If you are looking for a pair of super comfy shoes with an iconic look, few brands will grab your attention as much as Vans. But before you take the plunge and splurge on a new pair, it’s best to make sure they are going to fit right, leaving many first time shoppers wondering if they run big or small?
Vans do not run big or small, they run true to size. Their sizing range is impressive, covering a truly inclusive variety of sizes, from 3.5 all the way to 17 (men’s). At first Vans may feel slightly tight on the feet, until they are broken in after a few days wear, so please keep this in mind.
Grab your own pair of vans over at Vans.com, or check out their official Amazon store here, to see who have the best prices.
In this guide you can find a Vans sizing chart (click here to skip ahead to this) that will help you get the perfect fit, without the need for annoying returns. There’s nothing worse then buying a pair of shoes online, for them to not fit right, so make sure you measure your feet according to the guide, and use the chart to get your measurement. I’ve also included help with Vans clothing sizing.
Vans shoes also come in half sizes, which may need to be considered if you for are an in-between size.
I have also included my own personal review of Vans sizing, as I am a long term customer and fan of the brand (plus photos and a video to help you as much as possible!). Read on for my personal experience, and a breakdown of Vans sizing for their clothing range too.
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Are Vans True To Size?
Despite what you may have heard on forums or from friends, Vans are true to the sizes measured on their sizing chart. In my experience every pair of Vans sneakers I have owned over the years have fit true to my size ( I am a UK women’s size 6, US size 8, for reference).
They have an excellent inclusive range of sizes, including half sizes. You can even make custom sizing orders if you have exceptionally large feet. If you want to know more about the comfort of Vans, and how the toe box feels/ the how the heel is supported, read my guide: Are Vans Comfortable? A Long-Term Review (With Photos).
The shoes will always be the same measurements as laid out in their sizing chart, allowing you to know what size of Vans will always fit you, no matter where in the world you are buying them.
Many people that have bought shoes from other brands may find Vans sizing slightly different, usually because the sizes they have previously used are wrong. It’s always best to take your measurements again to be sure (continue further into the post for the measuring guide and sizing chart).
Often, people are initially confused by the half sizes provided by Vans and choose a shoe size that is too small or too large. This causes hassle that could easily avoided by using the size charts or simply trying on the shoes inside the store – which is always best!
Here is a video of me showing how Vans fit:
Do Vans Run Big?
No, unless you have bought Vans that are too big for your feet, they will never run big as they are made with strict requirements, uniformed across their entire range of global factories. Often this is why people prefer to buy Vans and find them so comfortable, as the shoes are always made to the same high quality standards, no matter where the factory is based.
Do Vans Run Small?
Vans do not run small, however they may feel initially quite snug straight out of the box, as the material will be tight for the first few times you wear them.
Breaking them in over the course of a few wears does the trick and they loosen up nicely to fit your feet. This has caused some to assume that the shoes run small when they first try them on. Read my guide to breaking in Vans here: How To Break In Vans (7 FAST and Painless Ways).
When you are deciding on what shoes to get, I recommend trying on a set of Vans in a store, to see which style you like best from their range. Stores selling Vans have measuring tools to determine the exact size you will need to wear, even if it is a half-size shoe.
You may also like: Are Vans Good For Wide Feet? (Size Guide FAQs)
The Vans Size Charts
Now that we know whether or not the set of Vans you are looking to buy will be too big, too small, or just right we need to look at all the sizing charts. While traditionally, we would refer to Vans as just shoes, it is important to note the company now provides much more than just shoes.
There are several sizing charts for the various product types available on their website, and understanding when and where each one is used will be beneficial to your shopping experience. Many people have mistakenly chosen a set of Vans products that they think will fit, only to find they didn’t get their own size quite right.
Vans Shoe Size Chart
The first chart Vans offer on their website is the chart that refers to the sizes of shoes that you can buy, the Vans shoe size chart. This chart includes the sizes of all the shoes you can buy from Vans, whether for men or women, with the UK, EU, US men, and US Women sizes included on it.
For adult men, UK and US sizes differ by one, with a UK 3 being a US 4, while the EU uses the measurement of 35 for the same size. In US women’s size, this would be a 5.5, and the total length of a Van of this size would be 22 centimeters, with everything changing as the sizes increase.
The only thing not shown on this chart are the sizes of kids’ shoes; these are on their own kids size chart and start at a UK size 10, which is a US size 10.5. Similarly to adult-sized shoes, the shoes meant for kids have half steps between each size, allowing you to buy shoes that will last longer than just a year.
