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Vans Knu Skool vs. Old Skool vs. SK8-Low: Differences and Reviews 2024

Vans Knu Skool vs. Old Skool vs. SK8-Low: Differences and Reviews 2024

    Few footwear brands wield as much power as Vans in the ever-changing scene of streetwear and skate fashion.Pleasing skaters and casual wearers alike, the California-based brand have been a strong player in the sneaker game for over 5 decades.Of the many models that Vans offer,the Knu Skool,Old Skool,SK8-Loware their most popular and enduring styles.These sneakers are somewhat look-alike. Most people can’t tell the difference, especially those that have not worn either.What is the difference between Knu Skool and Old Skool?What's the difference between vans Old Skool and vans SK8-Low?What is vans Sk8-Low?Knu Skool vs. Old Skool vs. SK8-Low:which Vans have the most cushion?Which Vans are the most comfortable for walking?

    In this article,I’m gonna compare some of the similarities and differences in price and design right here, before giving my overall opinion on which of the four I think are some of the best Vans.Whether you’re looking for a new pair for skating, urban exploration, or simply to up your style game, this in-depth comparison will help you make an informed decision among these three legendary Vans models.

Cover Photo:Mateo Heinze on

Vans Knu Skool 

Official Price: $75-$80

Review: The Knu Skool silhouette was originally introduced in 1998 as a modified version of Vans' classic Old Skool model, specifically crafted to showcase the trending skateboarding style of the time.The Knu Skool is a modern interpretation of a classic 90s style, defined by its puffed up tongue and 3D-molded Sidestripe, and tied off with oversized, chunky laces. 

Taking visual cues from the Old Skool, the Knu swaps out a slim silhouette for an enlarged exterior. The model borrows its steeze from ‘90s skate shoes, equipped with an oversized lace system, puffed tongue, ankle collar and added heel pull. With both Knu Skool and Old Skool sharing a low-top frame and classic rubber outsole, these models reflect the like of siblings – not twins. Also, the Vans Knu Skool is equipped with reinforced toe caps, offering durability and protection during flips and tricks. With its distinctive style and functional features, the Vans Knu Skool quickly gained popularity and became an integral part of skateboarding and street culture.

Over the years, the Vans Knu Skool has been released in so many colour combinations and with so many different designs, that they allow wearers to express their individuality and style.Vans has successfully collaborated with various artists and brands, infusing the Knu Skool with fresh perspectives and unique designs. Notable collaborations include partnerships with Deaton Chris Anthony or Imran Potato. The collaborations have allowed the Vans Knu Skool to embrace art, music, and cultural influences, appealing to a broader audience and fueling the sneaker's popularity.


Vans Knu Skool Pros & Cons

  • Heel pulls enable easy on and off.

  • Suede upper provides long-lasting durability.

  • Puffy tongue and ankle collar offer next-level comfort.

  • True to size.

  • Love the 90s retro vibe.

  • SO comfortable on the foot.

  • Overall look is super cool.

  • Non removable Insole.

  • Lack of colour varety.

Where to Buy Vans Knu Skool?


Vans UK (5% super cash back)

Foot Locker (4% super cash back)

Journeys (6% super cash back)

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Vans Old Skool

Official Price: $30-$115(from infant to adults)

Review: The Old Skool was the first Vans shoe to feature the ‘Side Stripe’, which was a doodle that founder Paul Van Doren did and then incorporated into shoe designs.The shoe was first known as Vans #36 before it got its current name. The side of the shoe was designed with a stripe by Paul Van Doren and was referred to as the “jazz stripe.”It is the most iconic and popular line in the Vans brand. After their debut in 1977, they are the most thriving skate sneakers in the footwear field.Old Skool created a huge craze in the 90s for its highlighted stitching.

It’s famous for it’s special leather panel with premium features, giving the most durability. This shoe style is incorporated into the street style design with the top-ranked feature.Old skool remains as iconic as ever, with reinforced toe caps, supportive padded tops, and comes with its signature rubber waffle outsoles.More structured than the rest, the Old Skool has a nice padded sole and bold contrast stitch detailing. 

