Can You Run In Vans? Exploring the Pros and Cons

You may be wondering if it is actually okay to run in Vans or not. Many people mistakenly assume that these shoes are the same as athletic sneakers and suitable for running. But can you run in Vans?

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of running in Vans, so you can make an informed decision. Are Vans running shoes? Can they serve as a substitute for running shoes in a pinch? Let’s find out!

Can I Run in Vans?

Can you run in Vans? Vans offer various lightweight, trendy shoes, but they are generally not suitable for running. They lack most features that runners need, such as a supportive midsole, cushioning, and breathable materials. Running in Vans shoes is not recommended due to high risk of injury.

Man starts to run in Vans shoes

The History of the Vans Brand

Vans began in 1966 as a Southern California shoe company, but their iconic designs are now recognized the world over. With skate-ready soles, canvas or suede uppers, and a range of colors that offer something for everyone, it’s no wonder why people fall in love with these classic designs.

Vans’ shoes have become a staple in many closets, thanks to their unique design features that create some of the most durable and stylish shoes on the market. In terms of soles, materials, and design, Vans stands out from other brands due to their attention to detail during the manufacturing process.

Up to 450 pairs of hands craft each shoe before they even reach the production stage, ensuring that all features are in perfect condition. The gum utilized for these shoes is also top-notch. It is carefully crafted with consistent thickness all around, providing great grip when you need it (for example, when skateboarding), while also offering a classic look that never goes unnoticed.

1. Easy to Style

Vans shoes are a go-to for everyday wear, whether you’re looking for something comfortable and casual or trendy and fashionable. With their classic design, versatile materials, and wide range of colors from neutrals to bolder hues, Vans sneakers are easily adaptable to any outfit.

2. Variety of Designs and Colors

Vans shoes offer a wide range of styles and fits for different preferences, from the classic slip-ons designed for skateboarding to colorful UltraRange sneakers.

The brand is known for combining comfort with fashion and offers an array of colors, patterns, materials, and sizes, making it easy to find the perfect shoe, whether you’re looking for something casual or sophisticated.

3. Good Quality

Vans has been creating timeless styles and long-lasting, fashion staples for years. From their distinct production methods to their standout presence in the footwear market, Vans have consistently produced shoes that look great and last a long time.

What Are Vans Shoes Best For?

Vans shoes offer a great level of versatility. They are designed for everyday casual wear, in addition to active performance such as skating. They also offer a lightweight design that is perfect for walking.

Best for Casual Wear

Vans UltraRange Sneaker

Vans UltraRange Sneaker

This is the ultimate footwear choice for everyday casual comfort. This shoe stands out visually with its classic design, versatile style, and wide range of colors that fit any occasion.

Not only are they fashionable, they are also supremely comfortable. These shoes feature sustainable construction elements like double-stitched seams and molded EVA rubber soles, making them an incredibly comfortable daily use sneaker option designed to last.


  • Stylish design for casual wear.
  • Comfortable cushioning.
  • Durable outsole for good traction.


  • Limited support for long-distance running.
  • Not designed for high-impact activities.
Vans UltraRange Sneaker

Best for Skateboarding

VANS Unisex Classic Slip-On Shoes

VANS Unisex Classic Slip-On Shoes

Vans’ Classic Slip-Ons are popular skateboarding shoes known for their stylish design and variety of colors. With durable soles made specifically for skateboarders and an overall classic look, these Vans shoes have become a staple in the world of skater fashion.


  • Easy slip-on design for convenience.
  • Versatile style suitable for casual running.
  • Comfortable cushioning for short-distance jogs.


  • Limited support for high-impact running.
  • Not specifically engineered for long-distance runs.
VANS Unisex Classic Slip-On Shoes

But are Vans good running shoes?

Is It OK to Run in Vans?

Are Vans good for running? Generally speaking, running in Vans is not recommended. While Vans may be great for casual wear or skateboarding, running is not something they are designed for. They lack cushioning, which can result in discomfort over long distances.

icon run

Pro Tip:

In addition, Vans weigh more than traditional running shoes, which can cause fatigue over long periods of time and increase the risk of injury when you’re racking up the miles.

icon run

Pro Tip:

In addition, Vans weigh more than traditional running shoes, which can cause fatigue over long periods of time and increase the risk of injury when you’re racking up the miles.

The thin soles also provide less shock absorption than special running shoes, making them potentially unsafe if used regularly for distance running events or intense training sessions.

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Are Vans Suitable for Training?

While Vans shoes provide excellent grip when it comes to skateboarding, the thickness and flatness of the soles make them less than ideal for more intense physical activities that involve any intense motion.

The soles of Vans shoes tend to be thinner, which can lead to an increased risk of injury over time. To maximize your performance and safety when training, opt for shoes crafted specifically with your desired activity in mind.

Is It Bad to Run in Vans?

Despite their comfort, Vans shoes are not recommended for running, as they lack important features necessary for peak performance, such as cushioning and arch support. They are also heavier than regular running shoes.

