Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Martina McKeough
Do Vans have arch support or are their slip-ons with flat soles going to make your feet hurt?
If you are a person who needs a certain amount of support and stability in your sneakers and shoes to prevent discomfort and foot pain arch support is an important consideration.
Here’s what you need to understand about Vans shoes and their different styles that can help you to make a more informed choice when you are buying their footwear.
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Do Vans Have Good Arch Support?
So let me start by explaining that whilst the first thing that may spring to mind when thinking about Vans is their slip-on skateboarding shoes the brand actually makes a much wider range of footwear including flip-flops, athletic shoes, sandals as well as their slip-on skate shoes.
This means that you would need to look at each different style to assess whether they have arch support.
As however most people associate Vans with their skateboard and slip-on styles the answer is that in their regular ranges, the shoes do not have good arch support.
This isn’t because there is something wrong with their footwear but because these styles of sneakers and shoes have flat soles that are designed for wearers to be able to feel and control a skateboard. The more cushioned insoles, arch support, and thick soles are added the less able the wearer is to use their shoes for the purpose they were made.
The problem is that Vans is now also associated with fashionable footwear and suddenly people are wearing the old styles for general everyday use. This means that the missing arch support, cushioning, and padding seem far more noticeable.
As I have said many times before wearing shoes for a purpose for which they were not designed is going to cause foot pain and impact the foot health of some wearers.
Are Vans Sneakers Good For Flat Feet?
So what does this mean for people who have flat feet? Well simply put if you have flat feet you should normally be looking for a pair of shoes with good arch support.
If you don’t have a great natural arch like myself you are going to find that your foot tends to roll inward and that causes overpronation.
Overpronation can strain your muscles, and tendons and that, of course, can lead to foot and ankle pain and even impact your posture and the way that you walk.
My own flat feet are partially responsible for the tendonitis I have. I only alleviate the problem when I wear shoes with arch support or custom orthotics.
This arch support helps to stabilize my foot problem and reduce the strain which in turn helps to lessen the pain and discomfort I have.
Therefore if you have a similar problem to me and have flat feet you need to seek out the Vans styles that have arch support and cushioning to prevent causing yourself injuries.
Why Their Regular Shoes Don’t Have Arch Support
If you ask do Vans have arch support and find out that their regular shoes don’t you are probably wondering why this is.
I touched on one reason which is that they are primarily skate shoes and because of that the design is focused on fulfilling that function rather than helping general foot health.
There are however other reasons why Van’s regular slip-ons and sneakers don’t offer that arch support. Here are some additional reasons why you won’t find it in many of their shoes.
They are Not Orthopedic Shoes
Firstly Vans shoes are not orthopedic shoes. Companies like Vans do not carry out the research and development that some orthopedic footwear companies do into creating comfortable shoes for foot problems.
If you want a shoe company that designs shoes for foot problems you need to look at Vionics, Hoka, Ecco, and Hush Puppies to name a few. These companies offer comfort technology and additional support in their shoes to help with foot problems such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, and general discomfort.
Whilst you may really want a pair of Vans because they are fashionable you are not going to get the added arch support and interior orthotics that other brands may offer.
The Styles Are Marketed to a Younger Demographic
Vans are also marketed to younger people. When I look at the people I know who are wearing Vans they are my goddaughter who is 16 and her brothers who are in their twenties.
Whilst of course some people over the age of 40 will wear their skate shoes for the most part Vans targets people from the ages of 16 to mid-thirties.
As most foot problems tend to start later in life there is less need for their shoes targeting young people to focus on arch support or other foot conditions.
The Design Makes it Harder to Offer Arch Support
The design of Vans shoes also makes it more difficult to offer as much arch support as some other designs.
Firstly they are relatively lightweight. That would be sacrificed if the brand were to add more arch support to its shoes.
They also have a flat sole which doesn’t provide the necessary curvature to support the arch of the foot. They also have thin insoles which have less cushioning and support.
These are not design defects but a necessary part of their appeal to young people who are wearing them for skateboarding and other similar activities.
Vans ComfyCush Vs Regular
All is not lost however because as I said before Vans does have some sneakers and shoes that offer more arch support and cushioning than others. In particular Vans Comfycush range offers a new design of footwear to help with comfort and support.
Clearly, the Comfycush shoes have been created by the brand to expand its market and appeal to people who need better arch support and better comfort.
The main differences between their new range and their old range are down these key areas:
Some people found the original Vans styles uncomfortable because of the lack of cushioning. Their new designs tackle this problem by using new foam technology to help support and cushion your feet. This means you can wear them for longer without feeling any discomfort.
The Fit Is Different
Comfycush shoes don’t fit in exactly the same way as their regular shoes do. The new design has a more padded collar and tongue to help create a snug fit without foot pain.
The Shoes are Breathable
Whilst the old Vans shoes had some breathability their new designs have put extra effort into upgrading this by creating a moisture-wicking lining. This is particularly great if you get hot sweaty feet and need a better way shoe to keep them cool.
Extra Arch Support
Do Vans have good arch support? Well, they do if you buy the Comfycush range as the new interior design of the shoe has added this as a feature. Clearly, by expanding its shoe ranges to include this feature the brand can now appeal to people beyond their original core demographic.
Clearly buying Vans Comfycush shoes is going to give you a much better level of comfort, support and cushioning than their regular shoes. As the designs are so similar outwardly it makes sense to upgrade to the new style especially if you are doing a lot of walking.
Do Vans Make Orthopedic Shoes?
Whilst Comfycush shoes are indeed more comfortable than the original Van designs they are still not what could be called orthopedic shoes.
Orthopedic shoes don’t just have cushioning and arch support they also have extras such as a wide toe box, and adjustable features such as straps or lacks. Plus they may have removable insoles like my Vionics which can be replaced.
Expect heel support as well as additional grip and breathability if you are looking for orthopedic shoes.
Whilst the Comfycush range goes a long way in helping many people feel more comfortable in their shoes there are a few features that a missing which means they will not necessarily work for everyone.
Are There Vans for High Arches
Similarly, most regular Vans are not going to be good if you have high arches.
People with high arches have a tendency to overpronate. This means they need a shoe that offers stability and helps to control the motion of the foot particularly in the midsole. Extra cushioning can help this as can custom orthotics.
If you have this problem seeing a podiatrist is probably your best bet because they can advise you on exactly what you should be wearing on your feet to relieve pressure on your body.
You could also try Natural Foot Orthotics Arch Support Insole for High Arches in your shoes. These are designed as inserts to stabilize the foot and reduce foot pain.
Orthotics and Insoles Can Help
Do Vans have arch support? Well as I’ve demonstrated in the regular range they certainly don’t but that doesn’t mean you have to stop wearing them.
Remember that orthotics and insoles can go a long way to giving you the extra support and cushioning you need without compromising on your shoe style.
I use inserts in all of my shoes even the orthopedic ones to get the right fit and comfort for my needs. You can do the same and get good arch support and cushioning and still wear the Vans you want.
Learn More About Vans Shoes and Sneakers
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