The Old Skool sneakers are the Vans’ legendary silhouette that incorporated the iconic Vans Sidestripe back in 1977. Boasting the famous “jazz stripe”, these shoes set the brand apart from the crowd, while the overall design brought the footwear closer to millions of skaters around the world.
In addition to the classic Old Skool style, you can always consider an improved version of the same: Old Skool Pro. We researched both versions to help realize the difference between these two pieces so you can settle on your choice easily.
Vans Old Skools History
Initially known as Style Number 36, the Old Skools was the brand’s first model to incorporate leather into their uppers. In the 1980s, when customization was prevalent, sneakerheads turned their creativity towards Old Skools.
In the 90s, Old Skools were marked with the public’s new interests in the classics as well as collaborations with designers such as March Jacobs. That period also marked the beginning of Van’s old partnership with Supreme. In fact, Vans’ debut collection with Supreme was based on the Old Skool silhouette, which was released in three color options.
The different materials that were used in the making of these sneakers and the panels of the shoes offered them great opportunities to express their art. In fact, it was common to see people traipsing around in their distinctive and brilliantly-colored Old Skool shoes.
Vans Old Skool vs. Old Skool Pro
If you’re a big fan of the Old Skool Pro, then you’ll be glad to know that the brand did not mess with any of your favorite footwear design details. Vans simply upgraded the performance and functionality of these kicks.
While the Old Skools had flat and non-removable insoles, the Old Skool Pros are equipped with removable inserts, which are more padded. These new iterations were subjected to UltraCush HD sockliners, which were a notable improvement according to most reviews Vans Old Skool Pro sneakers also feature DURACAP toes and rubber underlays for greater reinforcement in the areas where they’re needed most. Reliable canvas and suede materials were also utilized in the making of these shoes.
Vans Old School
Speaking of Vans Old Skool, the original intention of the maker was to deliver comfortable skater sneakers. Celebrities and sports enthusiasts from the fashion line were directly captivated by the timeless and iconic appearance. Additionally, while the black and white combination was suitable for various outfits, these sneakers attracted a wide range of people, not just skaters.
We, however, found one beauty flaw: the shoe’s functionality is meant to adapt to normal wear rather than the board. Perhaps, that’s the reason why the manufacturer decided to produce the Pro Series, which meets most users’ requirements.
Vans Old Skool Pro
Visually, both the Old Skool and Old Skool Pro are not so different. Both sneakers combine leather and textile material and a comparable contrast stitching. One significant element of both versions is the already mentioned “jazz stripe”.
Nonetheless, there is something extra with Pro: the soft removable UltraCush insole that ensures a comfortable impact, which is often appreciated by skaters. Moreover, the Vans Old Skools feature DURACAP rubbers pads, which extend the overall life of the shoe.
The Old Skool Pros are therefore a bit more expensive compared to their older version. That said, the users of these iconic models rate the investment in this line as very useful, especially if you want something for everyday use and not just skating.
Currently, there are many color combinations of both variants on the market but most people seem to be taken by the classic in black and white. Similar to most Vans shoes, the Old Skool Pro sneakers are unisex.
Many reviews stated that these shoes have moderate arc support and can be tightened or loosened using a conventional lacing system with flat laces and eight pairs of eyelets. For more board control, the Old Skool Pro comes with a new molded heel counter and internal tongue straps to lock your feet in place.
The Gum rubber sole that made Vans iconic has been augmented with the SICKSTICK rubber compound to deliver more grip and board feel. Not to forget the POPCRUSH energy return sock liners that provide superior cushioning and protection against impact. This feature also helps to lessen fatigue for longer skate sessions.
The shoes feature a low-profile construction, which allows the ankles to move freely, making them ideal for activities where lots of quick turns and twists are needed. It’s good to state that the soles are beefier in comparison to what you get with the classics. Still, these also weigh lighter.
Vans Old Skool Pro shoes come with a classic look tinged with urban edgy. These sneakers look best when paired with comfy everyday clothing.
For men, you can match Vans Old Skool Pro kicks (in the blackout colorway) with a plaid button-up shirt alongside skinny jeans for a subtle preppy look. Alternatively (with Vans Old Skool Pro in blue), pair these with skinny jeans, a statement tee, and maybe an open button-up denim shirt. You can top off the overall outfit with a hooded jacket.
For women (with light purple or violet ice Old Skool Pros) a pair of ripped black jeans and an oversized sweatshirt would be the perfect outfit for mailing or school. In the case of rumba red or true white Vans Old Skool Pros, you can pair with a cream short-sleeved shirt and black tights for a sporty look.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Vans Old Skool Pro sneakers elevate the iconic Old Skool silhouette to greater comfortable heights. These shoes come with UltraCush HD sock liners that are contoured not only to provide more cushioning but also to keep your feet closer to the board for a better experience. Besides, the shoes are enhanced with DURACAP toe underlays for uncompromised performance in areas where you need them most.