I found the perfect Vans lookalikes—and they're under $25
They're just as comfortable as the real deal.
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Up until a year ago, I had no interest in sneakers. Give me a pair of strappy sandals or leather booties any day. But when I started weightlifting and shooting (guns and bows) more regularly last summer, my need for practical, full-coverage, and flat-soled shoes skyrocketed.
I saw the women I looked up to at the gym wearing Converses, NoBulls, Nikes, and, most commonly, Vans, because a flat-soled shoe is essential for creating a solid connection to the ground when lifting heavy weights. Having owned a pair of Vans many, many years ago, I was tempted to go back down the route. After all, I love the slip-on look and I love the comfortable feel, but I don’t love the high price—around $75 for what’s essentially a fabric sneaker.
Because I didn’t want to spend a lot on shoes I’d inevitably stain or destroy—I am not gentle on my feet—I hunted around on Amazon for a pair that looked like classic Vans but wouldn’t break the bank, especially if I had to replace them several times a year. That’s when I discovered these Vans dupes, which could easily be confused with the real thing but cost just $24 a pair. After wearing the same pair for over a year now, I recommend them to anyone.
What I like about the Vans dupes
I wear my usual size 8 in the sneakers—which are only available in whole sizes—from the brand Hash Bubbie, and they fit true to size. They’re roomy enough that my feet slip in without a struggle, but not so loose that my feet move around while I'm walking, creating hotspots or blisters. Even though the shoes don’t have laces, they’re snug enough that they never flop off my feet—they stay securely put.
Unlike some sneakers—like my beloved Vejas—there’s no break-in period required for these, even if you wear them sock-less like I do. They’re ready to wear right out of the box, feeling soft and comfortably worn-in from the start. The canvas upper is breathable and flexible while the rubber sole provides just the right amount of cushioning. I also like that said sole is flat, which is very important when I’m squatting or deadlifting. However, despite the shoe’s flatness, my arches never ache, even when I wear them for hours trekking around the archery range.
Finally, what originally drew me to the shoes, is the price. Compared to the OG Vans slip-ons, which average about $75 a pair, these are a real steal, at less than $25. I’m a sucker for a bargain, and these deliver on price and quality. They’ve held up remarkably well over the last year, and I only bought a second pair because the first were looking a little dingy from so much use.
What I don’t like about the Vans dupes
The only negative thing I can say about these shoes is that they’re easy to stain and not so easy to clean. However—and this is a big however—that’s because I got them in bright white. So it isn’t the shoes themselves that are the issue, it’s my choice of color (and maybe my lifestyle). After a year of almost daily wear, the canvas is grungy and slightly yellowed, with a big stain from where my boyfriend’s dog kindly stepped on my foot, and the once-white inside is now gray from me shoving in my dirty feet.
Are the Amazon Vans look alike shoes worth buying?
I just bought another pair—so, yes. They’ve quickly become a shoe I wear anywhere and everywhere, from the gym to running errands to the shooting range. I’ve even worn them with a cute sundress for a casual date night. These babies can do it all, and at a third of the cost of real Vans, I’m sold.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.