Vans Old Skool vs Converse One Star – Which Shoe Supreme?

As you shop for your next pair of casual sneakers, you may be deciding between two iconic options: the Converse One Star and Vans Old Skool.

Both are classic low-top shoes with roots dating back to the 70s skateboard culture, but they also have some key differences.

So how do you determine which one best fits your style and everyday needs?

I’ll compare the key features like fit, comfort, support, designs, and pricing between Converse One Star versus Vans Old Skool. I’ll also share user reviews and recommendations based on popular uses from skating to walking to help you decide: “Are Old Skools or One Stars better for me?”

Converse One Star vs Vans Old Skool

The main difference between Converse One Star and Vans Old Skool lies in their distinctive silhouettes and brand heritage. The One Star features a low-profile, streamlined shape with a single star on the side, reflecting Converse’s iconic basketball origins. In contrast, the Old Skool boasts Vans’ signature side stripe and a more bulky, skate-inspired construction, embodying the brand’s deep-rooted ties to skateboarding culture.

While both offer classic, versatile styles, the One Star exudes a sleek, minimalist vibe, while the Old Skool embraces a chunkier, more rebellious aesthetic.

FeatureConverse One StarVans Old Skool
Upper MaterialSuede or CanvasCanvas
OutsoleRubberVulcanized Waffle Outsole
Toe BoxReinforced Toe CapReinforced Toe Cap
CushioningOrthoLite InsoleMinimal Cushioning
BrandingOne Star BrandingVans Sidestripe and Heel Patch
ColorwaysClassic Colors and CollaborationsClassic Colors and Collaborations
ConstructionStitched Cup SoleVulcanized Construction
Intended UseCasual/LifestyleSkate/Casual
Average Price$60 – $80$60 – $80
Target AudienceCasual Sneaker FansSkaters and Casual Sneaker Fans

In summary, the One Star is more geared towards casual lifestyle wear with added cushioning, while the Old Skool prioritizes boardfeel and grip for skating. Both have a similar classic low-top silhouette and price point.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Vans Old Skool

  • Classic skate shoe design
  • Iconic side stripe
  • Durable canvas or leather upper
  • Cushioned footbed

Cons: Vans Old Skool

  • Limited customization options
  • May require break-in period

Pros: Converse One Star

  • Sleek and minimalist design
  • Comfortable cushioning
  • Versatile, suitable for casual outfits
  • Wide range of color options

Cons: Converse One Star

  • May lack durability compared to Vans
  • Traction may not be as reliable for skating
  • Limited availability in certain styles

Which Shoes are Good for Different Activities

Shoes for Running

Converse One Star

The One Star has a flat, rubber outsole with minimal cushioning, which can lead to discomfort and potential injury during running. It also lacks the necessary support and stability features required for running.

Vans Old Skool

Similar to the One Star, the Vans Old Skool has a flat, flexible sole with minimal cushioning, making it unsuitable for running. These shoes do not provide the shock absorption and support needed for high-impact activities like running.

Shoes for Walking

Converse One Star

The One Star has a relatively thin, flat sole, which can provide decent comfort for casual walking. However, the lack of arch support and cushioning may lead to foot fatigue during extended periods of walking.

Vans Old Skool

The Vans Old Skool has a similar flat, flexible sole to the One Star, which can provide decent comfort for casual walking. However, like the One Star, it lacks the arch support and cushioning needed for prolonged walking.

Shoes for Standing All Day

Converse One Star

The flat, minimal sole of the One Star lacks the necessary cushioning and arch support for prolonged standing. This can lead to foot fatigue and discomfort after several hours of standing.

Vans Old Skool

Similar to the One Star, the flat, flexible sole of the Vans Old Skool lacks the arch support and cushioning needed for standing all day. Prolonged standing in these shoes may lead to foot and lower back pain.

Now that you have an overview of Converse One Star vs Vans Old Skool differences, read on for an in-depth feature-by-feature comparison.

