Vans Sk8 Low vs Old Skool: Differences, Better One

Vans Sk8 Low vs Vans Old Skool

Vans shoe being in the limelight for over 50 years surely means something. The shoe never disappoints its fanatics by producing unique, yet quality shoes.

Its first debut, Vans authentic gave it off as a skateboarding shoe brand and it still walked in that lane down to other types of shoes produced in the company. Shoes like the Vans sk8 low and Vans old skool.

The Vans sk8-low is a low-top counterpart of the Vans sk8-hi. The Vans sk8-hi was introduced in 1978 right after Vans old skool in 1977. It dominated the skate world at its time. Later on, the Vans company produced a truncated version of it.

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The Vans sk8-low took the vibe of its taller counterpart and was added with more cozy and durable features. It was built with an array of colors and materials to get the look going.

Meanwhile, the Vans old skool has its unique features. The shoe was first known as Vans #36 before it got its current name. The side of the shoe was designed with a stripe by Paul Van Doren and was referred to as the “jazz stripe.”

And today, the Vans side stripe has become the recognizable Hallmark of the brand.

The Vans old skool is the first skate shoe that was added leather panels to increase its durability. Unique right? Well, there are more than that.

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The Vans old skool and sk8-low are somewhat look-alike. Most people can’t tell the difference, especially those that have not worn either. Questions like “which one is better?” keep arising as both shoes almost have the same features.

However, this article has the answers you can get about the two shoes: their similarities and differences and what makes one better than the other.

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Differences between Vans Sk8-Low and Vans Old Skool

Vans Old Skool vs Vans Sk8-Low
Vans Old Skool

1. Materials: The Vans sk8-low features Canvas, suede, signature rubber waffle outsole, lace for closure. While Vans old skool features Canvas, suede, leather, rubber sole, Vulc sole, EVA, and lace for closure.

2. Toe Box Construction: In Vans sk8-low, the toe box is attached behind the side panel while in the old skool, the toe box is a cap toe construction.

3. Tongue Construction: The tongue of Vans sk8-low is padded while the old skool is not.

4. Ventilation: The Vans sk8-low is more ventilated than the old skool

5. Heel construction: The heel cup of Vans sk8-low cones extended to the collar, unlike the old skool.

6. Occasion: The Vans sk8-low is more of a performing shoe like skating because of its extra stitches than the old skool. The Vans old skool is better for casual wear and occasion.

7. Style: Vans sk8-low has a combination of suede and canvas on the upper while the old skool has suede and canvas upper incorporated with leather panels.

8. Height: Not too obvious but the Vans old skool is taller than sk8-low

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Similarities between Vans Sk8-Low and Old Skool

Although the two shoes have lots of differences especially in their constructions, they also have some features in common.

Vans Sk8-Low Vs Vans Old Skool
Vans Sk8-Low
  • Their upper features both suede and canvas
  • They both have the side stripe
  • They also have both retro and sporty style
  • They have low top
  • They have a flat lace type
  • They were inspired by skate
  • They both have reinforced toe cap and supportive padded collar

Vans Sk8-Low vs Vans Old Skool: which one is better?

It is hard to say especially when both shoes have their unique features and are loved by people. It is said that one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Even though both of them were incredibly constructed, people choose one over the other.

Some people claim to feel a lot more comfortable with Old Skool than the Sk8-low. Most skaters prefer Sk8-low to Old Skool because of its breathability and extra stitches. The padded tongue of sk8-low gave it more advantage over old skool.

With the heel cup extending to the collar, the Vans sk8-low is more accepted for skating because of the unlimited comfort.

When it comes to durability, the Vans sk8-low is more durable than the old skool.

The Vans old skool is not stain-resistant as it is hard to wash off the stain. But even that did not make the Vans sk8-low any better in that aspect. The suede tends to bleed color on the leather when trying to keep the shoe clean.

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Although the Vans Sk8-Low has all the good qualities of a shoe, some people feel more comfortable with Vans old skool than it when it comes to casual wear. The Vans old skool pays homage to the retro style. With the combination of suede, canvas, and leather panels, it dips fashionable hues in the style.

Simple and classic wear. It is good on board as they are responsive and break well. Off the board, they are better as they add a casual look to most outfits. It is more versatile than the Vans sk8-low. It is well designed in beautiful arrays of colors.

Whether Sk8-Low or Old Skool, you can conveniently order a pair from Amazon.


Having the two shoes in your closet is not a bad choice to make. For your immeasurable comfort, while skating, the Vans sk8-low is most recommended for you. But for your versatility and casual look, you can go for the Vans old skool.

However, you should note that the Vans old skool could still give you the skating vibe just as the Vans sk8-low could still give you the casual look you desire. Both shoes are versatile in their way and could serve the function you want them to.

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