Sure, Dogtown is great, but this ain't Southern California.
September 21, 2011 1:30 PM   Subscribe

A more durable substitute for Vans?

Does anyone know of a higher-quality version of the classic Vans-style skate shoe. I'm looking for something with a little more rigidity in the upper, and a thicker, more durable sole. Bonus points if you know where they can be found in Toronto.
posted by TheWhiteSkull to Shopping (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Are Sperry's shoes too nautical? The CVO and slip-on are very similar to Vans in looks, but more solid. Can't help you with the Toronto thing, though.
posted by dersins at 1:37 PM on September 21, 2011

The skaters here that don't wear Vans wear Cons.

I don't skate, but you can tear my checkered Vans from my cold dead feet.
posted by birdherder at 1:38 PM on September 21, 2011

Supergas may not be appropriate for skating, but they have a hell of a thick sole. The canvas uptop is pretty stiff, maybe a little thicker than Vans. Usually can be found pair on for about $20.
posted by activitystory at 1:43 PM on September 21, 2011

Response by poster: Clarification- I'm not looking for something to skate in (my knees are pretty much done at this point), just something for casual wear.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:45 PM on September 21, 2011

posted by lunalaguna at 2:00 PM on September 21, 2011

I made an unexpected purchase of a pair of canvas low-top sneakers for maybe $50-60 at a Puma store in San Francisco about a year and a half ago, pretty much because I needed a new pair of shoes in a hurry and there happened to be a Puma store right there.

They've really held up well; I expected them to fall apart after 6 months like Converse All Stars, but they're still going strong. And they're definitely more comfortable. I can't find the exact shoes I have online, but these look pretty similar. Unfortunately I can't comment on how they'd compare to Vans.
posted by usonian at 2:02 PM on September 21, 2011

Something like this?

(These were pretty much de rigueur in So Cal before Vans came along. Especially for the paleozoic skate boarding population there.)
posted by Danf at 2:03 PM on September 21, 2011

Seconding Supergas.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 2:13 PM on September 21, 2011

When I was in college and hiking the hilly campus of UC Santa Cruz, my Saucony Originals were indispensable.
posted by invisible ink at 4:04 PM on September 21, 2011

Van's has some tougher versions of their classic shoes.

Leather with fleece lining
posted by spork at 4:27 PM on September 21, 2011

Oops. Leather with fleece lining.
posted by spork at 4:29 PM on September 21, 2011

My Simple shoes lasted a good long while before they finally got raggedy. I now have a pair of Sperry Topsiders, and they're going to last me quite a long time, I can tell.
posted by Gilbert at 7:20 PM on September 21, 2011

Been there. Adidas Nizza Los will see you through. Try Groovy Shoes on Queen St West.
posted by ZaphodB at 8:04 PM on September 21, 2011

If money isn't an issue then you want Feit Superclean Kudus. They ship to Toronto. I have the grey and love them. Handmade and super soft.
posted by dobbs at 10:56 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good god, no. I bought some mail-order because they looked cool, but the soles are so stiff that they click when I walk, there's no insole to speak of, and there's so little height in the toe that adding a set of Dr. Scholl's means my feet just barely fit in there.

A huge step down from my previous shoes, a pair of PF Flyers, which were perfect in every way. Mine were more Chuck Taylor style, but they do a Vans style too. Browse. (Notice the insanely low prices.)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:40 AM on September 22, 2011

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