a dual-color styling; black and white, blue and black, etc. The old skool stripe side which is also known as the Jazz stripe has earned it a name amongst all shoes. 

While Vans Authentic features a sturdy form and a sticky sole, Vans Old skool comes with extras by integrating leather panels into the design.

The Vans Old skool which is also the Vans #36 allowed users to customize their shoes by tweaking its panels to match their personality. The different stitching pattern between these pairs is also noticeable.

Padded collar

One of the most noticeable differences between Vans Authentic and Vans Oldskool is that Vans authentic do not have padded collars.

This might affect the level of comfort and support that you might derive from Vans authentic especially if you are looking for high-end shoes for intense skateboarding.

Vans Oldskool has a Leather-like feel and a padded collar structure that provides better support on your ankles.

This provides ankle support and a comfy feeling. Its footbed is supported with an extra pad that provides superior shock absorption and comfortability.

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Seven Critical similarities between Vans Authentic vs Vans Old Skool

Vans Authentic
  • The Vans Authentic and Vans old skool come in classic, pro, and lite
  • Both the Vans Authentic and Old Skool Pro are easy to break in
  • They both have Vulcanized Rubber Waffle soles
  • Both Vans are excellent for skateboarding
  • Similar branding and packaging process
  • They are flexible shoes
  • They both have rubber toe caps

The Vans Authentic and Vans old skool come in classic, pro, and lite

Vans rolled out new features by building each of their shoes into various models and styling. This allows users to make selective choices. The Vans Authentic and Vans old skool come in classic, pro, and lite.

The Classic or regular models are the custom first releases, while the Vans Pro and Lite are subsequent releases with slight upgrades.

A lot of times, the differences in these variations lie in the color of the tags, the position of logos, and the presence of cushion fitting. The Vans authentic comes with a black on its side.

Vans Pro which is made of Suede compared to its counterpart has a blue tag, the last version has a red tag.

There are usually differences in the sole colors but the iconic waffle sole styling remains the same. Vans Pro shoes usually come with an Ultra cushion or an Ultra Cushion HD with a higher and thicker toe box.

However, the choice lies in what you want to use them for. Extreme skateboarders are usually advised to go for pro styles.

Easy to Break-in

Although Vans shoes maintain a sturdy frame, one of the benefits of these shoes is that they are easy to break in.

No matter which pair of Vans sneakers that you bought, Vans Authentic and Old Skool, breaking into them is not a big problem.

You can easily break into your Vans Old Skool and Authentic shoes by wearing thick socks, wearing your shoes more often, and bending them through both edges.

You can try out more advanced methods of breaking into your shoes by applying heat, preferably from a hairdryer. Whichever Vans product line that you are aiming for, you wouldn’t experience much difficulty having them mold to your feet.

Vulcanized Rubber Waffle soles

Vans has always sealed the market with its signature Vulcanized rubber waffle soles. These soles are found in Vans Authentic as well as Old skool. The reason for galvanizing the Van soles is to offer more durability as well as ensure traction.

Vans achieve its unique level of sole durability by blending rubber with carbon. The entire process is to ensure that the soles are tough and stretchable.

Good for skateboarding

With supports that come with its outsole, Vans Authentic and Oldskool are good pairs for skateboarding.

Although Oldskool looks more of a better option to handling extreme skate skills, techniques, and flips, the Authentics are also a cool choice.

Vans authentic and Oldskool come with superb reinforcements that help absorb impact and withstand wear and tears.

Their sturdy frame, rugged design, and waffle soles make them a great choice for skateboarding. Skateboarders are assured of achieving ground grip, comfortability, and durability during their exercises.

You have a surge of confidence in your system and the zeal to explore while skating on Vans.

Similar branding and packaging process

One of the best ways to spot fake Vans shoes is to get acquainted with the branding techniques of Vans. From its line of stitching to the position of logos, the branding process is similar between Authentic and Old Skool. 

Authentic and Oldskool have similar packaging routines. They come in the same Vans custom box. These sturdy boxes are labeled with their names, size, style, color, and a barcode that you should scan to confirm durability.

All Vans shoes come with a paper tag bearing the Vans logo, with fine clear printing. This also includes trademarks on specific areas of the shoe. These areas include; its tongue, heel, shoe sides, and insoles. The trademark is easy to read and easily identifiable.

They are flexible shoes

Vans Authentic and Old Skool are flexible pairs. Because of the design of these shoes, you can easily bend them without damaging the shoes.

You can bend them up with the toes facing up. Their flexible design also impacts the lightweight design and wearability through all seasons.

They have Rubber Toe Caps

For extra protection, Vans shoes are reinforced with layered rubber toe caps which prevent wear and tears. To an extent, the rubber toe caps also protect your feet against accidental kicks on hard surfaces.

While the design and curve for these toe caps may differ for the different models and variations, the concept remains the same.


The choice between Vans Authentic vs Old skool shoes must lie in the decision to choose what works for you. Your financial budget could also play a great role in deciding which one meets your pocket.

However, if you are looking for casual walking shoes, Vans authentic is the best choice. If you need skateboarding shoes that can withstand extreme performances, you should stick to the Oldskool shoes.

You must ensure that you choose whichever pair fits your needs, style and meets your preferences.

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