why are vans so hard to put on

Why Are Vans So Hard to Put On? (Easy Ways) 2023

Vans shoes have gained immense popularity over the years, becoming a fashion statement and a footwear staple. However, many people have found them to be quite challenging to put on. Explore the reasons behind the difficulty of slipping into a pair of Vans and discuss some tips to make the process easier. Let’s dive in!

Why Are Vans So Hard To Put On?

Vans shoes present a unique set of challenges when it comes to getting them on your feet. Several factors contribute to their difficulty in donning:

Design and Construction

Vans offer both slip-on and lace-up styles, with the latter being more common. Lace-up Vans feature a sturdy canvas material that contributes to their durability and iconic look. However, this sturdy construction can make them more rigid and less forgiving when it comes to putting them on.

Lack Of Flexibility

The canvas material used in Vans shoes, while robust, is not known for its elasticity. Unlike shoes made from softer materials, Vans have minimal stretch in the upper portion. Additionally, their low ankle support can make it harder to slide your foot into the shoe comfortably.

Do Vans Run Big or Small?

How To Make Vans Easy To Put On?

Putting on Vans shoes doesn’t have to be a struggle. With a few simple techniques, you can make the process much smoother. Here are some tips to help you slip into your Vans with ease:

Loosening The Laces

If you own lace-up Vans, start by loosening the laces. Untie the knots and pull the laces to create a wider opening for your foot. This will provide more room for your foot to slide in comfortably. Remember to retie the laces once your foot is in the shoe to ensure a snug fit.

Using A Shoe Horn

A shoe horn can be a handy tool when it comes to putting on any type of shoe, including Vans. It helps to maintain the shape of the shoe’s opening, making it easier to slip your foot inside.

Gently insert the shoe horn into the back of the shoe and use it as a lever to guide your foot in. This method can be particularly useful when dealing with high-top Vans.

Trying Alternative Lacing Techniques

If traditional lacing proves to be challenging, consider experimenting with alternative lacing techniques. One option is the “heel lock” or “lace lock” technique, which involves creating an additional loop near the ankle to secure the heel. This technique helps prevent the heel from slipping out and can provide a more secure fit, making it easier to put on and take off your Vans.

Ways To Expand Your Vans

Sometimes, even after loosening the laces and using various techniques, you may still find your Vans shoes to be uncomfortably tight. If that’s the case, here are some methods you can try to expand your Vans for a better fit:

Wearing Thick Socks and Stretching

One method to stretch your Vans is to wear thick socks while putting them on. The extra bulk of the socks can create a slight stretch in the shoes over time.

Walk around in them for a while to allow the material to adjust to your foot shape. However, be mindful not to overdo it, as excessive stretching can cause the shoes to lose their shape.

Using A Shoe Stretcher

A shoe stretcher is a handy tool designed specifically for expanding shoes. Insert the stretcher into your Vans and adjust it according to the desired width. Leave it in place for a few hours or overnight to allow the shoe to stretch gradually. This method can be particularly effective for leather or suede Vans.

Wetting The Shoes and Wearing Them

Another technique involves moistening the shoes with water. Dampen a cloth or sponge and gently apply water to the tight areas of the shoes. Wear them while they are still damp and allow them to dry naturally on your feet. As the shoes dry, the material will stretch slightly, offering a more comfortable fit.

Are Vans Supposed To Be Tight?

Vans are not supposed to be tight. They should fit snugly, but not so tight that they cause pain or discomfort. If your Vans are too tight, they may cause blisters, calluses, or other foot problems.

Finding The Right Fit

When purchasing Vans shoes, it’s crucial to find the right size that provides a comfortable fit for your feet. Vans are known for their snug and form-fitting nature, especially around the width.

However, they should not feel excessively tight or cause discomfort. It’s recommended to try on different sizes and styles to determine which one suits you best.

Allowing For a Break-in Period

Like many other types of shoes, Vans may require a break-in period. The canvas material used in Vans can soften and mold to your feet with wear, resulting in a more comfortable fit over time. If your Vans feel slightly tight initially, give them a chance to adapt to your feet before deciding if adjustments are necessary.

Why Is It So Hard To Put On Vans High Tops?

While Vans shoes, in general, can be a bit challenging to put on, high-top Vans present their own set of difficulties. Here are a couple of reasons why they can be particularly hard to slip into:

Higher Collar Design

High-top Vans feature a taller collar that extends above the ankle. This design provides extra support and protection to the ankle area, making them popular for skateboarding and street fashion.

However, the higher collar can also restrict the opening of the shoe, making it harder to slide your foot in without some effort.

Need For Extra Effort in Pulling Them On

Due to the snug fit and taller collar, getting your foot into high-top Vans can require a bit more effort compared to low-top or slip-on styles. The canvas material used in Vans shoes adds to the overall rigidity, further amplifying the challenge of putting on high-top models.

Should Vans Feel Tight At First?

When it comes to the initial fit of Vans shoes, it’s not uncommon for them to feel snug or slightly tight. Here’s what you need to know:

Initial Snugness is Common

Vans are designed to have a snug fit, especially around the width of the shoe. This snugness provides a secure feel and helps maintain better control, which is particularly valued by skateboarders.

It’s normal for Vans to feel tight across the foot initially, especially before they have had a chance to mold to the shape of your feet.

Allowing the Shoes to Mold to your Feet

With wear and time, Vans shoes tend to soften and conform to the contours of your feet. The canvas material becomes more flexible, resulting in a more comfortable fit. It’s important to give your Vans a chance to break in and adjust to your feet’s unique shape before making any judgments about their fit.

How to Stretch Vans Shoes for Easier Wear

If you’re struggling to put on your Vans shoes even after trying the above techniques, you can try stretching them for a more comfortable fit. Here’s how:

  1. Fill a plastic bag with water, ensuring it’s sealed tightly.
  2. Place the bag inside the shoe, positioning it where you feel the tightness.
  3. Put the shoes with the bag inside into the freezer overnight.
  4. As the water freezes, it will expand and gently stretch the canvas material.
  5. Remove the shoes from the freezer, allow them to thaw, and remove the bag.
  6. Try putting on the shoes again; they should be slightly easier to wear.


While Vans shoes may pose some initial challenges when it comes to putting them on, understanding their design, selecting the right size, and utilizing helpful techniques can make the process easier. With a bit of patience and practice, you can enjoy the comfort and style that Vans shoes have to offer.


Are all Vans shoes difficult to put on?

While some people may find all Vans shoes challenging to put on, it can vary depending on the individual’s foot shape and the specific style of Vans shoe.

Do all Vans shoes run small?

Vans shoes are known to run slightly smaller compared to other brands, but it’s recommended to try them on or refer to the size chart to ensure the right fit.

Can I wear socks with Vans shoes?

Yes, you can wear socks with Vans shoes. It’s a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer wearing thin socks or no socks for a more comfortable fit.

Do I need to break in my Vans shoes?

Yes, like many shoes, Vans shoes may require some break-in time. With consistent wear, the canvas will soften, and the shoes will become easier to put on.

Are there alternatives to slip-on Vans shoes?

Yes, Vans offers lace-up versions of their popular styles, which provide a more adjustable fit. Additionally, there are various other sneaker brands available with different designs and features.

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