Can You Wear Old Skool Vans in the Rain? (Waterproof)

Sometimes, we all need a reliable pair of sneakers to wear during the rainy season.

But we also want to look cool and casual too. Because of this, many people wonder are Old Skool Vans shoes waterproof and can you wear them in the rain?

Technically, traditional Old Skool Vans are not waterproof so you should not wear them in the rain. However, you can wear the Old Skool Vans GORE-TEX in the rain, which is made with durable waterproof and windproof GORE-TEX® technology.

Additionally, Vans sells a waterproof spray to keep your Vans shoe water- and stain-free. In this post, we will explore everything you need to know about wearing Vans shoes in the rain.

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Is It Okay to Wear Vans in the Rain?

What shoes you wear can make or break your day.

Sure, you can wear any shoes you want in the rain, but you have to be aware that water can cause stains and damage your shoes. Let’s explore whether or not you can wear Vans shoes in the rain…

Regular Old Skool Vans are not waterproof

Many shoe wearers come to ask the question: are Vans Old Skool Waterproof? So we reached out to the official Vans customer support and here’s what they said:

Old Skool Vans are not waterproof.

The upper part of Old Skool Vans is made of canvas and suede, materials that are not waterproof.

Just like with any article of clothing, not only do canvas and suede absorb water easily, but they also feel heavy when they get wet. Worse, they can become smelly too.

That being said, we’ve had some people in our community saying that while their Old Skool Vans got soaked, they were able to withstand the possible damage from the rain.

One of our friends was out in the summer wearing his Old Skool Vans when suddenly, the rain poured down without any warning. Sure, he had an umbrella, but it was so windy that the rain came at him from every direction, so the shoes he was wearing were soaking wet.

Surprisingly, after letting his Vans shoes dry, there were no damages on them.

In fact, some time went by and he even forgot about the whole incident. Thanks to the high rubber sole, Vans are able to stop immediate soakage, making them resilient rain survivors.

So, while Old Skool Vans are not waterproof, they are durable enough for the rain.

Old Skool Vans GORE-TEX is waterproof

If you want to keep your feet dry while rocking a pair of Old Skool Vans, then we recommend copping a pair of Old Skool Vans GORE-TEX. It is made with durable waterproof and windproof GORE-TEX® technology, offering optimized breathability.

Vans GORE-TEX is completely waterproof and windproof, allowing you to wear them in the rain.

For those of you who don’t know, Vans worked together with GORE-TEX® to create the ultimate waterproof shoes, without compromising the retro design of the brand.

GORE-TEX® product technologies have been the gold standard for everything waterproof because they are committed to creating products that provide maximum protection and comfort against the harshest weather conditions.

GORE-TEX® fabrics are treated with a durable water-repellent (DWR) polymer that penetrates the fibers, allowing them to withstand the rain with ease.

In fact, they are guaranteed to provide exceptional breathability and water protection.

So, if you want to look your best in the rain by wearing the Old Skool Vans shoes, buy the GORE-TEX version because they are waterproof and can be worn in the rain.

If you want to check out the GORE-TEX Old Skool Vans, visit the official Vans website right here.

*Last time we checked, the Old Skool Vans GORE-TEX was sold out. We did find a pair of Old Skool Vans GORE-TEX in navy/burgundy color right here on Amazon.

How to Make Your Vans Shoes Waterproof

One of the main drawbacks of buying a new pair of shoes is the expensive price, and sure enough, waterproof Vans sneakers are quite pricey. If you don’t want to buy a new pair of waterproof shoes, then your next best choice is to make them waterproof.

The quickest and easiest way to make your Vans shoes waterproof is to spray them with Vans Water and Stain Shield. It is designed to create an invisible barrier against moisture and stains, making your Vans shoes virtually waterproof.

Not only does the spray work for Vans, but it is also ideal for other footwear and accessories made from canvas, cotton, suede, nubuck, leather, mesh, or nylon.

In fact, you should apply it before you wear your shoes for the first time for optimal protective benefits. Here are the steps to make your Vans shoes waterproof:

1. Clean the Shoes First

As mentioned above, waterproofing is best applied to a brand new pair of shoes, where there is no dirt on them. However, if you are working with a pair of worn shoes, you need to clean it up thoroughly before you apply the waterproof spray.

By using an old toothbrush, start by brushing any dry dirt and mud you can find.

If your Vans are relatively clean, give them a good wipe with a damp microfiber cloth.

Otherwise, use a mild blend of water and laundry detergent, and scrub the upper part of the shoes until they are clean. Once they are stain-free, let them dry completely.

2. Apply the Waterproof Spray Thoroughly

The Vans Water and Shield Spray should be your first choice when waterproofing a pair of Vans, but we’ve also found great results by using this waterproof spray from NANOMAN because it is non-toxic and does not leave any smell whatsoever.

Before applying the waterproof spray, we recommend removing the laces to allow even distribution of the liquid. Laces can get in the way so you could miss parts that are covered by them.  Once your Vans shoes are dry, prepare the waterproof spray.

Apply the waterproof spray liberally.

Just be sure to cover the entire shoe with the liquid so that the waterproof spray is evenly distributed. Certain areas of the shoes, like parts with stitches, should be given extra application.

We recommend doing this step outdoors where there is plenty of air circulation. 

3. Let the Vans Shoes Dry

Once you have applied the spray thoroughly, let the Vans shoes dry for about 24 hours. You can even add another layer and repeat the drying process, although it is not necessary.

Remember, water should bead up and run off of your shoes if the waterproofing process is done properly. Whenever water is not beading up on your shoes, then it’s time to reapply.

And there you have it, a waterproof pair of Vans shoes. Now you can casually wear your retro Old Skool Vans in the rain without any worry of wet socks!

Bottom Line

Now you know whether you can wear Vans shoes in the rain or not.

To sum it up: don’t wear canvas and suede shoes, like Old Skool Vans, on rainy days.

However, if you really want to rock a pair of Old Skool Vans during the rainy season, you have two choices. First, you can buy a pair of waterproof Old Skool Vans made with GORE-TEX.

Secondly, you can apply waterproof spray, which is affordable, to your shoes.

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