Are Vans SK8-HI Worth It? | A Comprehensive Guide!

Are Vans SK8-HI Worth It? | A Comprehensive Guide!

Back in 1978, there was a new kind of sneakers that was turning the USA upside down. You guessed by the title; it was none other than Vans SK8-HI. Often it is associated with the old-school aesthetic and is popularly used as roller skating sneakers. While walking in the streets, you’ll often see people wearing Vans SK8-HI. Even Zendaya, ASAP Rocky is quite often seen rocking Vans SK8-HI. These sneakers have created a name for their comfort and protection beyond skating. 

So, this made me curious, and I finally decided to own and review the classic Vans SK8-HI. Are Vans SK8-HI worth it? Read the article below to know my full review:

What is Vans SK8-HI?

Van Doren Rubber Company brought their second sneaker on the market named “Style 38” back at 78. Gradually it got the name Vans SK8-HI. The company saw a demand for ankle protector shoes among vert style skaters.  In simple words, Vans SK8-HI is a sports sneaker with ankle-high comfortable pads. Besides sports, it’s been popular among regular people r the past 40 years for its versatility. Over the years, SK8-HI has been changed and upgraded to cope with the changing skating styles. There are only 21.3 million Vans SK8-HI owners in the USA alone. 

Are Vans SK8-HI unisex?

A thousand percent yes. SK8-HI comes in different sizes that cater to male and female foot sizes. However, there are also particular male and female-oriented lines in various designs and colors. However, you can still wear the classic ones regardless of gender. SK8-HI Slim is a trendy female line of sneakers from the company.  

What makes Vans SK8-HI different?

Back in my high school days, I’ve worn a different variety of SK8-HI. They always have go-to sneakers and are undoubtedly comfortable. Now I’ve bought a new pair of the classics, and I’ve some thoughts to share:

Heavy-duty and durable:

One of the problems I face with sneakers is that they tend to lose their sole in less than ten months. The classic one has a cloth sole on the front. I played soccer to test if the front sole hurts my thumb. Surprisingly, it felt like a feather when I was kicking the ball. However, the upper finish is made from Canvas cotton and suede. The duracap technology made the SK8-HI very heavy-duty yet very comfortable to my feet. Duracap technology ensures comfort yet makes the sneakers sturdy at the same time. After six hours of walking and one hour of skating, I saw the sole was damaged for a pretty impressive sneaker. 

Are Vans SK8-HI Worth It? | A Comprehensive Guide!

Breathable & airflow:

I have wide feet, so my feet get roomy and sweaty after only two hours of shoe wear. But the Sk8-HI highly favors my wide feet and provides a comfortable feeling. Next up is the ankle-high classic silhouette that accommodates my wide ankle. Surprisingly after eight-hour wear, my feet did not get sweaty. During the one-hour skateboarding time, I didn’t face any pain in my ankle like I usually do. I felt enough air for my feet to breathe due to the duracap technology. 


While I bought my classics from Vans 93 Grand Street, New York store, I asked them about the history behind the design. So, Vans founder Paul Van Doren once doodled a strip on one side of the sneaker. He named the Jazz strip, which we now see on every Sk8-Hi sneakers. So, it automatically creates a retro outlook. Currently, the 80s are coming in style; it is an excellent pair of sneakers to own. The ankle-high design specially created for stakeholders does superb everyday wear. The extra ankle protection is a bonus for busy streets. Vans also offer different colors and designs and different purpose-oriented models of the Sk8-Hi.

Maintenance & fit:

Vans SK8-HI is easy to take care of except avoid stepping in mud. As the sneaker comes from Canvas, the shoe gets wet quickly in the rain. Also, it gets affected by soil, and you need to wash the whole shoe. Besides that, it is a great summer shoe. Dirt doesnýt go inside the inner portion of the sneaker. I highly recommend giving a trial in stores, and for online purchases, it’s better to order a size up. The sneaker fits me like a glove and makes me very comfortable. The inner cushion sole is replaceable if it damages without buying a new pair of sneakers. 