Old Skool by Vans has adequate paddings. These plushy parts sit on the collars of the shoe. As several buying guides claim, this feature benefits most people who want optimum comfort and a snug fit.While these shoes belong to the low-top classification, their paddings still give them a slight edge in overall height.Old skool shoes have such a versatile style that can go with any outfit you wear with them. You can wear it with jeans, or skirts that are exclusively casual or you can wear it with formal attire.


Vans Old Skool Pros & Cons

  • Hands-down best skating shoes.

  • Comfortable.

  • Stylish.

  • Durable.

  • Fits almost any occasion.

  • A wide range of color and design patterns.

  • Easy to clean.

  • Weatherproof.

  • Fits true to size.

  • Padded collars.

  • Relatively breathable.

  • Wear out quickly.

  • The canvas part feels a bit thin.

  • Can be hard to put on.

  • Parts of it still susceptible to stains.

Where to Buy Vans Old Skool?


Vans UK (5% super cash back)

Foot Locker (4% super cash back)

Champs Sports (4% super cash back)


Vans SK8-Low

Official Price: $34.95-$80(from kids to adults)

Review: The Vans Sk8-Low was initiated in 1978, a year after the launch of the Vans Old Skool.It is a low-top counterpart of the Vans SK8-Hi. Built with an array of colors and materials to provide a familiar Sk8-Hi aesthetic in a low top shoe,and added with more cozy and durable features.A perfect shoes for the streets and skate. 

Featuring sturdy canvas and suede uppers, the Sk8-Low also includes re-enforced toe caps to withstand repeated wear, padded collars for support and flexibility, and signature rubber waffle outsoles.The Sk8-Low endured the similar pattern elements of the Sk8-Hi, just as the classic side stripe and hard-wearing canvas upper, but with a deeper cut, making it more snug and easier to wear.Over the years, the Sk8 Low has experienced several alterations and updates.  In the 1980s, Vans released the “Jazz Stripe” pattern, contributing a second stripe alongside the genuine side stripe. In the 1990s, Vans associated with pro skateboarders and artists to manufacture limited edition Sk8 Lows, offering versatile patterns and graphics. Today, the Vans Sk8 Low endures an iconic and popular sneaker with a loyal following among skateboarders and fashion fanatics.


Vans SK8-Low Pros & Cons

  • Legendary Sk8-Hi aesthetic in a low-top shoe.

  • A perfect shoes for the streets and skate. 

  • Offering versatile patterns and graphics.

  • Durable suede and canvas uppers.

  • Reinforced toe caps.

  • Supportive padded collars.

  • Cushioned footbed provides shock absorbing comfort.

  • Affordable.

  • Versatile.

  • Limited ankle support.

  • Narrow fit.

  • Durability issues.

Where to Buy Vans SK8-Low?


Vans UK (5% super cash back)

Foot Locker (4% super cash back)

Journeys (6% super cash back)

Vans Knu Skool vs. Old Skool vs. SK8-Low: Comparision Side by Side

1. Specification

FeaturesKnu SkoolOld SkoolSk8-Low
UpperSturdy suede uppersDurable suede and canvas uppersDurable suede and canvas uppers
OutsoleWaffle outsolesWaffle outsolesWaffle outsoles
Toe BoxCap toe constructionCap toe constructionAttached is behind side panel
Reinforced toe caps
Heel pullsxx
Collar and TonguePaddedNot paddedPadded
Side Stripe3D molded SidestripeOn heelOn side panel

2. Design 

The Knu Skool is an ode to the ‘90s skate era - a modern interpretation of the beloved Old Skool, packed with upgraded design elements and functionality. The Knu Skool features a puffed-up tongue and ankle collar for a bold ‘90s look, contrasting with the sleek Old Skool and Sk8-Low silhouette. The Knu Skool has a standout 3D-moulded Sidestripe, practical heel pulls and chunky laces also differentiate them from the Old Skool and Sk8-Low.The puffed-up design elements and chunky laces also make it distinct in the Vans lineup.

