If you’ve not had chance to try on a pair of Vans sneakers for yourself, you may be wondering how much height will they add to your frame? Before you invest in your first pair, let’s take a look at how much height benefit you can expect from Vans, including pictures and a video of how different Vans models look when worn (and if they measure up the same).
Vans add 0.7 inches (1.8 cm) of height when worn. On the classic Vans models like the Old Skools and Slip Ons the height benefit is the same, as the out soles are the same height.
Here is a photo showing the outsole measurement on Old Skool Vans and on Slip On Vans:
It might look like they should add 0.8 inches of height, but with your weight on the soles they will compress slightly, to 0.7 inches.
Check out the current price of Vans here.
Here’s a video of me wearing my different pairs of Vans and measuring how much height they add, so you can get a visual:
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Vans has a wide range of different sneakers in different styles, colors, and of course, different soles. Let’s take a look at how you can achieve the illusion of looking taller by choosing the correct style of Vans.
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Do Vans Truly Make You Taller?
Vans have the ability to make you taller due to their raised insoles. A classic pair of Vans will make you 0.7 inches taller when the sneakers are completely new.
When you consider classic running shoes and sneakers, which usually make you between 1 and 1.5 inches taller, Vans add a bit of subtle height in comparison.
Check your fit before getting your first pair: Vans Size Guide & Chart (Do Vans Run Big Or Small?)
However, when you measure the full section of rubber on the outer sole section of Vans, you will notice it is about 1.1 Inches. The fox taping that binds the rubber to the suede or canvas doesn’t actually give you any extra height, as that’s all in the outer soles, but it does create a bit of an optical illusion that it adds more.
The insole is much lower than the rest of the shoe, and even though it has some flexibility, the innersole of Vans shoes will lose some of their height once worn extensively over time. In my experience it takes a lot of wear before the soles start to compress.
This is the same with the original version of Vans platforms, as they don’t add more height than the original ones but just create the illusion that they do. They have the same insole height as the original Slip Ons, but their outer soles only seem more raised.
However, after platform shoes gained more and more popularity, Vans also had to jump in on the trend. This was when they created Vans with even thicker outsoles to create a taller look, but where the insole height remains the same, making for the most comfortable wear.
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Which Vans Will Make You Look Taller?
If you’re looking for the optimal Vans shoe that will help you gain the most physical height, you’re out of luck, as all Vans will add the same height. However, if you want a pair that will create the illusion of being much taller, I’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at the best type of Vans to consider when you want to look taller:
You will be pleasantly surprised by Stacked Vans’ ability to make you appear taller. With these sneakers’ outsoles and fox tape measuring a whopping 1.6 inches, plus see-through edging at the soles, you will definitely look much taller when wearing them.
Stacked Vans are a more recent Vans design and they are an excellent example of how the iconic Vans look can be modernised.
With outer soles reaching 1.3 inches, these Vans have massive aesthetic value. Another modern take on Vans, these platforms will make you appear much taller, especially when worn with shorts.
They’re particularly popular with gen z and are a great example of the platform trend.
Although SK8-Hi Vans have high outer soles measuring 1.1 inches, they will create the illusion of you being taller. These versions of Vans are one of the most popular shoes for both fashion purposes and sports enthusiasts as they have awesome grip.
Plateau Vans are a staple in many sneakerhead’s closets. With the classic waffle outsole and outer soles reaching a height of an inch, you’ll be surprised at how these Vans sneakers make you appear taller in a subtle way.
Both the Plateau and Plateau 2.0 versions of these shoes have 1-inch outsoles, for reference.
How Can You Use Vans To Make You Appear Taller?
Since the most popular Vans styles will only make you 0.7 inches taller, you can take matters into your own hands to appear taller, by styling them in certain ways.
Let’s have a look at some easy things you can do to appear taller with your favorite pair of Vans:
Appear Taller With A Pair Of White Vans
Wear white Vans with light colored jeans for a seamless look. If you wear dark shoes with light jeans, it can shorten the appearance of your frame as there is too much color contrast.
Sticking to a similar color profile on your lower half will make your legs appear longer, like an optical illusion.
Wear Low-Contrast Colors With Your Vans
If you already have a darker-colored shade of Vans, you can also pair them with dark clothing on your lower half. Try to create the least amount of contrast with your clothes as much as you can, for the illusion of more height.
Pay Attention To The Fit Of Your Pants
Paying attention to your legs is the best place to start when you want to appear taller. No matter the color or fit of your Vans, wearing tight-fitting pans will make your legs appear longer than they are, creating the illusion that your legs and you are taller!
Don’t Wear High Tops
If you’re a huge fan of SK8-Hi Vans, you may not want to opt for a pair if you want to look taller. Because high tops cover your ankle and a piece of your leg, it often makes your legs look shorter. For this reason, to expose more of your legs, you should opt for a low-top type of Vans platform.
Consider Inserting Shoe Lifts
You have an easy solution if you don’t want to be restricted by the style or color of your vans or what to wear to compliment them. You can easily gain a few inches and look taller by inserting shoe lifts inside your Vans.
Some shoe lifts have up to four or more layers that could add a few inches, making you taller. They aren’t uncomfortable to wear, and often Vans become even more comfortable after inserting shoe lifts due to the extra cushioning.
The most popular Vans styles will only make you 0.7 inches taller, which is nice if you enjoy a subtle height increase. To appear taller when wearing Vans you can use some of the color-pairing styling hacks above to create the optical illusion of longer legs.
At the end of the day Vans are iconic sneakers that never go out of style. They are a great staple choice for your sneaker closet, even though the height benefit from wearing them is minimal. They are my go-to sneakers and I’ve been wearing them for years. That bit of extra height is just a fun addition to their timeless style in my opinion!
For more Vans content check out:
Are Vans Comfortable? A Long-Term Review (With Photos)
How Long Do Vans Last? (REAL Review)
Where Are Vans Made? 2023 Guide & FAQs
Fake Vans vs Real Vans: 15 Ways To Spot Fake Vans (Photos)
Lorna is a footwear geek and the founder of Wearably Weird. She created a YouTube channel in 2021 for fellow footwear fanatics, dedicated to detail-rich footwear reviews and info. She has a fashion media qualification (awarded in 2011).