If you like to jog from time to time, a running shoe is the best and possibly only solution. However, these shoes can be quite expensive, each pair running you upwards of a hundred dollars easily. And since they last around six months anyways, it can take a toll on your wallet.
That is why many runners including myself are opting to switch to Vans, Converse, or other similar types of shoes for running. But is that really a good decision? Well, when it comes to Vans, sure there are a few runner-specific models out there. But in most cases, Vans shoes are not that great for running.
When I tried it out for running, I had mixed results. The first few times it felt good. However, soon it started affecting my feet causing aches and blisters. And that is when I knew that I had to change it. I also figured out what caused these issues with my Vans.
In this article, I will give you my two bits on vans shoes and their feasibility as running shoes so that you can decide for yourself whether you want to wear them when running.
Why Are Vans So Popular?
The love and adoration for Vans shoes are not exactly new. Almost everyone knows just how popular the brand is. But not everyone knows the source of their explosive reputation. To be honest, I only learned about their rise to fame very recently when testing it out as a running shoe.
In truth, the brand ushered in a new era for skateboarders bringing the first skate shoe. This slip-on style shoe was perfect for skaters not only in terms of functionality but also in its aesthetics. With this one product, they immediately captured the attention of the youth skateboarding community.
Over time, they have expanded their catalogue to include many different products. Vans shoes have a stylish design and are quite comfortable for casual wearing. These days you can find a Vans shoe for almost every occasion. In fact, they even have a couple of running shoes that offer decent performance for runners.
Besides, Vans are also quite affordable compared to big footwear brands like Nike, or Puma. Their accessible price range makes them a great choice for teenagers and younger adults. And to be honest, every bit of their reputation is well-earned. For the price, the quality of Vans shoes is impeccable.
Why Are Vans Not Good for Running?
After having tried it out for myself, I can say with certainty that Vans are not typically good as running shoes. But don’t take my words for it. There are some pretty logical reasons behind it.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t use Vans for running or jogging
1. Vans are Heavy
If you own a pair of Vans yourself, you might be wondering that your shoes are not that heavy. Well, for a running shoe, it is. Think of it this way, a normal Van’s shoe weighs around 2 to 2.5 pounds. Compared to a running shoe like Nike React Infinite Run which weighs only 10 ounces, it is quite a bit heavier.
The difference is clear as day.
Running shoes are designed to be as light as a feather. It offers decent protection and support without letting its weight get in the way. Even though Vans might not feel that heavy when you are walking around, if you are planning to go jogging, their weight will be quite noticeable.
2. Lack of Arch Support
One of the main reasons why you shouldn’t wear Vans for running is the lack of arch support. Vans shoes come in a flat sole design. This means the bottom of the shoe is completely flush without any arch to support your running motion. This can be problematic for any runner.
Although you could run without arch support, continuing to do so will expose you to different problems. Foot aches will become a common part of your life every time you come home after jogging. Besides, if you have issues like plantar fasciitis, or flat feet, running without arch support can be extremely harmful.
3. Lack of Heel Support
Yes, Vans shoes are extremely durable. In fact, they can take a lot of abuse and still give you a few years’ worth of use without complaints. However, they do not have any support for the heel which can cause issues while running. Not only will it hurt your feet, but also drastically lower the shoe’s lifespan.
Any good runner shoe will feature some form of heel support to ensure your shoe remains protected and you are not exposed to any risk of injuries. For instance, the New Balance Roav V1 comes with a rubbery heel support material that can decrease the risk of hurting your heel when you are running.
4. Not Enough Padding
Let’s talk science for a bit. When you are running, every step you take exerts a lot of pressure on your feet. Research shows that the pressure can reach up to 12 times your body weight. That is why it is extremely important for running shoes to feature shock-absorption padding on the inside.
Running shoes are not only lightweight but also offer decent protection for your feet. Its cushioned interior wicks moisture and prevents blister formation on your feet. Sadly, Vans shoes do not feature enough interior padding to make it comfortable to run in them.
5. Vans are Narrow
When you are running, the bottom of your feet spreads and connects to a bigger surface. That is why running shoes are designed to be normal casual footwear. Without enough space inside the shoe, your feet will feel constricted and you will suffer from foot aches while running.
Vans shoes have narrow toe boxes that look quite good but are not very practical if you want to use them as jogging shoes. However, this aspect does not apply to everyone. Some people have naturally narrow feet shape. If you are one of them, then the width of Vans shoes should not be a problem for you.
6. Lack of Flexibility
Even if you are okay with the width and spacing inside a Vans shoe while running, its lack of flexibility is a definite deal-breaker. Vans shoes are tough and sturdy. They do not stretch at all which can make it an impractical choice as a running shoe.
A good running shoe tries to accommodate the changing shape of your feet as you are running. Since Vans shoes do not stretch at all, you will feel tired a lot earlier if you are running in them. You need a bit of flex in your running shoe if you want a comfortable experience with it.
Are Vans Shoes Good?
Well, it depends on who is asking. When it comes to footwear everyone has their own distinct style and preference. As for me, I like a good pair of Vans. It is stylish and comes in a wide variety of designs. If I am hanging out with my friends or family, I would wear my Vans without a second thought.
These shoes also have impressive durability and will last you quite a while if you take care of them. But if you use it for rough activities, it might not survive as long. Since these shoes are not waterproof, you cannot wear them in the rain either.
But the best bit about these shoes might be their pricing. Vans shoes are quite cheap and affordable for just about anyone. Sure, you will not get Timberland quality, but what you get for the price is quite admirable. So, in essence, if you like budget-friendly shoes with decent quality, you will love Vans Shoes.
Are Vans Unisex?
Vans shoes feature a diverse design and come in many different color and style combinations. They do manufacture gender-specific shoes. But most of their shoes can be worn by both sexes. It looks good for both men and women without feeling out of place.
A few of their product lines are still gender-specific. These shoes differ from each other mostly in sizing. The style of these shoes is also a bit different giving you a bit more masculine vibe with Men’s shoes and a softer feminine vibe with the Women’s line.
However, most Vans shoes can be worn by both men and women. Their unisex design looks good for any gender on any casual occasion.
With All Said and Done
If you want a comfortable jogging experience, there is no alternative to a good running shoe. There are many great options from reputable brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma, etc. if you want a running shoe. Though you can get away with running in a Vans the first couple of times, it will start getting harder the more you use it. Hopefully, I could help you understand why Vans is not a good option for running. But if you are lifting weights or skating, this might not be a bad choice at all.