Vans Old Skool Pro vs Old Skool: Similarities & Differences

Vans old skool is legendary footwear from the Vans company since 1977. They were known for their popular ‘’jazz stripe’’ that stands out in the crowd. In its early days, it was recognized as Number 36, becoming the first shoe brand to add leather into its uppers. Vans old skool pro is an upgraded version of the old skool design.

Early in the 90s, Vans collaborated with popular designers such as March Jacobs and the Supreme brand. The various materials that were used to produce these shoes allowed them to be used by street artists and skaters.

Vans Old Skool Pro vs Old Skool
Vans Old Skool Pro


Vans Old Skool Pro vs Old Skool
Vans Old Skool

Vans kept the stylish design and look, only updating the materials and improving the technology for increased performance and functionality. Vans made this shoe to appeal to the streetwear community to enable artists to feel safer while expressing their talents.

Similarities between Vans old skool pro and old skool

They are many similarities between the old-school Vans design and the pro version. The first intended use of the old Skool Vans was to make a comfortable shoe for skaters. They both had suede canvas and leather covering in the back.

Highlighted below are some of the similarities;


When laid side by side, you’ll notice that they both have the same rubber outsole. This feature is ideal as a shock impact absorber protecting your feet from trauma as you ride or skate.

Both pairs of shoes were fashionably styled to be worn as everyday shoes and still perform in the street. Both of their outsoles used the waffle design for increased support.


Old skool and old skool pro had similar uppers. With canvass or leather incorporated in their production models. They are reliable and help give a lasting experience during their use.

Under sole

When you turn them over you notice that their tread pattern is the same, providing traction and grip as you skateboard around the park or for just walking.

The sticky rubber sole has excellent grip abilities giving you support always.

Structure and design

The overall construction of the shoes is very similar in structure and design. With a low ankle arch on both shoes combined with the famous strip running halfway from the heel.

The jazz strip is also iconic to both. You can find them in variable attractive colors that add to their appeal.

The classic design of the old skool pro is instrumental in making the old skool pro one of the top choices of sneakers in the market.

Its structure is made of canvass and has thin leather running along the sides, this gives it a trendy and always in style.

It’s amazingly, lightweight with the distance between the shaft and arch measuring about 3.5”, this accounts for its low profile and compact nature.

There are also many colors to choose from including different sizes for different feet.

Differences between old skool and old skool pro

Differences Old skool Old skool pro
Outsole  Non-removable Rubber outsole Vulcanized gum rubber sole
Insole Fabric insole Ultracush insoles
Toe cap Reinforced toe cap Duracap toe box


Between the two there is a lot of difference when you look inside the shoes. The old skool Vans have a thinly layers’ tongue and a footbed fabric on the floor of the shoes.

The pro edition is an upgrade of the classic old skool and has a padded tongue and padded footbed. This accounts for the latter to be more comfortable than the old skool classic.

The padded regions also prevent bruises and friction burn.


The inlets of the old skool version, are fixed to the footbed. This is fixed in the pro version with removable inlets for easier cleaning.

Rubber sole

The rubber sole of both shoe models are very similar in properties. They are both made using a Vans waffle design that offers a quality rubber with excellent grip and traction.

The old skool pro, however, has an additional pro-Vulc lite construction that produces a firm board feel during skating, increased flexibility, and good traction.

Insole material

A significant difference in the two footwear is the Vans ultra cush HD soft sock liner in the old skool pro. The classic old skool does not have this feature.

This Vans ultra cush HD is polyurethane-based with qualities that increase overall board performance and an impressive level of support.

Duracap outsole

Though they might look the same Vans old skool and Vans old skool pro doesn’t feel the same once you have them on your feet. This sole underlay is strengthened with DURACAP technology from Vans.

This protects areas that undergo high pressure from wearing out too soon, increasing durability. This feature comes in handy for pro skaters, and sports enthusiasts.

Waffle and pro vulc structure

Although both models of footwear utilize waffle technology in their rubber soles, the pro comes with a vulcanized traditional gum rubber makeup that provides premium traction, grip, and comfort.

Active skaters accomplish substantial board feel and usage from the old skool pro.

Toe box

The toe box region of the old skool pro is fused with DURACAP rubber. This added feature delivers outstanding durability and is missing in the old skool classics. This makes the pro a better choice among skaters.


The upper of old skool Vans has a complete suede covering that is durable and classy. With the introduction of the pro version, the upper was constructed using leather and canvass combination, this gave increased durability to the whole shoe design.