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Fit and Sizing

Getting the right size sneaker with a comfortable, secure fit is key to all-day wear and walkability. The Old Skool and One Star do differ slightly in their fit and sizing:

Converse One Star

  • Runs at least 1⁄2 to a full-size large
  • Loose fit through midfoot if not sized properly
  • Unstructured canvas upper stretches over time

Vans Old Skool

  • Runs true to size for most feet
  • The tapered shape offers a more secure hold around the foot
  • Leather or suede panel adds structure

So going with your exact measurements is more reliable for Vans, but consider sizing DOWN if buying Converse. I recommend trying both options in-store to assess personal fit before buying.

I’ve also put together this quick size chart for comparison if buying online:

Foot MeasurementConverse One StarVans Old Skool
Size 6 women’s/4 men’sOrder Size 5Order Size 6
Size 7 women’s/5 men’sOrder Size 6Order Size 7
Size 8 women’s/6 men’sOrder Size 7Order Size 8
Size 9 women’s/7 men’sOrder Size 8Order Size 9
Size 10 women’s/8 men’sOrder Size 9Order Size 10

Comfort and Support

From walking around campus or commuting about town to an entire day of travel, you need shoes that provide adequate cushioning and support.

The Old Skool wins clearly in this category with its padded collar lining, sturdy shape, and signature waffle outsole. The lightweight One Stars prioritizes flexibility and breathability over stability.

Padding and Cushioning

Old Skool:

  • Padded leather or velour collar
    • Ultracush removable sockliner
    • EVA midsole absorbs shock
    • Rubber waffle outsole
  • One Star
  • Unlined thin canvas collar
    • No cushioning features
    • Flat rubber outsole

Arch Support

  • Old Skool: Signature contoured insoles support arches
  • One Star: Flat basic insole lacks arch shaping

So if you’ll be on your feet for extended time or have high arches needing support, the Old Skool’s cushioning makes a noticeable difference in fatigue reduction versus Converse.

However, Converse delivers that barely-there, flexible feel of some love for casual, laidback environments. So it comes down to preference and priorities for your wearing needs.

Traction and Durability

Converse and Vans rank as two of the most iconic skate shoes around thanks to grippy soles that stuck to early boards. But which stands up better today to repeated wears, abrasions, and slips?

The Old Skool takes the lead again for its sturdy construction and durable sole.


  • Old Skool: Iconic waffle pattern with deep lugs improves traction
  • One Star: Smooth herringbone tread prone to wear over time


  • Old Skool: Reinforced toecap and sturdy suede/leather materials
  • One Star: Light canvas rubs through and rips easier

Abrasion Resistance

  • Old Skool: Rubber guarding in high-wear areas
  • One Star: Minimal abrasion protection

The vulcanized rubber and reinforced guards of the Old Skool helped them last season over season, while One Stars showed signs of holes and tears much faster. However, some like to switch out the disposable feel of fresher Converse more often for new looks.

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Style and Design Choices

While the Old Skool flaunts its iconic sidestripe look, the One Star serves as a blank canvas for creative collaborations and prints. Which design better suits your fashion sense?

Old Skool Style

The low-profile Old Skool keeps its throwback vibe simple but timeless, with the familiar:

  • Suede and canvas paneling
  • Padded collar
  • Signature side stripes
  • Off-white rubber midsole

Beyond classic black and white, Old Skools come in a range of color-blocking looks mixing bold or pastel shades of:

  • Red
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • Yellow

Plaid, star, and other allover prints also make seasonal appearances to elevate the Old Skool’s cool street style.

One Star Style

Channeling ’70s tennis style, the One Star sticks to crisp white or mono colorways accentuated by the green star logo sidebar.

As for collabs and limited editions, anything goes for One Star when it comes to radical prints, fabrics, and detailing like:

  • Denim
  • Glitter
  • Checks
  • Tie-dye
  • Words or graffiti
  • Mismatched sides

Fans love the blank canvas potential to make the One Stars their own. Easy to dress up or down, One Stars complements both boho dresses and everyday jeans.

I’ll break down key style differentiation in this handy table:

Style FactorOld SkoolOne Star
SilhouetteIconic side stripeBlank canvas
Default ColorsBlack, whiteWhite, primary colors
Collabs/LimitedSome printsEndless creativity
LooksSkater, street casualRetro tennis, boho

So if having that recognizable look is key, Old Skools win. But for versatile style experimenting, One Star has an edge.

