Vans sizing vs. Nike—although they’re two heavy-weight brands, their footwear differs greatly. Nike shoes run narrow and short length-wise, suggesting you need to size up. Vans, however, are broader and the material stretches to improve the fit over time.
If you’re changing brand from Nike to Vans, or vice versa, you need to resize your feet. These two brands have a few differences in terms of fit—where Nike is quite slim and Vans are broader.
Vans and Nike are iconic footwear brands, both with long, rich histories. However, their styles differ significantly.
We detail all the differences in our Vans sizing vs. Nike comparison below.
Do Vans Run the Same Size as Nike?
Vans and Nike don’t run the same sizes. Nikes are considerably narrower and shorter than Vans. So when changing to a pair of Nikes, you need to size up. Let’s explain:
About Vans Sizes
The brand claims to run true to size, meaning that it sizes its footwear according to US standards determined by a Brannock device. Its shoes should neither be too big or too small—in theory, you should be able to order the same size as you would in any other shoe.
However, it isn’t always as easy as that, and we still recommend that you measure your feet and follow its size chart.
Another important point to consider is that most styles are unisex. The measurements are based on men’s sizing, which runs a size and a half larger than women’s shoes.
For example, if you wear a size 8 in women’s, you’d have to purchase a size 6.5 in men with unisex styles.
Over the years, the brand has included women-specific sizes for some of its styles, making it a lot easier to find your shoe.
It’s also fair to note that even though its sizes are US-based, all its styles are measured in centimeters.
Vans Size Chart
Vans has a helpful tool on its US website that calculates your shoe size for you. All you do is insert your measurement—in centimeters—and let the tool do the rest. It takes you straight to a page with all the sizes available for you.
This brand’s footwear fits a little differently. Compared to its major competitors, Reebok and Adidas, Nike shoes run slightly smaller. Length-wise, users report that they have to increase their sizes to have enough room in the toe box.
The petite sizing also affects the width, which is considerably narrower than Vans, for instance. It often causes issues for users with wide feet.
Fortunately, they tend to stretch slightly in the width, improving their comfort over time. However, you should still consider sizing up to accommodate your feet.
A great thing about this brand’s footwear is that most of its styles have wide toe boxes—you’ll have ample room for your toes to splay naturally during activity.
Another major pro is the pronounced arch support most of its shoes offer. It’s fantastic if you have normal to high arches. For flat feet, you may need to look for a particular style allowing you to insert your own orthotics.
Nike Size Chart
The brand also offers a tool within its app called Nike Fit, where you take a photo of your feet and analyze your size.
If you’re using the Nike sizing chart, we recommend going for either a half to a full size larger than your regular fit. For example, if you wear a 9 in Vans, go for a size 10 in Nikes.
For broad feet, purchase the “wide” option and then half a size larger than your usual fit. If wide options aren’t available, order a full-size up.
What Size Should I Get My Vans?
Fortunately, with this brand, it’s relatively easy to get the appropriate sizes. We still recommend following the chart.
To get your fit, the brand recommends measuring each foot from the back of the heel to the longest toe. Then select the right measurement in its tool, and it will take you to some suitable options.
An easy way to measure your feet is by standing on a piece of paper with your heel against a wall. Use a pen to mark where your longest toe reaches—remove your foot and measure the distance from the end of the paper to the mark.
Make sure to measure in centimeters as the tool doesn’t offer an option in inches. If you don’t have a measuring tape with centimeters, use a conversion tool.
How To Measure Your Feet for Nike Shoes
To measure your feet, the brand recommends that you wear the socks you’re planning on wearing. Then use the same method as above of standing on a piece of paper with your heel against the wall.
Compared to Vans, you can easily measure your feet in inches. The size charts Nike are available in both centimeters and inches. But we highly recommend taking advantage of its Nike Fit tool.
About Nike Fit
Nike Fit is an innovative invention that scans your feet using a combination of data science, computer vision, machine learning, artificial intelligence and algorithms.
It measures the full shape—length and width—of your feet, providing optimal recommendations for the best shoes.
It’s available on the app, where it asks you to scan your feet using your camera. The tool then collects 13 data points, mapping the morphology of your feet within a few seconds.
Once complete, it shows your recommended sizes and stores your result if you have a NikePlus member profile.
The brand stresses that this tool improves how it produces shoes to suit a broader range of users.
Nike SB Sizes Compared To Vans
In 2002, Nike revamped its line of skateboarding shoes, launching SB. The first SB line featured full-length Zoom Air insoles, providing support for the wearer.
Since its launch, the SB line has expanded to include multiple options—some are more for fashion than function. It’s also the closest resemblance we can draw to Vans out of all the brand’s styles.
However, in true Nike and Vans fashion, the sizes are quite different. SB sits snugly around the foot, but here it’s intentional.
Most of the shoes have an integrated elastic band and improved tongue to hug the foot, preventing it from slipping off during tricks.
Vans, although a bit roomier, also have a narrow construction. Similarly to the SB, it’s to keep the shoe in place while skateboarding. However, you don’t have to size up or down with Vans as you need to with Nike.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Vans Slip-Ons Run Big or Small?
Slip-ons waver a bit from the usual Vans fit. The styles tend to sit more snug, prompting users to go up in sizes.
However, we don’t recommend doing this—at least not going a full shoe size up. The slip-ons are supposed to fit more snug to prevent them from falling off. The material will also stretch with wear, improving the shoe size once you’ve broken them in.
Should I Size up or Down for Nike?
Because this brand’s footwear tends to run small, you may need to size up for a better fit. Follow the size chart Nike above and pick a size that’s either half to a full size larger, depending on the width of your feet.
Do Vans Break-In?
Vans boasts that it designed its footwear to withstand the fast pace of everyday life. However, you shouldn’t wear them for prolonged periods when new.
New Vans require a brief, but crucial, break-in period to loosen up the materials and soften the soles a bit.
Wear them in intervals, increasing the time once you feel more comfortable. You can also bend them with your hands to loosen up the sole. It shouldn’t take more than a few weeks.
Vans sizing vs. Nike—these iconic shoes sit very differently. Nike can be tight around the feet both in terms of length and width. Vans, however, fits true to size, but it can be confusing since most of its styles are unisex.
Luckily, both brands offer guides—Vans has a tool on its website, and Nike has its Nike Fit tool found on its app—making it effortless to find the perfect size for you.