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Are Vans Good For Hiking? (Pros And Cons)

Hiking is a popular recreational activity that millions of people worldwide enjoy. It provides a unique opportunity to connect with nature, challenge yourself physically, and enjoy the great outdoors. In this blog post, we will find out whether Vans are good for hiking. Let’s get started.

Are Vans good for hiking?

Vans were designed for everyday walking and light hiking, like short day hikes or a stroll around your local park. However, vans are not ideal for long-distance hikes or serious off-trail exploration. If you plan to do either of these activities, you should opt for a more specialized hiking shoe.

Hiking in Vans

People can use Vans shoes for hiking. However, they are not the best choice for more strenuous hikes. One of the reasons is that Vans’ soles don’t provide enough cushioning or grip needed to tackle rough terrain. Nonetheless, Vans are a good option if you plan to do light hikes in relatively flat terrains. Let’s discuss the features of Vans hiking shoes.

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Vans shoes are designed with a slip-resistant tread pattern, which helps provide a good grip on wet and dry surfaces. This improved traction can help keep your feet secure when walking on uneven terrain or slippery surfaces.

Check out VANS Sk8-Hi Unisex casual shoes.


Vans shoes feature lightweight cushioning and soft padding to ensure maximum comfort during your hikes. Additionally, they come with an internal sock liner and arch support to reduce fatigue and improve overall foot comfort.


Vans hiking shoes are made of high-quality materials and are designed to last for years, making them a good investment for hikers. They also have reinforced stitching in the toe area, which helps make them more durable against wear and tear.

Ankle support

Most Vans shoes come with a higher ankle collar for improved ankle support. This is especially beneficial for those who plan to hike in rocky areas, as it helps reduce the risk of sprains and other injuries.

Related: Can you hike in Blundstones?


Vans shoes are designed with breathable materials to keep your feet cool during long walks. The mesh upper also helps provide superior airflow and ventilation for maximum comfort.

The Pros of Using Vans for Hiking

Here are the pros of using Vans hiking boots:

– Lightweight design makes them easy to carry around

– Slip-resistant tread helps provide a better grip on wet and dry surfaces

– Cushioned footbed for maximum comfort

– Reinforced toe area for added durability

– Higher ankle collar provides extra ankle support

– Breathable materials ensure your feet stay cool and comfortable

Feet of a person wearing Vans shoes

The Cons of Using Vans for Hiking

Here are the cons of using Vans for hiking:

– Not ideal for more strenuous hikes

– Poor shock absorption

– No specialized design features to enhance stability or agility

Tips for breaking in Vans shoes

Getting sore feet after buying a pair of Vans shoes is something you wouldn’t want. Here are some tips for breaking in Vans shoes.

1. Use a hairdryer

Using a hairdryer on your Vans hiking boots will help soften the material so they form to your feet more quickly. Follow these steps when using a hairdryer to break in your Vans:

– Start by leaving the shoes out to warm up.

– Turn the hairdryer on the lowest setting and hold it a few inches away from your Vans shoes.

– Move the dryer around in a circular motion to ensure that all shoe parts are heated evenly. Be careful not to heat any one area for too long.

-Walk around in the shoes inside your house or yard until they cool off.

Related: Are Doc Martens good for hiking?

2. Wear them around the house

The best way to break in a pair of Vans shoes is to wear them around your home. This will help the material conform to your feet more quickly. Start by wearing them for short periods and gradually increase the time until you’re comfortable enough to wear them for hours.

person standing wearing Vans

3. Use a shoe stretcher

Shoe stretchers are tools that can stretch the material of your Vans shoes and make them more comfortable. They work by applying even pressure to the areas of your shoes that need stretching, such as toe boxes or heels. To use a shoe stretcher, follow these steps:

– Place the stretcher inside your Vans shoes and adjust the knob to increase or decrease the pressure applied.

– Leave them in for several hours until they cool off.

– Wear the shoes around your house until you’re comfortable enough to take them outside.

