Vans Authentic vs Era Shoes (Difference with Examples) | WearDuke (2023)

Vans Authentics and Eras are both categorized as classic skate shoes but subtle differences set them apart. Let’s compare the Vans Authentic vs Era. Is one of them worth getting over the other?

Vans Era have a bit chunkier style due to padded collar and sturdier construction. On the other hand, Vans Authentic have a classic sleek look, which looks good with shorts and jeans. Vans Era are also available in two-tone colors.

Also Read: Vans Shoes Guide

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What is the Difference between Vans Authentic and Vans Era Shoes?

The Authentic and Era are both Vans sneakers that provide comfort, style, and simplicity. These two shoes are very similar in design but have slight variations in comfort, material, and color.

The main difference between Vans Authentic and Era is that Vans Eras have a padded heel collar and sturdy construction as compared to Vans Authentics.

Vans authentic shoes have been popular since their first release in 1966. It is a low-top lace-up featuring sturdy canvas uppers with the iconic Vans waffle rubber outsoles. Other features include metal eyelets and signature striped detailing.

Over a period of time, when the Vans brand started becoming more popular among skateboarders and people who used to wear them casually, the Vans brand brainstormed different ideas to embed more features in their shoes.

So, in 1976, Vans made modifications to the existing design of Authentics with the help of two famous Skateboarders at that time. Vans named them “Era.” The Era’s design features wrap entirely around your foot, guaranteeing a secure fit due to a padded heel collar and more durable construction that won’t let you down.

Read this guide until the end to know more about the prominent differences between Vans Era and Authentics regarding their fit and comfort.

Vans Authentic vs Era Shoes (Difference with Examples) | WearDuke (3)

Material of Vans Authentic

Almost all the styles of Vans Authentic are made with canvas, suede, and leather. Currently, there is the only style of Vans authentic that is made from denim, which is the most strong cotton fabric.

Vans Authentic with suede leather is also available in three different solid colors. But, I’d not suggest you buy them, even though you like their color as these are not so much comfortable and your feet will rub with the shoes.

Currently, there are two styles of Vans Authentic that are made with a black synthetic leather upper. One of them is made as a work shoe. It’s a slip-resistant Vans Authentic with a lugged vulcanized outsole for enhancing the traction of the shoes.

The current Vans Authentic Made for Makers is $90, which is the highest compared to the other styles of Vans Authentic. These Vans Authentics are specifically made for the tougher jobs, so durability and slip-resistance are highly considered while designing these shoes.

Although these Vans Authentics are highly durable, I’d not recommend you buying them if your work requires standing for long hours as they lack collar padding. However, the leather upper is water and stain-resistant. So, that’s the only advantage of buying these Vans Authentics with a leather upper.

Style of Vans Authentic

The stitching of Vans Authentics is quite simple and gives a clean look. Vans Authentics feature a sleek construction that offers a perfect look when you put them on your feet. Most people like to wear Vans Authentics in summer with shorts due to their classic design.

According to their website, currently, Vans Authentic shoes are available in 52 different styles and colors. They have a wide range of patterns like Solid color, checkboard, rainbow, skull, etc.

There is a style of Vans Authentic named ANAHEIM FACTORY AUTHENTIC 44 DX. The construction of this style is the same as Classic Vans Authentics. The only difference is the upgraded ortholite sockliner for modernizing comfort.

(Video) Vans shoe review

The insole of the original Vans Authentics is pretty uncomfortable, and you can’t remove it since it is glued to the base. Thus, the ANAHEIM Factory Authentics have ortholite sockliner that gives moderate arch support to your feet.

Material and Style of Vans Era

The majority of Vans Eras are made with a canvas upper. Currently, there is only one color available for the Vans Era with suede material upper. Vans also have a comfy cush technology introduced explicitly for the enhanced comfort as it is soft and flexible that adds cushioning underneath your feet.

Moreover, the footbed is a one-piece interior, so you can also remove it easily and place your custom inserts. Luckily, the style of Vans Era in suede upper features this technology. So, if you like the available suede color, you can consider buying these Vans Era shoes.

The construction of Vans Eras is sturdy as compared to Vans Authentics. Vans Eras feature double stitching of their upper, which makes them strong and durable.

