Vans Authentic: Product Guide

When brothers Paul and Jim Van Doren opened their company in 1966, The Vans Authentic was the first shoe they designed. Only it wasn’t called the Authentic just yet. Back then, it was the #44 Deck Shoe. From its inception, this footwear was meant to be worn on boats.

The brothers set up to design the best sole for wet, slippery conditions, one that will last longer than its competitors. Soon enough, skaters caught on to this shoe, as the same qualities made it perfect for skating. Over the years, the Authentic has become an integral part of skater culture, as well as a part of pop culture. And it didn’t change much in the process.

The key design features of Vans Authentic

The Vans Authentic is a low-top shoe with an upper usually made from canvas (although some have suede or leather uppers). They come in various colours and patterns, including the iconic black and white checkerboard. The canvas upper is durable, breathable, comfortable, and easy to clean. This line of shoes has laces and metal eyelets to ensure they don’t wear out with prolonged use.

The signature rubber sole

The most recognisable design feature of the Vans Authentic is the Waffle Rubber Sole. It ensures the shoe lasts for much longer than most trainers. It also provides a superior grip that makes it the ultimate shoe for skateboarding.

In addition to the sole’s unique design, it’s also attached to the upper with an innovative process called vulcanised sole. It uses a full wrap of a material referred to as "foxing tape" (typically white or black). It surrounds the entire shoe and is secured in place with a red tab at the back that shows the brand name "Vans Off The Wall."  This unique construction gives the Authentic their signature feel, making them comfortable and long-lasting.

The different technologies used in Vans Authentic

The Vans Authentic keeps its look and feel throughout the collection with a clean and classic design. However, there are a few variations you can choose from when you shop for your perfect pair of shoes:

  • Anaheim: The design of the shoes includes nostalgic elements, such as style numbers and colour palettes from the 1960s, high-gloss foxing tape, cotton laces, and a drill lining weight that is the same as the original design.
  • OrthoLite: This low-profile foam sockliner, made from CMEVA material, is extremely lightweight and designed to fit the anatomy of your foot. This creates cushioning that adapts to your every movement. It feels natural and comfortable.
  • ComfyCush: This combination of foam and rubber creates both elevated comfort and traction. The new upper design keeps the tongue stable and provides additional arch support.
  • VR3: Items with the VR3 stamp contain materials that are either regenerative, responsibly sourced, renewable, or recycled.

How to lace Vans Authentic

There are obviously numerous ways you can lace up your Authentic trainers. However, if you want to stick to the shoe’s classic look, this is the best way to do so:

  • Thread the lace through the bottom two eyelets, pulling them from the outside in. Ensure both sides are the same length.
  • Take the left side and stretch it over the tongue. Pull it through the top of the hole to the right.
  • Repeat this on the right side. Pull the right part of the lace through the top of the subsequent eyelet on the left.
  • Continue threading with this pattern, one side at a time, while ensuring the laces lie flat.

How to style Authentic Vans

This design is so versatile, clean, and simple that it’s hard to go wrong with styling it. However, if you’re still not sure what to wear with it, here are a few ideas to get you going.

How to style Authentic Vans for women

  • Casual: Wear blue or tan Vans with your favourite pair of jeans and a loose-fit sweater for a casual outfit. Make sure to roll your cuff to show off the shoes and your ankle.
  • Summertime: throw your black Vans on with a pastel sundress to add some edge to the look. Go with no-show socks or fun ones that match the dress.
  • Retro: Combine white Vans Authentic with a denim mini skirt, a graphic tee, and a long cardigan to create a 90s look.

How to style Authentic Vans for men

  • Polished: pick a pair of cropped chinos, a black rollneck top and a trenchcoat to go alongside your black Vans Authentic.
  • Preppy: combine your white Vans with dark skinny jeans and a light, button-down Oxford shirt.
  • Casual: Pair your Vans (of any colour) with a crisp white tee and ripped distressed jeans.

Of course, the Vans Authentic lends itself perfectly to the skater look. So for either men or women, any skater clothes you choose to wear will surely look amazing with them.

How to clean your Authentic Vans

If you want to preserve the crisp look the shoes had when you first purchased them, you’ll need to clean them every once in a while. We recommend that you avoid using the washing machine at all costs, as it might warp its shape. Instead, follow these instructions:

  • Brush away any loose dirt and mud.
  • Mix warm water with a touch of liquid soap. Take a toothbrush, dip it in the water and clean the upper show, sides, and rubber strip. Use gentle circular motions to take care of stubborn stains.
  • Finally, use a clean and moist cloth to clean the surface, removing any remaining soap suds.
  • Allow the Vans to air dry.
  • If you want to whiten the strip, don’t use bleach, as it will turn the rubber yellow. Instead, use either white vinegar, lemon juice, rubbing alcohol or acetone.

If your Vans authentic are not Canvas, or you want instructions on how to do a deep clean, read the full instructions for cleaning Vans.

An iconic shoe for a reason

Vans Authentic has become the signature design for the company thanks to a timeless design. It’s a pair of shoes that can sustain the most complex skateboarding tricks while looking stylish and effortless. They are incredibly comfortable and can last you for years to come. So if you don’t own one, now is the time to find your favourite pair.