Wearing Socks with Vans - Best Style Guide for 2020

What Socks to Wear Socks with Vans: Personal Style from Pipe to Street

Vans has been producing their iconic skate shoes for over 50 years. Made with exceptionally wear-resistant treads, ankle padding, and tough canvas, Vans shoes are a longtime favorite of skateboarders around the world. Choosing what socks to wear with Vans can go a long way to creating an outfit that really stands out

Vans are also a staple of street style, with people of all ages donning the shoe whether they skate or not. You’re as likely to see celebrities flexing in brand new Vans while getting snapped by paparazzi as you are to see them on your local college prof. Vans’ most notable shoe, the Authentic, is versatile enough to be dressed up or down, and worn with a range of styles. 

Vans has a skate shoe for almost every season, so you’ll get plenty of opportunities to make your mark when choosing what socks to wear with Vans. Some of the brand’s shoes fare better in specific weather though, and you’ll have to take into account how extreme the weather gets where you live.

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Slip-On

Slip-On

Authentic

Authentic

Authentic

Era

Era

Era

Old Skool

Old Skool

Old Skool

Old Skool

Sk8-Hi

Sk8-Hi

Sk8-Hi

Sk8-Hi


The people who wear Vans are about as varied as the socks you can pair with them. If plain white crew socks trigger your yawn reflex, we’ve got some ideas for how you can take your sock game to the next level. 

Why You Should Wear Socks with Vans

Are you supposed to wear socks with Vans? There are a number of practical reasons why you should. Keep in mind that when you decide to skip the socks, you open yourself up to a few undesirable outcomes including:

  • Athletes foot
  • Blisters and sores 
  • Poor/loose fit
  • Smelly feet

When you look at your brand new Vans fresh out of the box, you don’t even want to think about them ending up drab, crusty, and smelly months down the road. Or maybe you’re a diabolical shoe owner who simply doesn’t care about those things. Hey, no judgement here. Consider though, that it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s why you should be wearing socks with your Vans:

  1. That smell. You know the one. 
  2. Blisters. Particularly at the heel. 
  3. Discoloration. Moisture will eventually stain the material. 
  4. Shorter shelf life. You’ll have to throw them out sooner than you’d like. 

Worried about not being able to find the right pair? Skip the Hanes multi-packs and try something with a little more personality. Socks come in a range of styles and profiles the same way Vans do. With so many options from colorful and crazy socks to dapper dress socks, there’s no reason to go barefoot. 

Can You Wear Vans Without Socks?

The internet is a place for debate on what socks to wear with Vans, or if you should wear socks at all. A lot of people have opinions about hard and fast rules when it comes to fashion. Footwear is no exception, even for the perfectly casual skate shoe. Read on if you have a mind to pass on wearing socks with Vans

When you’re wearing a low-profile shoe, particularly in the warmer months, it can be pretty tempting to slip your bare naked feet into your favorite shoe and go about your business. Some will say that’s how it should be, in order for you to achieve “the look”

Going sockless is not all it’s cracked up to be. From dealing with poor fit to blisters and sores from too much friction, it’s a decision you might soon regret. Once you’re already in your Uber and feeling around for that pebble that keeps poking your bare heel, it’s already too late. 

Lucky for you, no show socks bring you the best of both worlds. You can enjoy freedom from potential faux pas while still getting the comfort you crave.

How to Wear Vans With Socks

Figuring out what socks to wear with Vans is pretty easy. Don’t just think about whether your socks will go well with your shoes. Instead, consider your entire outfit. Are you planning on wearing Vans slip-ons with no show socks? That’s totally fine. You can still build an outfit around your bare ankles. Here are three main things to consider when creating a look with your choice of shoe:

  1. Profile of the shoe
  2. Activity or occasion 
  3. Length of the pant hem

Profile of the Shoe

This refers to the cut and style of the shoe. Use this to determine whether you might want to wear no show style socks, or crew socks, for example. 

Activity or Occasion

Kicking back for the weekend or going stealth-casual at a semi-formal event? Think about the activities you’ll be doing when you consider what socks to wear with Vans. Depending on the occasion, this could be an opportunity to show off your personality with a bold pair of socks. 

Length of the Pant Hem

Do your chosen pants only allow for a little peek? In that case, you can feel free to choose a pair of socks with a really busy pattern. Rather than being distracting, they’ll add a quick pop of colorespecially if you’re wearing neutrals. 