Why you should buy Vans old skool pro over Vans old skool

Vans Old Skool Pro vs Old Skool

Vans old skool pro shoes have very close similarities with the classic version but it comes with a significant upgrade that includes increased comfort and essential heel and arch support.

They have an excellent board feel and would perform well as you use them for skating, fashion, or all-day wear. When compared to its predecessor this version boasts of a more comfortable fitting.

The padded insoles are a lovely additional upgrade loved by most users. This comes with the addition of an Ultracush sock liner and padded tongues for extra protection from activities that your foot twisting and turning.

The rubber soles also got updated with double reinforcement of the outsole. The provides significant traction and resistant to wear and tear that might occur from constant use or intense pressure from skating activities.

The uppers also got upgraded to a sturdy combination of quality suede material and canvass for more enhanced performance.

This durable upper withstands more pressure from your feet and possess more resistant to wear and tear than the classic old skool Vans.

Why you should buy Vans old skool over Vans old skool pro

When you run a comparison of the Vans old skool and the Pro version you will discover they all but the same except for a few upgrades.

The pro version was created due to increased demand from those active in the skating sports scene for a more durable Vans model. This allowed for additional safety features and wear-resistant materials to be added to the shoes.

The old skool classic is basic in design and less rigid than the pro version, this means that the pro usually needs more time for you to break them in before you engage in regular activities with them.

They are more flexible and very ideal wear for everyday use outside of the skating community. They are the preferred choice for all-day use and are also less expensive than the pro version.

Comparing the two models side to side

The first thing you notice is that the old skool Vans and old skool pro version looks identical when placed side to side, first major difference is the difference in price tag with the pros being the more expensive of the pair.

The old skool classic got an upgrade as more users started using them in the skating scene and street art, requiring more adequate qualities but retaining the classic style that makes it loved by all.

When placed side by side you notice that they share similar silhouettes making it almost impossible to differentiate between the two.

Taking a more detailed look you can see the red side note indicated on the old skool pro that makes it unique. If you take a close observation of them, you will notice that the pro has a thicker sole than its counterpart.

This thickness is noticed around the toe area with a tightened rubber meant to increase the durability of the Ollie parts. It also caused the shoes to be a fraction higher than the other classic Vans.

The old skool pro features an insole that can be removed and a lighter sole construction that helps reduce shocks and impacts from external pressure.

To resist wear the rubber edges of the pro had to be thickened, causing an increase in weight but the addition of the ultra cush insole allowed for lightweight properties.

The side upper of the pro is made from a completely different textile with the padding on the tongues very similar.

They have a different corset with the old skool pro having a more wear-resistant quality than the classic due to its denser weaving of the panel.

In the end, it’s Your decision when it comes to the model you select. If you desire shoes that are classy, lightweight, and authentic then the Vans old skool is your best choice.

If you are more concerned with comfort and also frequent the skating scene, then the pro is a better option for you.

Generally, they have a good lace-up system that works effectively and ensures that the shoes have a proper fit. This accounts for a proper amount of tightness as you engage in your daily routine.

One quality they both share also is the variety of colors and design patterns in which they come.

In their production model, they both come in classic black color and other bright and fashionable color choices for those who want to appear trendy and stylish.


Vans old skool and Vans old skool pro are iconic shoe brands with over five decades in the footwear industry producing unique and widely accepted shoes.

These shoes stand to be among the first choice for casual wear or business casual formal wear, with the ability to successfully match a wide range of outfits.

They both are similar in design and structure with only a slight difference in composition and construction.

Initially designed to be a skater’s choice footwear, it begins to see many users from different parts of life using them for everyday activities and events.

The pro old skool was intended as an upgrade of qualities and features parents in the classic old skool. This improved the overall durability and ability to last long for users who want more from the shoes, especially skaters and sports athletes

The old skool pro is more durable and comfortable with a leather and canvas upper. The rubber soles reinforced with innovative DURACAP technology for increased traction and resistance to wear and tear, with additional shock-absorbing properties.

Comfort is increased here with a removable ultra cush sock liner and padded footbed assures you of support all year round.

The lace-up system offers a good fit that hugs your feet properly. They are lightweight than the pros making them very ideal for long hours of usage.

Also, the addition of the canvass material to the uppers of the old skool pro is prone to tear when exposed to tricks like hardies, ollies, and virials on the skateboard.

The old skool Vans was the first sneaker shoe to use leather material in the uppers of their footwear, with increased flexibility and durability.

The old skool Vans is also a favorite option among celebrities and popular entertainers, most having been spotted wearing them for their iconic and ever-fresh stylish design.

I hope this provides the necessary guidance for you as you decide on the best choice.

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