Last Updated on November 14, 2023 by Martina McKeough
Vans shoes are known for their cool skateboarding vibe style but they are not known for being the most comfortable shoes. Learning how to make Vans shoes more comfortable is essential if you want to wear them without feeling discomfort or foot pain.
The solutions to wearing Vans sneakers comfortably very much depend on what part of the shoe is causing you problems. Here are some of the most common reasons why the shoes can hurt and what you can do about it.
This post may contain affiliate links which means that we get a commission if you choose to make a purchase through the link. This is at no cost to you. Please read our disclosure page for more information.
Why Do Vans Hurt My Feet?
Before I start I should mention that the Vans brand makes a large range of different types of footwear. This means that the reasons why your shoes or boots hurt will very much depend on the design.
I’m going to talk primarily about their skateboarding-style shoes which tend to come as either a slip-on style or with laces like these Vans that I own.
Why are Vans So uncomfortable? Well, one of the major problems people tend to have an issue with these shoes is that they are designed to be flat with a low profile to allow the wearer to be able to skateboard more easily. The only issue is that the shoes have now become hugely popular and moved into the mainstream footwear market.
As the shoes are worn more widely they are now being used for activities for which they are never designed which causes problems. Plus they have:
- Minimal cushioning
- No good arch support
- The slip-ons aren’t very adjustable
- The back collar and sides sometimes rub
- They have poor traction
- The toe box can be too narrow for some people
- The canvas styles are not great in wet weather
The solution to learning how to make Vans shoes more comfortable very much depends on where the wearer is feeling the most discomfort so that the right adjustments can be made.
How Do I Stop My Vans From Hurting?
I’m going to talk about some of the easiest things you can do to stop Vans shoes from causing you problems. Most of these solutions are things that you can do yourself and don’t tend to cost a fortune.
Let’s start with a solution that you can implement right from the start of the buying process and that is to buy the right Vans style in the first place.
Buying Vans Comfycush Sneakers
I think Vans has recognized that not everyone was happy with the classic designs so they created a Comfycush version. These cost a little more than the classic Vans style but the extra price is worth it because you get more comfort features.
They have a thicker midsole instead of the standard Vans thin one. The Comfycush Vans midsole has extra cushioning making them easier to walk in and more shock absorbent.
This design also has a built-in arch cookie as opposed to the normal Vans which are as flat as a pancake. Plus they are a wider fit making that toe box area more comfortable.
So if you are still at the beginning of the buying process definitely think about buying one of the Comfycush versions instead of the old designs as you are getting a super comfortable shoe that is better able to deal with everyday wear.
Spend Time Breaking In Your Shoes
If you have already bought a pair of original Vans and it is too late to send them back then there are other things you can do to help with comfort.
New shoes often need to be broken in before they are really comfortable. This can take a little time which means you can’t just expect to put on your shoes straight away and walk for miles in them.
Generally, when I am breaking in new Vans I wear them for a short period every day first. I start with wearing them for an hour as I walk around the house and slowly build up the time they are on my feet. To really get my new shoes feeling comfortable can take a month or so before I’m happy to wear them full time.
I also try and wear them with thick socks initially as well as that helps to stretch the canvas material more quickly and helps them to feel a little more comfortable.
If you have lace-up versions instead of the slip-on shoes don’t forget to loosen the laces to allow yourself a little more room in the shoes.
Change The Insoles
I know it seems counterintuitive to be taking out the insoles of a brand new pair of Vans and swapping them for something better but sometimes that is the only way to make wearing them comfortable.
Vans aren’t cheap so it is annoying that sometimes you have to do this but I have got so used to swapping out insoles in my shoes that I don’t even think of the expense anymore.
New super cushioned insoles can really make a difference to how comfortable your shoes are so in my view they are worth the extra money.
By the way, if your shoes have enough room in them there is no reason why you can’t layer insoles as well for extra cushioning. You can also add them in places where you feel the most problems such as the ball of the foot area.
Use Orthotics In Your Shoes
As Vans have little in the way of arch support it also makes sense to think about using orthotics especially if you have flat or problem feet.