Vans Era is not as sleek as Vans Authentic as it features a thick padded collar that surrounds your ankles. Due to thick padding, people with shorter legs don’t like Vans Eras on their feet. Instead, they prefer sleek design shoes like Vans Authentic. Moreover, in contrast to shorts or boxers, Vans Eras look better with jeans or pants.

Also, due to double stitching, some styles of Vans Eras feature unique mixed-material design with an eye-catching two-tone scheme which set them apart from Vans Authentics.

For instance, you can observe the canvas uppers of two different colors in this style of Vans Eras. You will not observe this feature in any style of Vans Authentics.

Vans Authentic vs Era Shoes (Difference with Examples) | WearDuke (6)

Furthermore, there are some styles of Canvas Eras in which the whole upper is made of Canvas. But on the top of the heel collar, a layer of leather provides a firm backing against your heels and helps support your ankles. For instance, if you look at C&L ERA 59 in the picture, you can see the leather backing in brown color.

Vans Authentic vs Era Shoes (Difference with Examples) | WearDuke (7)

So, this is a unique feature in Vans Eras which you will not observe in Vans Authentics.

Vans Authentic vs Era Sizing

The significant difference of thick padded collars in Vans Era can make the Vans Authentic and Era fit differently for the people.

Vans Authentics fit like a glove around the ankle as they’re slim and don’t have a padded collar. On the other hand, Vans Era was majorly designed by keeping skateboarding in mind. That’s why they fit snugly around the ankles to support them.

If you want to wear Eras for skateboarding, select the exact size you wear in Vans Authentics. If you want to wear Vans Eras for walking around and street-styling, order your Eras half a size up.

This is what a user comments in a forum.

Vans Authentic vs Era Shoes (Difference with Examples) | WearDuke (8)

Vans Authentic vs Era Arch Support

In terms of arch support, there is no as such difference between Vans Authentic and Era shoes. Vans are generally not suitable for providing good arch support due to their flat bottom. However, both Vans Eras and Authentics have styles that fall in the Comfycush category.

(Video) Vans Authentic Review

These styles feature a foam rubber sole with the same grip as the standard rubber waffle sole of the original Vans. Due to this Comfycush sole, these styles of Vans Eras and Authentics have an added arch support that delivers a foam-like feel underneath your feet.

As soon as you step into the Vans comfycush Eras or Authentics, the base of the shoes molds to your feet’s arch due to its softness.

Vans Authentic vs Era Shoes (Difference with Examples) | WearDuke (10)

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(Video) Shoe Review: Vans Vault OG 'Palm Leaf' Era

Vans Authentic vs Era (Summary)

Here’s a quick summary of the difference between features of Vans Authentics and Vans Era.

Vans AuthenticVans Era
Made in 1966Made in 1976
Do not have padded collarHave padded heel collar
Sleek designSturdier design due to extra stitching
Look good with shortsDon’t look good with shorts
Fit like a gloveFeel tight in ankle part for some people
Not available in multi-tone colorAvailable in two-tone color
Available in single materialSome styles are available in a combination of materials


What is the difference between authentic vans and Era Vans? ›

Perhaps the biggest difference in design is the fact that the Vans Era has padding around the collar, and the Vans Authentic does not have padding around the collar.

What is the difference between Vans Era and Vans Old Skool? ›

The difference is the Era has a padded collar around the top, which at the time of it's launch, offered more padding and protection for skateboarding. This is because the original Vans Era was not a shoe specifically designed for skateboarding, more a shoe that skaters just took too.

What's the difference between vans authentic and authentic pro? ›

The Authentic PRO is a more rigid and sturdy version of the Authentic Classic. Definitely has a longer break-in period but construction is better and more durable. Biggest difference is the thick heel cushion. The PRO is also narrower towards the toe than the Authentic Classic and is not as flexible.

What are the two types of Vans? ›

Panel van: This is the general term used to describe a van as you know it. The sort with solid metal sides and doors that open at the rear and side. Crew van or double cab: A van with an additional row of seats.

What are Era Vans? ›

The Vans Era, originally called the Vans #95, was brought to life in 1976 and made popular by the legendary Z-Boys of Santa Monica. It was the first shoe to include our famous padded collar, completely changing the game for comfort, and it remains a favorite for creative people worldwide.