Pricing Comparison

As these details prove, you get what you pay for between these iconic sneakers. Expect to spend $10 to $30+ more for the more durable, supported Old Skool versus minimalist One Stars.

Here’s a pricing breakdown of standard versions:

ShoeMen’s PricingWomen’s Pricing
Converse One Star$55-$65$50-$60
Vans Old Skool$65-$75$60-$70
  • Old Skools cost about $10-$15 more on average per pair
  • Seasonal sales can drop One Star under $40 and Old Skools near $50
  • Limited collab/special editions for both spike over $90

Considering the cost per wear given lifespan estimates:

  • Converse One Star at $60: lasts about 1 season if worn regularly before showing wear
  • Vans Old Skool at $70: lasts 2-3 seasons with care before replacing

So Vans gives you better bang for your buck long term. But the affordable price point of Converse makes it easy to refresh yearly.

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User Reviews and Price Comparison

JaneD123Converse One Star⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Love these sneakers! Classic Converse style but a little different with the one star design. Very comfortable and go with everything.
SneakerFan88Vans Old Skool⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐You can’t go wrong with the iconic Vans Old Skools. Durable canvas, cushioned footbed, and that classic look. A must-have skateboarding shoe.
StyleGuru42Converse One Star⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐The Converse One Stars are so cool and stylish. The suede detail adds a nice touch. I get compliments every time I wear them.
SkaterDudeVans Old Skool⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐The grip on these is amazing for skateboarding. They last forever too. The black and white colorway is a classic that never goes out of style.
Fashionista21Converse One Star⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Finally a Converse sneaker that feels more sleek and modern but still has that retro vibe. Looks great dressed up or down.
ShoeFiendVans Old Skool⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐That unmistakable Vans look and quality. The Old Skools are legends in the sneaker world. Comfortable for all-day wear too.


BrandModelPrice Range
ConverseOne Star$60 – $90
VansOld Skool$60 – $80


Both the Converse One Star and Vans Old Skool are iconic sneaker designs that have stood the test of time. The One Star offers a sleek and minimalist look with its low-profile silhouette and classic canvas upper, while the Old Skool features the signature Vans side stripe and a slightly chunkier sole.

The One Star may be the more versatile option, easily dressing up or down, whereas the Old Skool leans more toward a casual, skater-inspired aesthetic. Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal style preference – the streamlined One Star or the instantly recognizable Vans checkerboard pattern and thicker sole. Either way, you’re getting a timeless sneaker with decades of heritage behind it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are One Stars good for walking?

Converse One Stars offer minimal cushioning, so they would not be my top pick for extended walking sessions. Their thin, flat design does promote air circulation and flexibility, however – making them better suited for casual, everyday wear in skool or weekend settings versus all-day city travel on foot I would choose a more supportive sneaker.

Should I size up or down in One Star?

Size down! Converse One Stars generally run at least a half size too large. So if you’re normally a size 8, purchasing a size 7 would be best for a secure fit. I’d recommend trying first in-store if possible. Ordering 1/2 to a full size down is usually safest for the right One Star fit.

How long do Vans Old Skools last?

With proper care like cleaning regularly and not wearing down heel sides, Old Skools typically last average active wearers around 2 years before visible outsole/upper wear prompts replacement. The sturdiness of leather panels and vulcanized soles make this Vans signature skate shoe ideal for enduring months to years of adventure.

What shoes are comparable to Vans Old Skools?

Some options similar in sporty low profile silhouette, higher support, and traction include Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Stars, Adidas Sambas, or Nike SB Chron 2 skate models. However, the Old Skool still stands out for its sidestripe flair and cushioning properties at a reasonable price point.

Can you machine wash Converse or Vans?

For day-to-day cleaning, spot-treat canvas sneakers with dish soap and avoid machine washing which can deteriorate stitching over time. When needing a deeper clean, try hand washing gently with mild detergent then stuff shoes with towels to retain shape as they air dry. Machine washing even delicate cycles risks damage.

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