Converse vs. Vans: Knot Your Ordinary Debate

Written by Victoria Gugliotti and Andrea Gutierrez

Team Converse

From knee-high cotton candy to stitched black and grey to leather white, I’ve owned Converses for years. I love the customization and the uniqueness of Converse and how the sneakers can be found in a wide variety of colors, textures, and styles.

I’ve worn Converse for as long as I can remember. However, the history of Converse goes back to 1910 when the shoes were first released. Converse gained the nickname “Chuck Taylors” after the basketball player for the Akron Firestones,  according to The Taylor became an ambassador for the brand after going to the store, complaining of sore feet. This vastly boosted the brand’s popularity. One of the company’s largest competitors, Nike, purchased Converse in 2001 and kept it alive. After years of being synonymous with the basketball industry, the company decided to take a new route. The revamp of the sneaker’s image kept Converse near the top of the sneaker social pyramid. Today, Converse has made a huge impact on the shoewear industry. It has moved from basketball sneakers to an everyday shoe that can be worn by anyone, casually or formally.

Converse gives its customers the opportunity to be different and show off their individuality. The brand allows people to customize their shoe, including height, patterns, text, eyelet color, and more. The brand offers a spectrum of different sneakers that appeal to people of all ages. They are the universal sneaker, and that’s what makes them stand out. They can be dressed up or down, worn day or night, and no matter the occasion there is a pair of Converse that fit. They are not just for sports or just for special occasions-they are completely versatile.

Converse and its rival, Vans, are worn by a multitude of celebrities, including Marvel’s Tom Holland. Holland wears both brands in his life and his movies. He can be seen wearing high-top white Converses on Jimmy Kimmel Live as well as a pair of old-school black Vans in Avengers: Infinity War.

Converse is superior to Vans because of its unique patterns and innovative designs. Converse also offers different sneakers that stick out on the streets. They sell a better-looking product that can fit any personality and style.


Team Vans

Vans have been around for more than 53 years and over time have developed a variety of styles, colors, patterns, and materials in which their shoes are made. The shoes are made with a patented design of a fabric upper half and unique rubber honeycomb-pattern soles. This makeup caused them to become a preferred skating sneaker because of their rugged makeup and sticky sole.

Vans originated from the Van Doren Rubber Company which manufactured and sold the original shoes on the premises at the original location in Anaheim, California. From the start, Vans have come in a variety of colors and styles that have allowed people choices as to how they want to express themselves. They have expanded their selection by offering custom options such as customize colors, patterns, and materials for a little extra cost compared to other standard choices.

Vans is not only a shoe company; in recent years it has begun selling clothing and accessories to go along with the skater vibe that the company embraces.

Vans has collaborated with prominent brands, artists, and designers such as Spongebob SquarePants, John Van Hamersveld, Disney, Ralph Steadman, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, The North Face, NASA, Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam, WTAPS, and many more.

I own two pairs of Converse, which I rarely wear, and six pairs of Vans- and I don’t plan on stopping my collection there. Vans have a firm but flexible sole with a lot of friction, which allows them to work well in different types of weather. Not to mention, they are comfortable.

I have always thought Converse were too hard soled when newly purchased. Once worn out, they become too flimsy to support your feet. Vans tend to keep their sturdiness while still stretching out a little to shape your feet.

Overall, both brands have quality shoes that can be used as casual wear as well as activities and athletics. I prefer Vans for the comfort and style they offer. The trademark sole puts the shoe over the top and further proves its superiority.