Are Vans Era waterproof? ›

Vans are not fully waterproof however they are water resistant. Avoid submerging or fully saturating your Vans with water and take care to apply a proper waterproofing product to the Vans before use outdoors.

Are Vans Era good for lifting? ›

Yes, Vans are fairly good deadlift shoes. Since their sole doesn't compress under heavyweight and they have a zero drop, they're a good and desirable shoe for tackling heavy deadlifts. In addition, their rubber waffle outsole can be useful for increasing a lifter's grip on the floor, which is key for sumo deadlifters.

Are vans authentic good for walking? ›

Yes. Vans shoes offer great support with a comfortable fit all day long. The ultimate combination of function and style, they are ideal for walking due to a sturdy rubber sole and flexible canvas construction.

Do vans authentic and Old Skool fit the same? ›

Because they were originally built to be low-top performance shoes, both the Vans Old Skool and Vans Authentic have this narrow, snug fit. I found the sizing of these two styles to be practically the same.

Are Vans Era Non Slip? ›

All classic Vans styles feature the distinctive non slip tread design that is unique to the Vans brand. The classic styles include: Old Skools, Slip On Vans, Sk8-His, Eras and the Authentic Vans. All classic Vans are non slip.

What material is Vans Era? ›

Traditionally built in an all-canvas or canvas and suede upper, the Era has also been featured in countless material combinations from premium leather, to flannel, to mesh.

What's the difference between authentic and replica? ›

Summary of Authentic vs. Replica. While authentic refers to something that is not a copy, hence is of undisputed origin, replica refers to an exact copy or replication of original items, such as paintings as well as other products, and resemble the original in terms of appearance and shape.

Is authentic or replica better? ›

Authentic jerseys are designed with the best possible technology and fabrics for the highest level of play. They are an exact match to the jerseys you see players wearing on the field. Replica jerseys are made for a fan in the stands - with excellent materials for highest levels of comfort and wear.

What is the difference between original Vans and fake? ›

Real Vans have tight, even stitching. If there is double stitching, with two stiches in one hole, then the shoes are likely not real. Similarly, if any of the stitching patterns are not straight or the holes are at irregular distances, the shoes are likely fake. Feel for firm laces.

What are different Vans called? ›

Car-derived vanDropside van
City vanPanel van
Platform cabPick-up
Crew vanTipper
Curtainside vanRefrigerated van/Temperature controlled van
3 more rows

Do Vans Authentic have arch support? ›

The Authentic is by no means an orthotic sneaker. It's comfortable enough, but not if you're someone who suffers from foot pain as is. They lack arch support, which means they're okay for folks with flat feet (me), but someone with exaggerated (or even normal) arches will feel pretty stretched out by day's end.

When was the Vans Era made? ›

1976. The Vans #95, now known as the Era, with a padded collar and different color combinations, is designed by Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta and becomes the shoe of choice for a generation of skateboarders.

How do you dress with Vans Era? ›

If you tend to keep it classic, wear your Vans with a classic collared shirt or buttoned down oxford and skinny jeans. For a more casual approach, layer a crisp white t-shirt over your favourite pair of distressed denim jeans. Whatever your day has in store, you can't go wrong with Vans by your side.

Should you wear Vans loose or tight? ›

Tie them up as normal - unless you're breaking in a pair of our Slip-Ons of course - but don't lace them up too tight! The idea is to stretch the shoe out slightly for a more comfortable and personal fit to you. Wear your Vans around the house when you're in - an hour or two each evening is perfect.

Can I wear Vans in snow? ›

Don't worry about that, the Vans MTE shoes are snow, water and cold resistant, but they're also quite casual, stylish and comfortable to wear from the snowy streets to the warm and cozy bar.

Should you wear socks with Vans? ›

Socks absorb a lot of sweat, and they're easy to change and throw in the wash after each wear. They also make it easier to get your trainers on and off as your feet won't be sticky with sweat. So it's usually a good idea to wear socks with your Vans, even if you can't see them.

Are Vans good for wide feet? ›

Vans Old Skool Platform Sneakers are the ultimate flatforms, and because of their broad silhouette, they support wide feet well.

Are vans authentic good for gym? ›

Yes, Vans are good shoes for lifting. This is because Vans feature flat, tough soles that work excellent for lifts like squats and deadlifts. Vans perform better than running shoes and cost less than specialized lifting shoes, so they're ideal for a casual lifter but not for a competitive powerlifter.