What Kind of Socks to Wear With Vans

You really can wear just about any type of socks with Vans. Generally, you’ll want to take a look at the profile of your shoes and what you plan to do in them. Feel free to experiment with what gives you the best balance between comfort and style

You have a lot of sock options when wearing casual shoes. Depending on your mood, choose anything from neutral solids to bright, busy patterns. Here are some sock types that you can choose from:

  • Dress
  • Casual
  • Athletic
  • No Show

So, which type of sock goes best with which Vans shoe? While we’re by no means the fashion police, we do have some advice on the subject. Just take what works for you your sense of style. Vans makes five iconic skate shoes that the streets know and love:

  • The Authentic
  • The Era
  • The Old Skool
  • The Sk8-Hi
  • The Slip-On

Each shoe type has a distinct profile while still appealing to a wide variety of fashion sensibilities. The options might seem a bit overwhelming, but not to worry. Your unique sense of style and this guide should help you choose the right socks. It might help to think about these things when choosing what socks to wear with Vans:

  1. What look you’re aiming for (casual, semi-formal, sporty, etc.)
  2. Colors and patterns already in your clothing 
  3. Colors and patterns on your shoes

Wearing Socks with the Vans Authentic

The Vans Authentic made its debut in Southern California in 1966. By the early 70s, skateboarders were big fans of the rugged shoe that could take a serious beating and still last a long time. Casual, athletic, no show, and dress socks work well with these shoes.

Wearing Socks with the Vans Era

Similar in profile to the Authentic, the Era soon became the choice shoe for skateboarders in 70’s California and beyond due to its extra padding and more durable construction. The Era is also available in more colorways and materials than the Authentic, including denim and leather. Try no show, casual, athletic, or even dress socks with this shoe in any pattern you like. 

Wearing Socks with the Vans Old Skool

The Vans Old Skool features what is commonly referred to as the “jazz stripe”. This iconic mark makes the shoes instantly recognizable. The Old Skool is available in a range of colorways, but you can never go wrong with classic black if you’re looking to show off a rad pair of socks. Consider casual or athletic socks with these shoes.

Wearing Socks with the Vans Sk8-Hi

The Sk8-Hi is Vans’ innovative hi-top shoe bearing the brand’s iconic Sidestripe. Designed to better protect the ankles from bruises and scrapes, these shoes are beloved at the skate park and just about anyplace else where you can get away with a casual shoe. If you’re looking to show off your shoes and socks, opt for athletic or casual socks in bright colors and patterns.

Wearing Socks with the Vans Slip-On

The often-imitated Vans Slip-On has become a true streetwear staple. Loved as much for their simple silhouette as for the ease of getting them on and off, nearly everyone has a Vans Slip-On or something similar in their closet. You’re probably wondering, “Do you wear socks with Vans Slip-ons”? Absolutely. For the contemporary barefoot look, go with no show socks. However Vans are all about personal style, so don’t be afraid to rock some bold patterned socks with these as well.

Best Socks to Wear with Vans

When you’ve got somewhere to be and you’re not the type to choose your whole outfit the night before, it can be hard to make snap decisions on what socks to wear with Vans. Sometimes, you just need a handy dandy cheat sheet. Here’s a quick reference guide for the best socks to wear with Vans.

Authentic

Era

Slip-On

Old Skool

Sk8-Hi

Casual

Casual

Casual

Casual

Casual

Athletic

Athletic

Athletic

Athletic

Athletic

No show

Dress

No show

Dress

Dress

Livable Looks: Choosing the Right Socks to Wear with Vans

A great way to elevate your look when wearing Vans is to mix elements from different styles. Casual can still be stylish and comfortable when you do it right. On your way to the gym? You could wear your favorite tracksuit and Vans Authentics with a chic wool coat that hits just above the knees, and striped socks to add a little interest. Or, try a denim jacket with a favorite solid color button-up shirt, fitted chinos, a pair of Vans Eras, and crazy patterned socks in a complementary color. 

Nice and Neutral

Don’t be afraid of white canvas shoes. Whether you’re a skateboarder on an off day or just about town, white is a neutral you can match with just about anything. If you love a theme, or “color story” as we say in the biz, mix warm and cool neutrals for a laid back look.


Deconstructed Dapper

Ripped jeans can easily look too casual if the rest of your ensemble is just an old sweatshirt and a faded beanie you don’t even remember buying. Elevate the look with a plain white t-shirt and lived-in leather jacket. Low-profile shoes would be a great choice here. Then, choose a bold patterned sock for a pop of color.

Aiming High

The Sk8-Hi will give you that classic high-top sneaker look. Show them off by pairing them with slim-fit pants you can cuff above the ankle. You’ll get full marks for putting on your favorite pair of solid color socks.

What Socks to Wear with Vans? It’s Totally Up to You

When you’re thinking about what socks to wear with Vans, try not to get hung up on rules. Skateboarders come from a proud tradition of rule benders and breakers and the fashion that comes from that culture follows the same philosophy. Depending on the profile of the shoe and however you want to balance function and comfort, your options are nearly limitless. Just have fun with it.