Product Type: Vans Hunter Original
Newest Review: ... a distinction there - 'Don't bite the hand that feeds you!'. But seriously, why do I have a pair of Era, Vans? Quality - From first pi... more
Author Name: daisylee3
Date: 10/07/12, updated on 10/07/12 (132 review reads)
Advantages: Durable, versatile, comfy, waterproof, look good
I'm sure that most people will have heard of Vans due to how popular they are all over the world. For people who are totally oblivious though, Vans are basically canvas shoes which look like trainers. They've been around since the late 1970's and were specifically designed for skateboarding, although there are now a number of different versions available such as snowboarding boots and BMX trainers. Despite technically being sports shoes, Vans have been a fashion statement for a good five years now amongst children, teenagers and young adults, which is why I bought my pair. Vans are made of 100% cotton canvas and although they look like proper trainers, they feel almost as comfortable as slippers!
I've had my pair of classic Vans Era's for around three years now and they were a great investment as they look almost as good as new despite how frequently I wear them. Although I had seen them around a lot before I bought my pair, I had always assumed that Vans were for guys who did skateboarding and bmxing, but when the Hipster trend set in it seemed like everyone, including girls went crazy and bought a pair. I must admit that due to the price, I was a little hesistant about buying these because I was worried that they wouldn't last long and despite looking good might be lacking in quality, which is why I decided to try a pair on before buying them.
The great thing about Vans is that you can actually tell that they are really good quality just from looking at them, and although they are very durable shoes, they're also really fashionable and versatile - they go with almost any outfit so getting your money's worth/getting plenty of wear out of them is really easy as they are not designed for one specific occassion or setting; they can be dressed up or down effortlessly. I bought my pair from Office Shoes after trying them on as I was impressed with the design and comfort. I forked out around £55 for them, and the current retail price at Office is £52.99. Vans are widely available though so prices do vary, and they can be found on websites such as Amazon for a slightly lower price. I'm sure that there are second hand Vans available on eBay too, however I would reccomend getting a brand new pair from a reputable shop to ensure that your pair are authentic.
There are so many different colours and designs to choose from in the Era range. The classic ones are one colour with white laces, white trim and a white sole. The classic colours include navy, green, purple, black, grey and red, while the more unique patterns available range from tie-dyes to stars and skulls. There are also contrast colours available including grey and black, pink and grey and so on. Denim and distressed vans are also available, which look pretty cool! Most of the designs are very bright and bold, so they are ideal for people who like to make a fashion statement and stand out from the crowd. I love that there is the option to customise your shoes if buying directly from the Van's website and I wish that I had realised this before buying my boyfriend a navy pair last Christmas as I could of made his pair ultra unique! You are able to customise the colour of the laces, eyelets, collar lining and so on which I think is brilliant!
My pair of vans are a lovely postbox red. I chose this colour because I wanted a unique pair of shoes which would stand out from the crowd and give my outfit a bit of an edge. Although they are pretty versatile, they're not appropiate for certain events (interviews etc), and if you want a pair but you are still at school or college I'd reccomend getting a black pair with black laces unless obviously you plan to wear these purely for causal wear. My pair, as I said, are red - both the vamp and quarter areas are one solid colour while the sole, laces, foxing and collar lining are white, as is the stitching detail. The foxing stripe is black and the eyelets are silver. The Vans logo is displayed on the side of the shoe next to the stitching of the vamp area. The logo is white with red writing and this shows that my shoes are authentic Vans and not fakes. The vans logo is also displayed inside the shoe on the sole and a red 'Off the Wall' logo is on the back of the shoe.
The thing I like most about my pair of vans is the sole. At 2cm thick, it gives me that extra bit of height as well as comfort. These are so comfortable to walk in and thanks to the super soft insoles, they cushion and support my feet. The part of the shoe that supports the back of my ankle is padded and I've never had issues with it rubbing. While walking along in these, I can't feel the hardness of the pavement if that makes sense and it kind of feels like i'm walking around in super soft, padded slippers, yet these are obviously much more fashionable! The trainers are laced but even when done up they are easy to slip on and even when I first got them they weren't stiff and didn't need breaking in. The area of the shoe directly underneath my ankle is dipped, meaning that I don't usually wear socks with them as you can see the socks which I don't personally think is a good look! The shoes are lightweight and really easy to walk long distances in.
The shoes are durable and although I try my best to keep them clean, there have been times when I've worn them to take the dogs out or to the beach, and considering this I think they are in incredible condition, which is thanks to the waterproof material. I've never washed these as luckily they've never gotten too muddy, and to clean them I just use a wet sponge or a wipe. The canvas material and insoles dry reasonably quickly if they get wet with rain water and I've had no issues with the insoles retaining the smell of damp. Styling these shoes is easy. They can go with jeans, dresses, skirts, shorts.. literally anything. Marc wears his navy pair with jeans, chinos and trackies and he's even worn them with a grey suit for a christening, which worked really well and they gave the outfit a youthful, fun edge.
My vans are a size five - my usual size - and they fit perfectly. I have quite wide feet but these seemed to adjust to the shape of my foot and they're not too tight or at all uncomfortable. Sizes go all the way up to size 13 and half sizes are available. Overall, I love my pair of Vans and my boyfriend loves his pair, too. They're comfy, versatile, durable and exceptionally good quality. Although they are expensive, they're worth every penny. Highly reccommended, five out of five stars!
Summary: Well worth every penny
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