With a history that spans more than 50 years, Vans has been an integral part of most underground cultures for several generations, and for good reason.
You see, Vans is one of few brands to have ever launched a shoe that was just as good in the 60s as it is today with only a few minor tweaks.
Not only that, but Vans has basically become an international icon with just five classic styles. No simple feat.
Today, they make high-quality shoes for all ages, genders, and preferences including several vegan Vans models.
I myself have been wearing Vans more or less exclusively since the age of 12 or 13, and as a long time fan of the brand, I can honestly say they make some of the best shoes.
Luckily, Vans offers a wide range of great vegan Vans models, although far from all models are vegan so you need to shop carefully.
Are Vans Vegan?
In order to make sure we got this list right, we personally reached out to Vans to inquire about the glue they use.
Here is their response:
"We do use a vegan friendly glue for all styles."
So there you have it, Vans uses non-animal-derived glue for all of their shoes which is great, especially compared to some of their competitors.
Unfortunately, one of Vans’ most iconic models, the Old Skool, is usually not vegan due to the hallmark leather side stripe. In the past, Vans has used vegan leather alternatives, but only temporarily. However, let's hope that changes soon.
If you're interested, there are few tips on how you can get your hands on a pair of vegan Vans Old Skool further down.
Due to the leather details, you're best bet is to always stick with Vans shoes that clearly state that they are 100% synthetic or made from canvas.
Luckily, the list of vegan Vans shoes is long and you will have no shortage of sneakers to pick from. In fact, due to the sheer number of options, finding a pair of cruelty-free Vans can be a daunting task, which is why we're here to help!
Below, you’ll find a list of all the different kinds of vegan Vans models.
Out of all the Vans models, the Authentic is by far the most vegan-friendly. Better yet, it’s the original Vans lace-up model that dates back to 1966 and one of the most popular designs alongside the classic Old Skool shoe.
The Authentic Vans shoes are traditionally made only using canvas which means most models, regardless of color, are vegan.
With that said, there are exceptions to the rule, so we encourage you to double check before buying a pair. For example, several of the exclusive Authentic models are made with leather details such as patches on the tongue or leather laces.
However, if you are looking to buy a pair of vegan Vans and want a lot of options to choose from, the Authentic is a great pick.
As with most Vans shoes, the Authentic was developed as a skate shoe to help skaters get an optimal grip on their boards using their own waffle outsole. Of course, nowadays, this vegan skate shoe is a style icon in its own right.
List of Vegan Vans Authentic Models:
The original version of the Authentic Vans shoe is a timeless sneaker in its truest form. It comes in all the colors of the rainbow and is readily available on Amazon.
For a genuine Vans look, we suggest you get a black and white pair and match it with similar socks.
If you’re looking for a bit more oomph, the Authentic Platform is one of the brand’s best sellers and a sneaker that has exploded in popularity over the past few years.
In order to meet an increasing demand from a younger group of customers, Vans has developed elastic Authentic shoes that don’t require tying any laces.
This vegan Vans model is available for infants all the way up to big kid sizes so you and your mini-me can match.
You can thank Vans for the timeless slip-on silhouette and all of its perks. Shortly after it was launched in 1977, the slip-on exploded in popularity and further established Vans as a fixture in the world of footwear.
There shouldn’t be any confusion regarding why the slip-on model became so popular. I mean, who doesn’t want a shoe that you can slip right in and out of, that fits perfectly on the foot, and that also looks stylish? It’s almost too good to be true.
What's even better than that is that most Vans slip-on are vegan by default since they’re made entirely out of rubber and canvas.
List of Vegan Vans Slip-On Models:
Anyone looking to buy a pair of vegan Vans slip-on should consider going for the timeless black and white checkered model.
It’s simple yet eye-catching, and thanks to the padded sole and collar, the shoe is as comfortable as it is stylish.
If you feel like the checkered pattern isn’t quite your style, you can always opt for a Vans canvas slip-on in one color.
Black and white are the most common models, but in true Vans fashion, the slip-on comes in any color you can imagine, including gold!
Similar to the Authentic shoe, the canvas slip-on comes in a platform version with a raised sole. In addition, Vans is known to collaborate with musicians and skaters, and they tend to launch exclusive versions of the timeless slip-on.
You can also opt for one of the really colorful and eccentric models to make a bold statement.