I have created a Vans shoe size chart for you to use here, to save you clicking through, if you would prefer to use this. It is informed by the official unisex adult Vans size chart, and included measurements for the US and EU.
|Foot Length (cm)
How To Correctly Measure Your Feet
The best way to measure your feet at home, if you plan on shopping online, is to use the piece of paper and measuring tape method.
You will need:
- A piece of paper
- A pencil
- A measuring tape
- Step onto the piece of paper.
- Mark the tip of your longest toe and the back of your heel on the paper with the pencil.
- Remove your foot and measure the distance between the two marks in cm.
- Use the above Vans sizing chart to find your correct measurement.
The Size Charts For Tops
As Vans is a company that knows many different sizes like to wear their clothes, the sizes for tops are not universal and are completely separated. The men’s size chart is broken into three: men’s tops, men’s tees classic fit, and then men’s tees slim fit, with the chest size differing wildly.
Ironically, when it comes to women’s tops, things are easier, with only one sizing chart, with exact measurements around the bust, waist, and hips. For kids, tops Vans has separated everything into toddlers up to age seven to eight, then from eight onwards, it’s small to extra-large.
You may also like: How Long Do Vans Last? (REAL Review)
The Size Chart For Bottoms
Starting at extra-small and going up to 2XL the Vans bottoms have a great sizing range; these can be jeans, shorts, or anything in between. Men’s sizes will differ from fit to fit, which does mean it is best to try on the clothes until you have the exact measurements that work with your body shape.
Like men’s fits, women’s bottoms start at extra-small but only go up to extra-large and will require you to try the clothes before knowing if they will fit. While kids get the easiest sizes to understand here, up to eight years old use sizes 2 to 7, while older, it goes from slim to extra-large.
The Size Charts For Accessories And Socks
Regarding the sizes for all of the accessories that Vans sell, you will need to decide in-store what fits the best. Socks, hats, and belts are all the most common accessories sold in Vans stores and require that you know more or less what you need.
It will often be best to try on the hats and belts to feel which sizes fit the best on you while wearing other clothes or accessories. Often when buying hats online, people will assume there is a standard size when in reality, hats meant for men, women, or children will all have different sizes.
How Do You Know The Size Of Your Vans?
You can find the size of Van’s shoes printed on the label on the sneaker tongue, or printed into the waffle style sole. However, if you have worn out the labelling on the inside of the shoes, you can have the shoes measured at a store.
Because Vans shoes adhere to the available shoe sizes used by other brands, they can be measured against other shoes to find the size. Furthermore, shoe stores have the necessary tool to measure the total width and length of any shoe, allowing you to buy shoes that are the same size.
Often people buying shoes for friends or family as a gift can bring a shoe that already fits them and have the shoes sized at a Vans store. I recommend you also check to see if the Vans you are buying may be available in a half size larger, especially if the shoe is worn out around the toes.
Should You Buy Vans A Half Size Bigger?
You should only buy a half size bigger of any shoe, including Vans, if your current shoe size constricts you. Shoes should not be so tight that you cannot wiggle your toes while wearing them, while they should also not be so large that your toes don’t completely reach the end.
We recommend going a half size larger if you find that shoes your current size chafe you or that your toes reach the absolute point of your shoes. A comfortable pair will allow your feet some wiggle room ahead of the toes while also not pushing in on the flat side of your feet.
Should Vans Fit Tight Or Loose?
When you have the perfect pair of Vans for your feet, they should fit slightly tightly for the first few times you wear the shoes. However, as time passes, the shoes should stretch out and become significantly more comfortable no matter where you go. If you need help breaking in your Vans I have a full guide here: How To Break In Vans (7 FAST and Painless Ways).
If you find that the shoes, especially their slip-on model, are still tight fitting after wearing the shoes for a cumulative ten or more hours, you should try a larger size. People who are used to wearing open-toed shoes or go barefoot often have the most trouble finding their size.
This is because your feet naturally stretch out and ‘go flat’ as you walk without shoes that apply proper pressure over time.
Vans are made specifically to fit a broad range of feet, which means that the size chart used by Vans is similar to those of other big brands with a commitment to inclusive sizing. This has allowed many to use Vans as the baseline size for all the other shoes they may want to buy, as they run true to size.
For more Vans content, check out:
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).