Are Vans good for flat feet? ›

Are Vans Good for Flat Feet? Vans sneakers are quality skateboarding footwear. However, they are not the top-tier skate shoes with arch support for flat feet issues. These sneakers don't have the luxury of paddings and supportive insoles.

Which Vans have the most cushion? ›

The most comfortable Vans are the ones having the “Ultra-Cush” insoles in them. The new “cush” insole is much like a running shoe with a lot more cushioning (and some arch support) than the somewhat cheesy canvas on foam insoles that are in most of vans shoes.

Which Vans are most durable? ›

The Most Reliable Vans In 2021
  • The Madness In The Method. ...
  • Small Van: Volkswagen Caddy. ...
  • Small Van: Fiat Doblo. ...
  • Medium Van: Ford Transit Custom. ...
  • Medium Van: Vauxhall Vivaro. ...
  • Large Van: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. ...
  • Large Van: Volkswagen Crafter. ...
  • Pickup Truck: Toyota Hilux.

Do all styles of Vans fit the same? ›

I've worn the Vans Authentic shoes and compared their sizing to other popular styles and my conclusion was this: the Vans Authentic sizing is very consistent with other types of Vans shoes, and fit true to size, but have the same snug fit that is common with many styles of Vans shoes.

Can I wear Vans to work at Mcdonald's? ›

No. They give you slip resistant shoes.

Can I wear slip-on vans with jeans? ›

Slip-on sneakers are low profile because there are no tongue or laces to add thickness to the upper. That makes them work with narrow trousers and jeans, plus leggings, skirts and shorts. Leave your ankles open, with or without socks, and you can't go wrong.

What are regular Vans called? ›

Vans Old Skool

Like all Vans Classic shoes, the Old Skool is a vulcanized build and often comes with a suede toe cap and canvas upper.

How do you break in Vans eras? ›

Find a thick pair of socks, or two pairs of your everyday ones, and wear them under your new Vans shoes. Tie them up as normal - unless you're breaking in a pair of our Slip-Ons of course - but don't lace them up too tight! The idea is to stretch the shoe out slightly for a more comfortable and personal fit to you.

How do you wash Vans Era? ›

Remove the insoles and laces from your Vans, then hand wash your shoes with warm water and a small amount of mild detergent. We don't recommend machine washing! Wrap your damp Vans in a towel and press any excess water out before leaving them to air dry.

What Era were Vans popular? ›

It wasn't until the mid-70s where the skateboard boom in America saw Vans simply explode in terms of popularity. The decision came when legendary skaters Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta approached the company with the idea of creating a specific shoe with skateboarding in mind.

What is the difference between authentic vs original? ›

The word 'authentic' means reliable or genuine which can be equivalent to original, but not original. While, the word 'original' means the first or the earliest of all, which exist from its birth, the real true form from which replicas can be made, but those won't be the original one.

Does authentic mean fake? ›

The adjective authentic describes something that is real or genuine and not counterfeit.

Are authentic products fake? ›

Authentic goods are real and genuine products that are sold by brand owners, distributors, or other authorized parties. Counterfeit goods are imitations of genuine, authentic products that were manufactured without authorization from the brand owner.

Is authentic considered original? ›

Authentic means "genuine" or "original".

What is high quality replica? ›

This means that the item is created with a careful eye for detail, in an attempt to closely resemble the original that it is inspired by. Therefore, you will notice that the high-quality replicas usually are made of materials that are as close as possible to the real thing.

What is the difference between a copy and replica? ›

In best usage, a replica is a precisely detailed copy. Originally, the term denoted a copy made by the original artist, but that sense is lost in American English. It has come to denote a model, especially on a smaller scale <a replica of the Empire State Building>. A duplicate is an exact copy.

What is the difference between original and copy shoes? ›

Original shoes are made with high-quality materials, while first-copy shoes are made using poor-quality materials. Therefore, it's pretty easy to spot the difference between original shoes and their first-copy versions.

Can authentic shoes be fake? ›

Check The Materials

For example, authentic Nike sneakers are usually made with high-quality leather, while fake Nike sneakers are often made with lower-quality materials like polyester. As a result, the fake Nike sneakers might look similar to the real thing at first glance, but they won't feel as nice or last as long.


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