4. Wear thick socks

Wearing thick socks while walking in your Vans shoes can help stretch the material and make them more comfortable. Start by wearing one thin pair of socks and then add a thicker sock on top for added comfort. This will also help reduce friction between your feet and the shoe, which can lead to blisters or calluses.

Tips for hiking in Vans shoes

If you’re planning to go hiking in Vans, there are a few tips that can help you make the most of your experience:

Choose the right Vans shoes for the terrain

Vans offers a variety of shoes designed for different activities, so it’s important to choose the right shoes for the terrain you’ll be hiking on. For example, if you’ll be hiking on rocky trails, a pair of Vans with a sturdy sole and good traction can help prevent slips and falls.

Break in your Vans shoes before your hike

It’s always a good idea to break in your shoes before going on a long hike, especially for Vans. Since Vans shoes are made of canvas, they may take a little longer to break in than leather or synthetic shoes.

Worn Vans shoes close up photo

Bring extra socks

Since Vans are made of canvas, they may not be as breathable as other hiking shoes. This means your feet may get sweaty, which can lead to blisters. To prevent blisters, bring extra socks and change them halfway through your hike to keep your feet dry and comfortable.

Protect your Vans from water and mud

Vans shoes are not waterproof, so it’s crucial to protect them from water and mud to prevent them from getting damaged. You can use a waterproofing spray on your Vans to help repel water. Alternatively, you can bring a pair of waterproof gaiters to wear over your Vans to keep them dry.

History of Vans shoes

Vans is an American footwear company founded in 1966 by Paul Van Doren, Jim Van Doren, Serge Delia, and Gordy Lee. The company is best known for its line of skateboarding shoes, which have become a popular choice among skateboarders and other members of action sports communities.

The company’s first store was located in Anaheim, California, and sold shoes directly to the public, allowing customers to design their own shoes by choosing the style, color, and size. The store became popular among local skateboarders, who appreciated the durable and stylish shoes. In the early 1970s, Vans introduced its now-iconic checkerboard pattern. It quickly became a popular design among skateboarders and surfers.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Vans expanded its product line to include a broader range of footwear, including sandals, boots,  clothing and accessories. The company also sponsored many skateboarding and snowboarding events, further cementing its reputation as a brand associated with action sports.

skater wearing Vans shoes

Today, Vans continues to be a popular choice among skateboarders and other members of action sports communities. The shoes are worn by people of all ages and backgrounds.


Are vans waterproof?

No, Vans shoes are not fully waterproof. They are made of canvas or suede, which are not designed to repel water. If you wear Vans shoes in the rain, your feet will become wet and the shoes may become waterlogged and damaged.

Are Vans good for walking?

Vans shoes can be good for walking, depending on the style of shoe and the type of terrain you are walking on. Vans are known for their comfort and durability, and many people find them suitable for casual walking on flat surfaces.

Can I wear Vans shoes in the rain?

Vans shoes are not designed for use in the rain. They are made of canvas or suede, which can become waterlogged and damaged if exposed to water. It is best to avoid wearing them in wet weather. Instead, you should choose a pair of shoes specifically designed for use in the rain.

Do Vans have good arch support?

Vans offer excellent arch support to help keep your feet comfortable throughout the day. The shoes feature a cushioned insole and arch support to reduce fatigue and rubber outsoles for maximum traction on uneven terrain.

Are Vans comfortable?

Vans shoes feature a cushioning insole, arch support and breathable mesh lining to keep your feet comfortable all day long. Plus, their iconic design makes them perfect for creating stylish outfits and dressier looks.

Are vans non slip?

Many Vans shoes are designed to be non-slip, with soles that are made from a durable, slip-resistant material. This can help to prevent slips and falls on smooth surfaces, making them a good choice for people who need shoes with good traction. Note that not all Vans shoes are non-slip.

Are vans unisex?

Vans shoes come in styles specifically designed for both men and women. The brand also offers a variety of classic designs that anyone can wear regardless of gender, making them perfect for creating stylish everyday looks.

Are vans good for running?

Vans are not typically designed for running, as they are not made with the same level of support and cushioning as running shoes. However, some people may find that they are comfortable enough to use for running, especially if they are only going short distances or running on flat, even surfaces.

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