Here’s Why Old-School Vans Sneakers Are Making a Comeback for Summer

Scouted/The Daily Beast/Vans.
Scouted/The Daily Beast/Vans.

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These days, everyone has a Labor Day Weekend get-together to celebrate the end of summer, and if you’re a kid, the end of summer means it’s time to get ready for the new school year. To me, grade school was always such a drag. Regardless, the annual beginning of my grade school scholastic achievement didn’t just mean new classes with new teachers; it meant fresh clothes and a killer new pair of Vans to kick off the year in style. Plus, as a kid with wide-set feet, I envied my peers who could confidently wear brands like Chuck Taylor or Adidas, which I didn’t fit into. Fortunately, Vans’ Authentic Shoe, which is still my all-time favorite, always adjusted to my feet seamlessly. Vans aren’t just the stuff of my school-age memories—they are alive and kicking (pun intended).

Over the years (Vans launched in 1966), the brand has continually evolved its most popular styles like the Era, Old Skool, Sk8-Hi, and, of course, the Authentic Shoe that started it all. The impact of pop culture on Vans single-handedly positioned itself as a leader in the footwear world. From organic celebrity endorsements from stars like Ariana Grande, Rihanna, and, of course, the “Sk8er Boi” pop-punk singer Avril Lavigne to its 25-year stride of title-selling Vans Warped Tour and collaborations with Metallica and Karl Lagerfeld, it’s no surprise the brand remains one of the most popular footwear brands of all time after all these years.

Best of all? Vans gives back to the community, partnering with organizations like Americans for the Arts and Journeys, which champions the importance of arts in schools. I was lucky enough to attend a top public arts high school in Los Angeles, so knowing Vans has a strong stance on the arts’ impact on students hits close to home. That’s what makes Vans more than just a brand to me.

The OG skater shoe brand has been making a major comeback in recent months, riding a wave of nostalgic summertime vibes and building on its rich history as a brand to help you step into the summer months with style. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that stylish celebrities like Morgan Stewart McGraw were spotted wearing them in the spring, causing the brand’s checkered slip-on shoe to go viral on TikTok.

While I can’t give you tips on how to do an ollie, I’d like to think that each pair of Vans I put on helps me connect with my inner skater boy a little more. Vans has a style for anyone who wants to tap into summer nostalgia, so don’t let another day go by without grabbing yourself a pair for the upcoming season—especially since the brand’s stock has been in a constant cycle of selling out and getting restocked since it went viral in early spring. Check out my favorite Vans styles for summer—and any season—below.

Vans Classic Slip-On

The Classic Slip-On Checkerboard Shoe is a timeless style that remains at the top of my list when deciding on my shoes most mornings. These classic slip-ons are my version of fine wine: they only get better with age and look their best worn-in. Luckily for me, I don’t drink, and these affordable and easy-to-style slip-ons help me save that money while looking cool to boot.

Buy Vans Classic Slip-On at Zappos, $60

Buy Vans Classic Slip-On at Vans, $60

Lowland Comfy Cush Leather Shoe

Vans have always helped me step out of my comfort zone, so I added their new Lowland ComfyCush Leather Shoe to the mix. This style features the brand's ComfyCush technology and is an archival ’80s Vans silhouette originally designed to suit the needs of tennis players. As a non-tennis player, I can attest that they are great for errands and walks, too.

Buy Lowland Comfy Cush Leather Shoe at Zappos, $90

Buy Lowland Comfy Cush Leather Shoe at Vans, $90

Authentic Shoe

One of my favorite shoes for over a decade, Vans’ Authentic Shoe remains my go-to sneaker for just about any occasion. The Authentic kicks are designed with lightweight canvas for breathability (and less odor) and the brand’s proprietary waffle grip for anti-slip protection.

Buy Authentic Shoe at Zappos, $55

Buy Authentic Shoe at Vans, $55


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