Vans Ward vs Old Skool | Differences, Pros & Cons 2023

The popular brand Vans founded by Paul Van Doren back in 1966 has made quite the name as a shoemaking brand in the global market. They have been designing and making footwear for decades now to satisfy the needs and desires of their customers. Initially, they gained popularity as a skating brand and since then they have invented so many types of sneakers of different styles. Be it skating shoes or sneakers, they dominate street fashion. The two most popular and well sought-after types of Vans footwear are Vans Ward and Vans Old Skool.

Differences Between Vans Old Skool and Vans Ward

These two styles are quite similar and the most noticeable difference is the stitching over the jazz strip besides other minor details. This article is a comparison of Vans Ward vs Van Old Skool and is also to guide confused customers. 

Van Old Skool

Back in 1977, when Star Wars first opened in cinemas or the legendary Elvis Presley passed away, Old Skool debuted as Style 36 as the first skate made by vans that had side stripe that’s currently found in all skate shoes.

Besides being a brand new style of low top they were also the first skate shoes to have leather panels. The founder of this brand found inspiration from self-customized scribbles that skaters made on their shoes and decided to tweak and modify his brand’s footwear following the demands of their customers.

The Style 36 was initially released in three main colors but over the years, it has become one of the authentic footwear of Vans. By the 80s the fans of the Old Skool were heavily inspired and started designing and customizing their shoes based on their personalities and likes.

Currently, Vans provides Vans customs where one can go online and design their shoes and get them delivered. During the 90s Vans Old Skool was seen to be used by celebrities, rock stars, professional skaters, and hip-hop lovers. They have a history of collaborations from Supreme and Mark Jacobs to Marvel and Disney.

Pros & Cons of Vans Old Skool

There are different types of Old Skool and some of the pros and cons of them are as follows:


  • Old Skool was the first one in history to have had this particular style. In these low-top skate footwear, they had the decoration of a single line on their side known as the jazz strip. 
  • Vans Old Skool was revolutionary footwear back in the day and is still trending. They have been a favorite of teenagers for the last four to five decades. 
  • Skate culture is still quite popular and has made its way into fashion making major sneaker retailers to boutiques have them. They are even the preferred type of footwear used by social media influencers, celebrities, and public figures.
  • The style is unisex making it suitable for the apparel of both men and women. For example, they have been noted in the fashion blog of women wearing it in New York Fashion Week as well as in the men’s magazine GQ.
  • Vans Old Skool is fit to be worn all day long due to the perfect combination of style and function in them. They have flexible canvas construction and a sturdy sole made of rubber that makes them so very desirable for daily use.


  • The shoes are said to provide comfort but they are bound to have an issue or two. Customers have reviewed to have scratches on the back of their feet.
  • There have also been some negative reviews regarding the displacement of the tongue and how that would have to be repaired.

Vans Ward

A much later version of Vans was Vans ward which was modeled after the much more popular and successful Vans Old Skool. This footwear is a silhouette with double canvas uppers.

They not only last for years but also have a vulcanized construction. These are, similar to other Vans shoes, unisex or for both men and women. The textile upper is durable and the insoles are soft.

They are the perfect footwear for those who want a comfortable pair of shoes with a classic style of lacing that also provides a fashionable outlook.

This street style sneaker besides being both versatile and durable is also pocket friendly. It is the lack of the stitched lines on their uppers that make them both casual and classic among skating enthusiasts. Some other characteristics of the design in Vans Ward are the padded collar and the textured toe bumper.

Pros & Cons of Vans Ward

Vans Ward is available in different colors and they may be a newer version compared to the Vans Old Skool but they also have mixed reviews.


  • Vans Ward is the type of footwear that provides a perfect blend of fashion with classic. This makes it a must-have for Vans and sneaker lovers in their shoe cabinets.
  • Besides being unisex they are also suitable for different settings like parties or casual. It fits perfectly with jeans just as it does with a dress or leggings.
  • The cushiony insides are due to their vulcanized rubber soles and soft insoles. This is to give its wearer maximum comfort even if they are worn for hours at a time.
  • Vans Ward is quite budget friendly besides being high quality and long lasting. 
  • They are available in various colors and the neutral tones can be worn with multiple colors of clothes.


  • The price range might be in the budget but their outsole maintenance is hard since they are white. This would result in additional costs.
  • Vans Ward is hard to maintain also when it comes to stain removal. As reviewed by many customers the process may become a tasking one when it comes to colors that are not to be bleached.

What are the Differences Between Vans Old Skool and Vans Ward

Even if they both belong to the same brand and Vans Ward is a later version designed based on the classic version of Vans Old Skool. Some such differences between Vans Old Skool and Vans Ward are as follows:

  1. Both Vans Old Skool and Vans Ward are designed to provide maximum comfort to their customers. But there have been a few customer reviews that claim Van Old Skool to be more comfortable. But such inconvenience is felt no more after a week or two of use and they both feel pretty same.
  2. There is a difference in the seams between Old Skool and Ward. If observed closely the seam arrangement differs in the front, back, and sides of both.
  3. Vans Ward has a dark brown color outsole and Old Skool has tan or light brown color outsoles.
  4. When it comes to insoles, Ward and Old Skool have different interior designs. Ward has a black interior whereas the Old Skool has quite the opposite off-white interior.
  5. Old Skool is well known for its very thick cushioning that provides more ankle support than Ward with thinner cushioning providing comparably less ankle support.
  6. Vans Old Skool has a very minimal design on its tongue. It is quite different from Ward which has a black colored logo of Vans on top of a white label.
  7. Vans do not sell Ward directly and are only available in retail or departmental stores besides other brands. Old Skool being is directly sold by Vans store and others associated with them.
  8. Old Skool has the end of the eye stitched under the suede toe box differing from Ward with the eye extending and stitched over the toe box.

Vans Ward Vs Vans Old Skool – Which one is better?

During shopping from Vans, one is often confused about choosing between the Vans Old Skool and Vans Ward. They are both popular footwear well known among the current as well as the generation before them.

Vans Old Skool has a story of success for a long time whereas Vans Ward is a revolutionized version. So the solution to the problem would be to purchase the one that fits the wearer’s fashion and personality better.

Everyone has a different preference and interest so when it comes to shoes their choices might differ as well. The ones looking for classic and luxurious footwear should choose Vans Old Skool while others looking for affordable and low profile casual sneakers should choose Vans Ward.

But there seem to be more fans of Old Skool than Ward. This may be due to Old Skoll being around for more years than Ward. It was a classic loved by people all over the world and compared to it Ward is a recent version.


Vans Old Skool and Vans Ward have both their good and bad points. They have been a favorite of professional skaters as well as the general public globally.

Vans brand footwear comes with the promise of comfort besides being the perfect blend of simplicity and style. The diverse preferences and choices may make people choose different ones but both are revolutionary shoes that would go down in the history of footwear.

They maintain their status by keeping their design unchanged even after years. Hundreds of imitations have been made all over the world on their designs. It might be due to their minimalistic nature that remains trendy at present or their comfort and classic style they have taken place in the hearts of people all around the world.

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