Vans SK8-HI & Skateboarding

Vans SK8-HI & Skateboarding

SK8-HI was the first-ever shoe created for skateboarding. It has a significant impact on America’s skateboard culture. The sneaker provides a firm grip on the board and comfort, which helps Skater control the board while riding. As the styles of skateboarding changed, vans expanded the SK8-HI line in different models. Also, the supper silhouette changed to ankle p[roctection and padded version according to skateboarding style. No wonder it is also Nyjah Huston, US’s current best skateboarder’s favorite skate shoe to wear.

While I was skateboarding, I noticed the sneaker’s tread sole helped to have extra grip between my legs and the board. According to experts, the stress points of a skate shoe must be from tough leather or canvas, which is what Sk8-Hi is made from. I think the shoe almost saved me from tripping due to the wide sole. 

Some popular SK8-HI



The SK8-HI is the original and classic one I mentioned above. The side straps are a classic design, and it was inspired by the Jazz style back in the 70s. Also, the upper silhouette on the high top protects ankles from any harm. 

SK8-HI Navy:

Are Vans SK8-HI Worth It? | A Comprehensive Guide!

It is an Sk8-HI line but with Navy blue co0lor and a different stripe pattern. Mostly it is excellent for balancing and for running. One of its prominent features is that it can grip your side feet from falling. Also, the front pad doesn’t cause thumb pain at all. 

Sherpa SK8-HI:

Are Vans SK8-HI Worth It? | A Comprehensive Guide!

The Sherpa one has a faux fur design at the back of the sneaker. It also creates an extra warmth for winter wear. This one is better for tracking or running as well as skating. For regular winter wear, Sherpa SK8-HI is a suitable choice. 

Eco Theory SK8-HI 38 Decon SF:

Are Vans SK8-HI Worth It? | A Comprehensive Guide!

Keeping global warming in mind Eco Theory SK8-HI 38 Decon SF material is made from organic cotton canvas. Also, it comes from non-GMO seeds without any synthetic touch. The laces come from hemp, which is also antibiotic and durable.

Cmofycush SK8-HI:

Are Vans SK8-HI Worth It? | A Comprehensive Guide!

It is the classic SK8-HI but blended with Vans ComfyCush technology. Inside of the sneaker has a comfortable layer of cushion that protects your feet. Also, the rubber outsole provides a strong exterior for walking or running, and skating. There’s extra arch support for tongue stabilization. 

Canvas SK8-HI:

Are Vans SK8-HI Worth It? | A Comprehensive Guide!

For people who enjoy a black look, the Canvas SK8-HI is a perfect choice. The difference with the classic one is that the signature strip is black on the canvas. Also, the downward portion is black. It is excellent for a goth style. 

Classic Sport SK8-HI:

Are Vans SK8-HI Worth It? | A Comprehensive Guide!

The Sport SK8-HI is an excellent option for people who regularly skate, walk, or are into any kind of sport. It is made from the same Vans ankle-safe technology. Also, it is very comfortable inside and has an all-white appearance opposite to Canvas one. 

Skate SK8-HI:

Are Vans SK8-HI Worth It? | A Comprehensive Guide!

Vans renovated their skate sneakers line and endorsed the Duracap technology to this particular sneaker. The internal tongue has an extra strap for skateboard control./ Also, the sole has a reconstructed molded counter. Moreover, the outsole gum rubber is the strongest Vans ever used to make an SK8-HI.


Are Vans SK8-HI worth it? Undoubtedly, yes. Every high schooler has owned at least one Sk8-Hi. Besides skateboarding shoes, it is also an efficient shoe for everyday wear. However, if you are not into retro style, it might not be for you. On the contrary to its quality and versatility, the price is quite affordable. Most users have reviewed it a five-star and claimed it’s a worthy sneaker investment.

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