Vans vs Airwalk: How Do They Compare?

The debate about which of Vans and Airwalk shoes is better has been on the block for quite a while. And you’ll definitely find loyal fans on both sides.

There are quite a few differences between them to help you arrive at the most fitting one for your style and dress sense. Before looking at both brands, I’d like to point out that it’s easy to get caried away by user reviews.

If you want to choose the right brand, make sure you’re looking at reviews objectively. Some of them are paid for while many are rooted in the pit of emotions. Having warned you, I think I can now move on to the meaty part; how Vans compare to Airwalk.

Vans vs Airwalk: Quick Comparison

Airwalk is a pioneer in the footwear industry especially if you’re looking for skateboarding shoes. They’re very popular when they were making quality shoes independently.

Unfortunately, they’ve been acquired by Payless shoes some years ago. And that comes with both pros and cons. Because they’re now owned by Payless shoes, you’re likely to be paying less for any of their brands unlike Vans, which is more expensive.

So, on the cost side, Airwalk will give any shoe at a much lower price. This is in comparison to Vans, which is more expensive. However, the quality of Airwalk shoes has reduced a lot over the past few years. Vans make more quality shoes but at a cost. It’s your choice to make.

Vans vs Airwalk: The Battle Continues

Back in the olden days, people would wear shoes to protect their feet from the elements. When the ground beneath is too cold or hot, you need something to shield your feet. But now, you can wear your shoes for a variety of reasons.

The prevalence of sports makes this even more pronounced with more and more manufacturers making shoes specifically for some sports like basketball shoes.

Airwalk and Vans are two of the brands around now that are competing for your attention. Airwalk brands itself as a skateboarding shoe brand while Vans is more generic. Let’s look at two of both brands’ numerous shoes:

Vans Men’s Ward Suede/Canvas Trainer and the Airwalk Performance Cross Trainer


Most shoes are available in different colors. Right now, black is my favorite color because I put on white apparel most of the time. I’m sure many people have a different wardrobe arrangement.

A trainer will most likely go with most of your clothing regardless of its color. But if you’ve been after a specific color, you have quite a few options.

The Vans Trainer is available in pure black, white/black, grey and green colors. Personally, I don’t like this color range. Well, except for the black one with white stripes and the checkered one. I like the color range of the Airwalk Trainer better. But that’s just me.


When I’m comparing two brands, I like to look at the price point. Most of the time, you’ll see two very similar products with a wide range of prices. I’m seeing a similar trend with both Vans and Airwalk.

Generally, Vans’ shoe prices are on the high side, sometimes touching several hundred dollars. As you can imagine, the Vans is much more expensive than the Airwalk shoe.

You may be able to get a good deal on the Vans if you look long enough, but I doubt you’ll get something as low as the Vans. Where I’m I going with this? It’s that if you don’t have too much to spend on your next purchase, you may want to look at the Airwalk Shoe.


Buying footwear is just like doing a business. You want to make a profit at the end of the day in your business. As for the footwear, you want to get your money’s worth out of it.

The material on the Vans Men’s Shoe is Duracap reinforced. The shoe sidewall has also been heightened. The result is a tough construction for rough terrain and a more sturdy, classic look.

The tread depth on the sole is carved deep so it can last longer and withstand abuse. The outsole is made from rubber and very tough and will probably last longer than that of the Airwalk.

The Airwalk Shoe boasts of a lightweight, non-marking material, which likely means it’s easier to lift than Vans. This is clearly evident in many of the reviews of users on the Airwalk shoe who find that it’s very lightweight.


The upper/shaft of the Vans Men Shoe is made from a combination of both canvas & suede as opposed to the sporty, breathable, upper of the Airwalk.

The materials used in making the uppers of both shoes are breathable so that wearing them for long periods should remain comfortable in both.

The Vans shoe has sock liners in the insole with cushioning and impact protection for lesser leg fatigue when you put it on for a longer period. A similar build is found in the Payless Airwalk which has cushioned memory foam insole for added comfort.

Washing the Shoes Fortunately, both the Vans and Airwalk shoes can be washed, if you prefer to clean them that way. I know many people would like to wash their shoes using a washing machine.

However, the manufacturers don’t recommend that because it can cut short the longevity of the shoes. It’s better to hand wash the shoe using warm and a little detergent. And thereafter press out excess water from the shoe with a towel.

Longevity One thing I can say here is that how long your shoe lasts is largely dependent on your maintenance.

I can’t deny that the quality of the shoe will also play a role. However, you’ll agree with me that roughly used footwear will not last long even if it’s made from strong, durable materials.

Which Is Better for Running?

This is a tough one to answer. But looking at the construction and design of both shoes, I’d say Airwalk might be better because it’s airy so you may not feel it while on the go.

The outsole is thicker in Vans, which may not be comfortable for running in. The outsole of Vans Men’s Shoe is made from waffles, which is generally not recommended for serious running.

So, if you’re going to be using your trainers predominantly for running, I’d consider the Vans at this junction.

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