Added arch support gives you more comfort and stability and can help keep your foot stable as you are walking around. I have a number of different types of orthotics I use in my shoes.
If you have lots of room you can buy a full-size orthotic or do what I do and use a 3/4-sized one to help stop foot pain.
How Do I Stop My Vans From Giving Me Blisters?
If you want to know how to make Vans shoes more comfortable if they are giving you blisters then there are a number of things you can do to stop any friction or rubbing.
One of the simplest things I use when I feel my shoes rubbing is an anti-blister stick. These are super portable to carry around and you just use them over the area of your foot that is causing a problem and it will create a protective barrier.
You may have to reapply it a few times over the day but it is a cheap and simple way to stop rubbing which causes blisters and shoe bites.
Dealing With Vans Stitching Issues
There are some other cheap things you can do to help prevent rubbing especially if you have a problem with any of the internal stitching on your shoes.
My personal preference is to use moleskin or even a Band-Aid and apply that to the area that has the problem.
Obviously, plasters can be placed on your skin but adhesive moleskin can be stuck to the inside of your shoe where you are feeling the rubbing to stop your foot from hurting.
Why Do Vans Hurt My Pinky Toe
As ordinary Vans Old Skool shoes can have a narrow toe box some people find that their pinky toe rubs against the side of the shoe as it is pushed against the inside of the shoe. This is particularly a problem for people with wide feet.
I’ll talk about stretching your shoes later on but if you want a quick fix then you can simply buy some bandages or toe caps and place them on the problem toe.
Obviously, this will only work when there is superficial rubbing. If your toe-box is too narrow and the shape isn’t quite right for your feet you’ll need to stretch your shoes.
Stretching Your Footwear
I used to worry about stretching shoes to fit but now it is really simple to do without going to see a cobbler.
My first and easiest method is to buy a shoe stretcher and place it in your shoes, turn the handle and let them sit for 24 hours to stretch the material.
You can buy four-way shoe stretchers which is what I have that enable you to expand the width or length of your shoes. If you want to increase the instep you’ll need a different type of stretcher.
Shoe stretchers aren’t particularly expensive now and they are clearly much cheaper than buying a new pair of shoes.
The other method you can use is a shoe stretching spray. Make sure that you buy a spray that can handle the material your shoes are made from. Plenty of the ones I’ve used are ok to use with canvas so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one.
Spray the inside of your shoes with the spray. Then pop on a pair of socks and start to walk around the house wearing your shoes and the canvas material will start to stretch.
Just remember you can’t stretch the sole of your shoe only the upper. Normally mine stretch by at least a half to a full size if I use these methods.
Wear Proper Socks
Making Vans comfortable can sometimes be as simple as wearing a good pair of socks. Padded thick socks for example give extra cushioning and can help prevent rubbing.
I also like to wear breathable moisture-wicking socks in the summertime because when the weather is hot my feet start to sweat. That can cause them to slip around inside my shoes and cause friction.
I use Carpe Foot Anti-Perspirant Lotion to stop the sweat and change my socks during the day to keep my feet fresh.
Why Do Vans Hurt My Heels?
Finally, I thought I would mention how the heels of your shoes can hurt when you are wearing Vans. There are two solutions you can use to solve this problem.
Firstly if it is your ankle that is getting blisters because of friction then I use a padded ankle collar on the back of my shoes to make wearing them more comfortable. These aren’t very expensive and can simply be stuck onto the back of the shoe.
If it is the bottom of your heel that is feeling pain then think about either using a heel cushion for padding or a heel cup for support. Heel cups are useful if you have conditions like plantar fasciitis.
So if you want to make Vans shoes more comfortable it isn’t particularly difficult. You just need to identify the area of the shoe that is causing you the problem and use one of my methods to help. Just remember that next time you are buying any Vans sneakers think about buying the Comfycush range first as they will be considerably more comfortable and easy to wear.
*This site is owned and operated by Chicpedi.com. Chicpedi.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.