The Vans old skool pays homage to the retro style. With the combination of suede, canvas, and leather panels, it dips fashionable hues in the style.The Sk8 Low offers a deep-top silhouette with a cushioned collar and tongue for extraordinary comfort. The toe box is affixed behind the side panel, and the shoe is more ventilated than the Old Skool.On the other hand, the Old Skool offers an iconic deep-top silhouette, having a suede and canvas upper and a cap-toe formation. Both shoes contain the signature Vans side stripe, but the placement is distinct. The Sk8 Low comprises the stripe on the side panel; on the contrary, the Old Skool has it on the heel.

3. Comfort

Regarding comfort, these shoes are equally snug, but the Sk8-Low has the additional advantage of the PopCush insole for extraordinary padding and support.And the Sk8-Low has a moderately higher cut, which may offer more ankle aid for some users. It also has a more slender look with several panels on the upper.

4. Durability

All of these shoes are designed with long-lasting materials, but the Old Skool comprises a moderate edge concerning durability. The suede and canvas upper of the Old Skool is more resistant to deterioration than the Sk8-Low’s canvas upper.  Furthermore, the Old Skool’s massive sole can offer more durability and longevity.

90s skate shoes were known for their heavy-duty suede or leather uppers and thick, cushioned tongues for comfort. Naturally, the Knu Skool, had thick, grippy rubber soles, for that vital board control.Also, the Vans Knu Skool is equipped with reinforced toe caps, offering durability and protection during flips and tricks. 

5. Fit and Sizing

The Vans Old Skool fits true to size in most cases, so there's no need to size up or down. They have been known to fit a little wide around the toe box, however if you size down, then they're likely to be too narrow for the rest of your foot.

The Sk8-Low and Knu Skool offer a cushioned tongue and collar for extraordinary comfort and aid. The toe box is affixed behind the side panel, which gives it a moderately snugger fit compared to the Old Skool. Furthermore, the Sk8-Low is more ventilated than the Old Skool, which can be advantageous for those inclined to get hot feet.

Conclusion: Which Should You Buy?

In conclusion, the Vans Knu Skool,Old Skool and SK8-Low are perfect shoes with many similarities. They contain a classic, enduring pattern and are designed with top-quality materials.Which is best? The choice is yours.

For your immeasurable comfort, while skating, the Vans SK8-Low is most recommended for you.The SK8-Low has the additional advantage of the PopCush insole for extraordinary padding and support.Most skaters prefer Sk8-Low to Old Skool because of its breathability and extra stitches. The padded tongue of sk8-low gave it more advantage over old skool.

However, you can go for the Vans old skool for your versatility and casual look.The Vans old skool pays homage to the retro style. With the combination of suede, canvas, and leather panels, it dips fashionable hues in the style.It is good on board as they are responsive and break well. Off the board, they are better as they add a casual look to most outfits. It is more versatile than the Vans Sk8-Low

The Vans Knu Skool,as a modern update to the traditional Old Skool silhouette. If you were a skateboarder in the late 90’s, you know exactly what every skate shoe was like: big and puffy. Theses shoes complete with the exact constructions details of the original including a mesh and suede upper, oversized 3D side stripes, and a cup sole.Vans Knu Skool's timeless design and ability to seamlessly blend with various fashion styles have made it a staple in both skateboarding and everyday fashion.

Frequently Asked Questions

When did the Knu Skool Vans come out?

The Knu Skool silhouette was originally introduced in 1998 as a modified version of Vans' classic Old Skool model, specifically crafted to showcase the trending skateboarding style of the time.

Are Knu Skool Vans comfortable?

Yes.These vans are so comfortable. 

Can you skate in the Knu Skool Vans?

Taking their boards from the skateparks to the pavements, skaters were in need of super well-cushioned, chunky silhouettes; the Knu Skool fit the bill perfectly.

Are Vans Old Skool good for daily use?

Yes. Vans shoes offer great support with a comfortable fit all day long. The ultimate combination of function and style, they are ideal for walking due to a sturdy rubber sole and flexible canvas construction.

Do Vans Old Skool run small?

The silhouette follows a true-to-size cut, meaning there's no need to size up or down when purchasing Old Skools.

Should I wear Vans Old Skool with or without socks?

Most people choose to wear some kind of socks with Vans slip-ons, whether they're no-show or statement, mainly to make them as comfortable as possible and to control smells. In addition, it's much easier to wash socks than shoes so it makes sense to wear them.

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2023-11-29 19:49689