Firstly, the Era has extra padding in both the sole and the tongue making it better for skaters and others that live an active lifestyle. Moreover, the extra padding gives the Era shoe a slightly wider and sturdier profile.
Because of the unique design and padding, most collaborations between skaters and Vans result in exclusive Era models.
Naturally, the important yet subtle differences between the vegan Era and the Authentic shoe has divided Vans enthusiasts into two groups; you either wear Era or Authentic.
List of Vegan Vans Era Models:
For example, the single-colored models can easily be matched with a more dressed up style.
One of the most popular Era models is the checkered version that combines two or several colors in a checkered pattern that covers most of the shoe.
The vegan Vans Era models also come in a version for kids, although it’s not elastic and has to be tied. But besides the smaller size, the shoe is identical to the original version with the highest quality material and enhanced padding.
The Vans Chukka was developed by the Vans skate team, and it was designed to be optimal for professional skaters. This model was also one of the first times that Vans decided to step out of their comfort zone and start offering shoes outside of the classics.
Design wise, this shoe is inspired by the Authentic model as well as the Chukka Boot and it in terms of functionality it offers everything a skater could wish for.
The shoe features Vans' original waffle outsoles in rubber as well as UltraCush HD footbeds to keep the foot snug while also absorbing a lot of the shock.
Just be careful when buying Vans Chukkas because the sneaker comes in both canvas and suede models!
So far, the Chukka only comes in one version called the Chukka Low Top that’s offered in a range of colors and styles.
If you’re lucky, you might be able to lay your hands on a pair of exclusive vegan Vans Chukkas since the brand tends to launch new versions on a yearly basis.
The UltraRange was born out of surfers’ need for a versatile and comfortable shoe that they could use while chasing breaks around the world.
This shoe is more of a trainer than a skate shoe, and it has all the features you would expect from a sneaker of this level. The UltraRange are made with durable materials and extra padding for a snug fit, and they are also extremely lightweight.
However, as with many of the Vans models, the UltraRange is not all vegan.
Some of the models are made from suede and many of them come with a leather strap on the side which means you have to check the details carefully. As far as we know, all the UltraRange models that are marked as 100% synthetic are vegan-friendly.
One of the most asked questions regarding Vans’ most iconic model is whether or not Vans Old Skool is vegan.
Unfortunately, the answer is typically no for both the Old Skool hi-tops and the Old Skool lo-tops. The reason being the signature leather or suede side stripe that can be found on every Old Skool shoe.
Apparently, this also includes the limited edition Vans Old Skool canvas selection, which despite the contradictory information online, is not vegan.
However, recently, Vans has started to work towards offering more vegan-friendly shoes. For example, on Facebook, we have seen them talk about how they are looking into finding new materials and vegan-friendly solutions.
Also, as more and more people are becoming vegan, the chances of Vans releasing a vegan signature model of the Old Skool shoe in collaboration with a vegan skater are increasing.
So, are there any vegan Vans Old Skool models?
The simple answer is no, Vans does not offer any vegan-friendly Old Skool shoes at the moment. Although they do regularly re-launch the all white and all black Old Skool lo-tops with a faux leather strap.
Therefore, we suggest you keep an eye on Vans' upcoming releases.
Unfortunately, the same goes for Vans Sk8-Hi.
Today there are no vegan versions of the Old Skool hi-tops available, but we will make sure to update this list whenever Vans decides to launch a pair. Nevertheless, Vans has launched a few limited edition hi-tops that have been vegan over the years and we hope they will again soon.
Several online stores (including Amazon) have listed Old Skool models as vegan, claiming they are made using synthetic leather or suede for the side strap. This has been confirmed to be untrue by Vans’ own customer service. Instead, they encourage vegans to stick to the to vegan models recommended above.
Besides all of the classical models that Vans has produced over the years, the brand also allows customers to design their own shoes.
Naturally, Vans Customs can be made vegan as long as you stick to vegan materials such as canvas and synthetic suede.
Vans - A Vegan-Friendly Footwear Brand
With hundreds of vegan models and designs, Vans definitely deserves a spot on the list of the world’s most vegan-friendly shoe brands.
There is literally something here for everyone, and with the introduction of more trainer-like sneakers, Vans has managed to broaden their horizon and attract new customers that otherwise wouldn’t care about skate shoes.
With that being said, Vans still has a lot of work to do to further expand their vegan selection. And, personally, we can’t wait for a day where vegan leather is used for all of the Vans Old Skool shoes.
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