Vans vs Toms: Comparison

The major difference between Vans and Toms is their outsoles. While Vans have vulcanized outsoles, Toms have EVA outsoles.

As you may already know, the iconic shoes known as Vans are skateboard shoes. The outsoles are designed to provide grip for skateboards.

They have a waffle pattern underneath that helps them grip the pavement and the surface of boards. They are performance shoes that are extremely durable.

Toms on the other hand feature soft, highly flexible soles that provide less grip but great comfort, which is the aim of the manufacturers, unmatched comfort.

EVA is a tripolymer blend designed to be durable yet weigh much less than regular shoes. They provide great shock absorption yet exhibit high resistance to abrasion.

EVA is one of the best choices for high-performance shoes because it allows athletes to be at their best while providing them comfort.

Vans are iconic shoes that were made popular by skateboarders. They are a sort of renaissance footwear that revolutionized the way we style sneakers. What Air Jordan is to basketball, is what Vans sneakers are to skateboarding.

Interestingly, Toms share the birthplace of California with Vans.

Toms was founded by Blake Mycoskie in Los Angeles in 2006. The company designs shoes, eyewear, coffee, apparel, and handbags.

But in 2019 Mycoskie ceased to be the owner after his creditors took it over. Toms’ design was based on a type of shoe that is worn in Argentina called alpargata.

The company name is based on the word Tomorrow. It evolved from the original project called, Shoes For Tomorrow Project.

Why this comparison?

This comparison is necessary because here you have two exceptional shoes that are extremely comfortable and durable. Toms is now a household name in the shoe industry.

Vans have always been with us. Surely you can be caught in the middle while standing right there in the shoe store, trying to figure out which of these two to purchase.

Furthermore, you may be on a budget, but you want to make a choice between the shoes.

A comparison of the two products will help you make a decision that best fits your lifestyle and meets your budget needs.

Toms are lighter shoes with a low drop profile, and so are Vans shoes. Yet even though they share these similarities, they are very different shoes that support two different styling tastes.

This comparison will help you determine which of the two shoes fits your style.

In this article you will learn about the pros and cons of both Vans and Toms footwear, the similarities they share, sizing, fit, and price.

What are the pros of Vans shoes?

Here below are the various pros of the iconic Vans shoes should you want to collect them.

  • Great versatility
  • Affordable
  • Great traction
  • Comfort and durability
  • Stylish

Great versatility

Vans shoes offer an opportunity to wear them however you choose. A versatile shoe can be worn any time of day, any season and that’s Vans shoe for you.

You don’t worry if you can wear them in winter because there are Vans shoes that offer great padding and comfort that can be worn in winter.

Vans shoes are for everyone, they match the taste of all ages. They are not just trendy shoes for young skateboarders. Even celebrities have been known to style Vans’ shoes. You can wear them with any kind of clothes and styles.


Vans shoes are some of the most affordable shoes you can wear. And they offer great value for the money as well. You can purchase a Vans shoe for as low as $40 to $70.

This Vans Unisex Old Skool below is $64.95 online.

This is why almost anyone can wear a Vans shoe. So if you don’t mind sharing the iconic shoes with millions already rocking the kicks, then go ahead and make that purchase.

Great Traction

Vans shoes offer a waffle pattern on the outsole. This pattern is responsible for the much-talked-about traction that Vans shoes provide. This is what makes them such great skateboarding shoes.

You can’t skid that much with a Vans shoe so if you’re thinking of moonwalking, well, you got the wrong shoe. And that’s a good thing if you ask me.

Vans shoes do great on wet surfaces. They hardly slip. If you are into skateboarding, you can trust the power of Vans soles to give you the stability you need to do those neat tricks on the board.

Comfort and durability

The benefits of Vans shoes here have been harped on for years. You have to wear one to understand why these shoes are loved that much.

Vans shoes offer sufficient cushioning. They have footbeds that are not too soft or too hard. They are extremely durable shoes too.

The offer hard cotton canvas on the upper part and vulcanized rubber sole are known to be very durable.


Very few shoes can beat Vans shoes in this department. Vans shoes are very easy to style. They fit properly with pants and upper clothes of all kinds.

They can be worn with jeans or pants to clubs and parties. They provide great outdoor combinations that look grand in pictures.

What are the cons of Vans shoes?

On the flip side, Vans shoes regrettably don’t offer certain benefits for wearers. The cons of Vans shoes are:

  • No arch support
  • They don’t manage stains well

No arch support

Yes, Vans shoes are low-drop shoes. Low drop shoes never have arch support, it is forbidden in shoe lore.

But if you are one who doesn’t care much about arch support then you don’t have to bother about them. But if you have issues with supination then maybe Vans shoes aren’t for you.

As I’ve said earlier, Vans shoes are designed primarily with skateboarding in mind. Those guys need flat shoes to skate properly.

Not good with stains

Vans shoes don’t manage stains properly. If you are one who doesn’t, then don’t buy a white Vans.

Better to buy a darker color of Vans, that way you can wear them more than a couple of times before washing. (Yes, you can wash Vans shoes)

What are the pros of Toms shoes?

Toms are really great shoes that you should be thinking of buying. I’m forced to say if you love Vans shoes then you will love Toms shoes as well.

