Can You Run In Vans?

Running shoes can be pricey, so you might be wondering, “can you run in vans?” if you already own a pair. Here’s what you need to know about running in vans.

There are tons of great running shoes to choose from. However, most of us own various sneakers or trainers, so the question is, can you run in shoes like Vans? Vans are fine for amateur short-distance runners, but if you take running seriously, you’ll need to level up because they do not offer sufficient support. 

Buying dedicated running shoes can be pricey, but you’re investing in the health of your feet and the quality of your run. There are better shoes than Vans for running, but let’s explore the pros and cons of running in Vans. 

What Are Vans?

Founded in 1966, Vans was created for skateboarding enthusiasts. Since then, the company has branched out into making other merchandise, including athletic footwear, apparel, hats, and bags. 

When Serge D’Elia, Gordon Lee, James Van Doren, and Paul Van Doren founded the Vans company, their goal was to create shoes that didn’t resemble the classic basketball shoe. In 1970, the company presented its shoes at the World Expo. 

In the beginning, Vans were made from leftover factory materials. However, they started mass-producing their products in 1979. 

can you run in vans - skateboarder wearing vans
Vans was created for skateboarding enthusiasts

Benefits Of Running In Vans

  • Vans are super comfortable.
  • Some people like the look. 
  • Vans are easy to put on and remove. 

Drawbacks Of Running In Vans

  • Vans lack essential support, which is worrisome if you run long distances.
  • You will feel more pain in your feet and legs.
  • Blisters and sores are more common if you run in Vans. 
  • You run the risk of slipping if you run in Vans because they don’t offer a lot of traction. 
  • Vans don’t have enough cushioning for running. 

Check out our guide on can you run in bike shorts.

Features Of Proper Running Shoes

Here are some of the features to look for in a running shoe. 

  • Arch support: Running shoes have to absorb impacts, so they need extra arch support so athletes can keep their feet in a natural position. 
  • Cushioning: Because a runner’s feet repeatedly hit the ground, running shoes need more cushioning. This will help runners minimize injuries. 
  • Lightweight: For fast movement, running shoes should be lightweight. The lighter the running shoes are, the faster runners can run. 
  • Comfort: Generally, running shoes offer more comfort than Vans because they are specifically designed for running. Moreover, running shoes are more breathable. 
  • Price: In most cases, good running shoes will be more expensive than Vans. The materials used to make them cost more to manufacture. 
  • Flexibility: Because running shoes are designed with materials that bend, people can run more comfortably and easily. When you can bend your feet, your gait will be more natural. This also decreases the risk of injury. 
  • Waterproof: Most runners do at least some of their running outdoors, which means you will get your feet wet sometimes. Running shoes are designed to be more water resistant than Vans. 
Running sport shoes outdoors in action on a country road
Lighter the running shoes are, the faster runners can run

If you liked this post, you might also be interested in our explainer on can you run in Metcons.

FAQs About Running In Vans

Can I Wear Vans For Lifting At The Gym?

Vans should be decent for lifting at the gym, but they aren’t the best shoes for this workout. Vans have tough, flat soles, so they’re good shoes for lifts such as deadlifts and squats. 

When working out in the gym, Vans are better than shoes than running shoes. They’re also more affordable than some of the more specialized lifting shoes. If you’re a casual lifter, Vans will work for you, but they aren’t the best shoes for competitive powerlifters. 

What Are Vans Good For?

Vans have flexible canvas construction and a sturdy rubber sole, so they are great for everyday streetwear. 
Another place where Vans work well is at the beach. They’re more versatile than deck shoes, and they’re super durable. 

Can I Wear Vans To The Gym For Running?

Vans aren’t ideal for running because they have heavy soles that lack the appropriate responsiveness level.
The soles are thick and lack maneuverability. This affects how your foot interacts with the surface you’re running on.