Here are the main reasons why you should not run in Vans:

1. Thin and Flat Soles

Vans shoes are designed with a flat sole, meaning they don’t have the specialized tread patterns running shoes usually feature. This design makes them less suitable for running, as it limits responsiveness, while also lacking the arch support that cushioned running shoes provide.

2. Lack of Cushioning and Arch Support

Cushioning and arch support are two of the biggest factors when it comes to comfort and safety with running shoes. Running in shoes without proper cushioning can cause extra strain on the joints, leading to increased fatigue and an increased risk of injury.

Vans shoes lack both of these critically important features due to their flat mesh insoles and thin sole construction. This means that runners may experience more impact-related pain with every step they take while wearing them.

3. Heavier Weight

Vans shoes are generally heavier than other running and training shoes. They have thicker soles that don’t compress under heavy weight, making them suitable more for lifting exercises rather than high-impact activities like running.

icon run

Pro Tip:

This greater weight can lead to extra stress on the feet and legs when running in these shoes. There is also an increased risk of injuries such as shin splints and plantar fasciitis due to the lack of cushioning and arch support.

icon run

Pro Tip:

This greater weight can lead to extra stress on the feet and legs when running in these shoes. There is also an increased risk of injuries such as shin splints and plantar fasciitis due to the lack of cushioning and arch support.

What Shoes Are Best for Running and Why?

When it comes to running, the right type of shoe is essential for a smooth and efficient ride. There are several different running shoes available on the market designed specifically for optimal performance.

People running in various types of running shoes
Photo by Freepic

If you are looking for an ideal shoe for trail running, you may like Nike men’s running shoes due to their versatile design and durable construction. They feature a mesh upper and no-sew overlays for support in high-wear areas, along with a midsole made of dual-density foam that offers superb cushioning and responsiveness. The outsole has deep flex grooves that are flexible yet hard enough to provide superior grip, making it suitable for various terrains.

Oleksandr Zagrebelnyi demonstrates Nike Pegasus Trail 2 sneakers
Photo by @ozagrebelnyi

The ASICS Cumulus 23 is suitable for daily training on various surfaces, such as road, track, treadmill, and neighborhood trails. Runners like this shoe because it features an ultra-lightweight design and smoother ride due to its midsole foam and grooves along the length of the sole.

Man running in ASICS Cumulus 23
Photo by @marquezvcf

Women often opt for the Brooks women’s Ghost 14, which is a reliable choice for anyone looking for a comfortable shoe for both walking and running. This traditional running shoe provides excellent stability and a high level of cushioning to ensure that each run is consistently comfortable.

A female in Brooks Ghost 14 running shoes
Photo by @arieltweto

Frequently Asked Questions About Running in Vans Shoes

Is It OK to Workout in Vans?

Vans may not be the best choice for working out, as their shoes are often too thin and lack cushioning and support around the feet. The iconic Vans design is also associated with a flat sole, which is prone to slipping if you’re participating in sports or workouts like running, jumping rope, and weight lifting.

Are Vans OK to Walk In?

Vans shoes are good for casual, everyday wear, but they are not designed to accommodate long walks or jogging. Vans shoes typically feature thin, flat soles, which do not provide enough cushioning or arch support to keep your feet comfortable for a long time.

Do Vans Run Normal?

Vans tend to run on the smaller size, compared to other athletic shoe brands, making them unsuitable for people that need extra room in their shoes. Go up half a size if you have wide feet or need extra comfort.

Final Thoughts on Can You Run in Vans

When it comes to running shoes, Vans are not the most suitable choice. While they offer an array of stylish design options for casual wear and lifestyle purposes, they lack supportive cushioning and arch support, which may lead to discomfort on a long-distance run.

Even more concerning is the possibility of the shoes slipping off during rapid movement, as there is no tongue in Vans to help secure them in place. For optimal comfort and safety when running, invest in a pair of well-designed running shoes that provide cushioning and stability.

Shoes specifically designed for running will also have features such as shock absorption technology to protect from impact injuries and specialized soles with grooved grip tread for better traction on slippery surfaces.

Have you ever tried running in Vans? Please share your experience in the comments below.

Also Read:


  1. A Brief History of Vans: “Off the Wall” Since ’66 https://www.vans.com/en-us/company/about (accessed November 17, 2023)
  2. Everything You Need to Know about Gum Soles https://www.vans.co.uk/news/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-gum-soles.html (accessed November 17, 2023)
  3. Joel T Fuller et al. “The effect of footwear on running performance and running economy in distance runners.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 45,3 (2015): 411-22 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268631549_The_Effect_of_Footwear_on_Running_Performance_and_Running_Economy_in_Distance_Runners
  4. Kyle P Perkins et al. “The risks and benefits of running barefoot or in minimalist shoes: a systematic review.” Sports health vol. 6,6 (2014): 475-80 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4212355/
  5. Xiaole Sun et al. “Systematic Review of the Role of Footwear Constructions in Running Biomechanics: Implications for Running-Related Injury and Performance.” Journal of sports science & medicine vol. 19,1 20-37 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338499860_Systematic_Review_of_the_Role_of_Footwear_Constructions_in_Running_Biomechanics_Implications_for_Running-Related_Injury_and_Performance

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