Here are some of the pros to expect to experience when you wear Toms.

  • Comfort
  • Stylish
  • Plenty of colors and styles
  • Helps you donate to charity (insert a smiley emoji here)


Unmatched comfort, that’s one of the pros of wearing Toms. They are exceedingly comfortable shoes that feel as light as feathers. You can wear Toms all day and not feel a thing.

They are so light they feel like you are wearing flip-flops. They are airy on account of the canvas top which offers great ventilation.

Try to fold a Toms shoe in two and see for yourself. Toms’ shoes can be roomy yet comfortable. Check out the Classic Core Alpargata Slip-on below.


Toms are extremely stylish shoes, very casual in every way. In this aspect, Toms beats many of your favorite shoe hands down.

When it comes to casual, outdoor shoes, Toms remains almost unmatched. The average person without a sense of style can wear Toms with whatever he has in his wardrobe and still look fly.

About stylish, why don’t you check out the Women’s Alpargata Cupsole Slip-on below?

A chance to donate to charity

Every time someone purchases a Toms they donate to charity. Some of the proceeds go to providing footwear for children across the world who don’t have shoes.

That was the dream of Blake Mycoskie when he started his business. So if you are thinking of buying a Toms know that you are not just doing yourself a favor.

What are the cons of Toms shoes?

Yeah, I’m about to cause you some disappointment. Toms have their own shortcomings too.

  • Don’t let the get wet
  • Don’t wear socks with them
  • No traction in the soles
  • Too wide for some people

Don’t let them get wet

Absolutely don’t let your Toms get wet. If they do, you’re going to suffer irritation as the edges of the inner suede begin to warp.

Furthermore, wet Toms can be messy as the footbed doesn’t provide much grip after that.

There is no protection from water in Toms’ shoes. If you step in a puddle chances are you will get wet on your feet.

Don’t wear socks

Absolutely don’t wear them with socks. You’ll look goofy. They are well ventilated so you don’t feel much moisture in your feet.

Keep socks off, except if you don’t mind the painful looks you’ll get from people.

Not traction

Toms soles offer little to no grip which makes them dangerous on slippery wet surfaces. So if you buy one, please keep them off wet floors.

You shouldn’t wear them during winter either as they offer no warmth because of the light materials.

Too wide for some people

Toms come really big in some sizes. If you have narrow feet you may not enjoy wearing Toms. And if your feet are wide too there’s a chance what you order doesn’t fit you.

Your best bet is to visit a store in your location where you can put them on to see how they fit before paying for them.

Comparison between Vans and Toms’ shoes?

Here are the features you see on the shoes that they share across the board.

First glance

  • Canvas upper
  • Slip-on closure in Toms and some Vans
  • Low drop
  • Thin to medium outsoles
  • Lace-up closure in Vans

Slip-on look

Toms are slip-on shoes while many Vans styles are laced. Vans do have some slip-on shoes in their line.

A slight difference exists between the tongues though but it’s all in the design. You can see the low drop profile in both shoes which makes them great casual shoes for an outdoor lifestyle.

Canvas upper

In Toms, the canvas is much more ventilated and less cushioned than it is in Vans.

And the canvas in Toms is vegan while that of Vans isn’t. But it’s canvas all the same.

Overall Quality

An honest appraisal and use leave the user preferring Vans to Toms when it comes to quality.

Vulcanized rubber soles are tougher and withstand wear than the foamy EVA material in Toms. But when it comes to durability EVA sole in Toms lasts longer.

The canvas upper in the two shoes is very durable as well.


As I’ve said already, Toms feature a sole made from EVA. This sole is more durable than most other materials. Vans feature vulcanized rubber on the other hand.

As to which one you’d prefer, you should let your lifestyle be the judge. If you are a skateboarder you definitely don’t want to skate with Toms.


Both shoes are durable because of the materials used in the manufacture. Vans shoes last long enough.

Many skaters would love it to last long though. Toms are very durable shoes too as long as you don’t let them get wet too often.


Vans feature comfortable footbeds that are removable and replaceable in some of the shoes. They are comfortable ones too.

The insoles in some Vans shoes are shock-absorbing breathable honeycomb inserts.

Toms on the other hand have removable insoles that are padded with leather which helps keep them from developing odors.

Sizing and fit

Toms shoes run true to size, they follow US standard shoe sizes. They don’t fit larger or smaller than standard shoes and are available in medium width. Hence you should order your own size.

Vans fit true to size too. If you prefer a looser fit then you should size up.


Toms are cheap shoes. You can buy them on Amazon as low as $33 or slightly higher. Vans are much higher than that at about $70 or more.

Why should you buy Vans shoes?

Buy Vans if you love skateboards. Buy Vans if your lifestyle is versatile and your wardrobe needs a shoe that matches it all.

Why should you buy Toms?

For that extra casual look, buy Toms. And if you are also on a budget you should definitely buy Toms.

If you also love charity and would love to contribute to the project that seeks to put a shoe on kids’ feet, then by all means buy a Toms.

Final verdict

I love Toms shoes but I’d go with Vans anytime. The reason is that Vans allows for more versatility than Toms, and they definitely fit my lifestyle better.


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