Sunday, January 10, 2010

Debate: Vans Authentic vs. Era

I love both of Vans' classic styles and have owned each at some point or another (currently on a pair of Eras).  The classic colorways of the Authentic are unmatched, while the comfort offered by the Era is top notch.  Classic Vans are the epitome of sneakers as far as I am concerned, but it's difficult to pit both of these against each other.

For those not aware, the Authentic (first sold as "deck shoes") was Vans' first model introduced in 1966, while the Era debuted in 1975 (under the name "# 95") as their first pro model designed by legendary skaters Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta.  Keep in mind that I haven't even mentioning the iconic slip on ("# 44") which hit the streets in '79.  I am most definitely going to grab a new pair of Vans for S/S and wanted to get everyone's thoughts on the pros and cons of their favorites.  In the "immortal" words of The Pack, "I've got my Vans on, but they look like sneakers."





[Update: Nick, whose love for Vans is well documented, just sent over his sentiments: "Seriously...don't be ridiculous. F-ing Authentics. Eras are the EXACT specifications as the Authentics except for the padding. If it's not 1978, and you're not skating, then you have ZERO use for Eras." Touche Nick, touche indeed.]


  1. Authentics! and I love that color way.

  2. I haven't worn Vans since I was maybe 16 or so, but Authentics all the way!

    In the navy blue colorway too..

  3. Eras hang onto my feet better and are little bit more substantial.

  4. Hmm. That's a tuff one. Since they are canvas I gotta go with the comfort factor. Era's for me.

  5. Era's.

    Superga Cotu 2750 when I want streamline.

  6. I've always gone with Authentics. I see no reason to change it up now.

  7. I have a pair of both. I love them both. Do we HAVE to pick just one?

  8. always about the authentics!

  9. so i gotta say authentics are slightly better looking (both are bomb). however, i get much more mileage out of my eras. the heels are constructed slightly better and the extra padding helps keep them together.

  10. AUTHENTIC. No debate for me. The padding goofs up what is already a perfect shoe.

  11. WOw Im sucha douche, only realized today they were different shoes, although I own pairs of both.

    I just mentioned to someone the other day how there are two versions of the era, padded and not padded.

    In the same conversation I also mentioned how the padded felt so much more comfortable... guess im an era guy.

  12. Got here by chance thru random search for "era vs authentic".

    I'd have to say from the perspective of someone with wide feet (2E, but NOT 4E), although the Authentics are the epitome of "vans classic", add to that the lack of the leather padded collar makes for longevity(my slip-on's leather padded collar flakes off after a few washes and tears open with time, wish they were cotton)... the Era's are the better of the two.

    Style-wise, it gives shape to the feet and looks better on people of all sizes from the stick-thin anorexics to the tub-o'-lards like myself... especially when you have shorts on.
    Now imagine Arnold "the Governator" wearing 70's/80's short-shorts, flexing muscle in ballerina shoes because that's how Authentics look like on people with medium to large build body types.

    Comfort-wise, the Authentics' unpadded collar looks like it'll eat your skin raw at the back of your achilles if you intend to wear these without socks on.
    So I'll just assume Eras win this contest.

    I know this post/blog is a year old but a few new 2011 comments have my hopes up... could someone tell me if the Vans Era have the same width or at least feel like they hug your feet the same as the Vans Slip-ons? Asking because I tried Authentics on @ the Vans store nearest to me and they just don't comfortably fit my wide feet(choking it to death), but my worn out slip-ons were perfect since day one.
    I just don't like going to the Vans store anymore, I'm feeling old with the tweens around.

  13. autentics are one of the most clean shoes ever released point blank.

  14. How is this even a question? Ofcourse Era are nicer, that's why they cost a bit more. But overall, they're both great shoes. If I had to choose though, Era all the way!

  15. I ordered black and green fabric Vans Authentic's,and they look GREAT! They do look better than the Era's,which have allot more stitching around the side. The shoes I just ordered are my third pair of Authentic's this year,but I have 2 Era's.

    Overall I think they both have their uses: Era's are great on the comfy side,while the authentics look better.

  16. Actually, I have the both kind of Vans, but I have to say that Authentic is little bit worse than Era becasue of material. Authenthics were torn by wearing, but the Era is still good, like a new shoes. I prefer Era for a cloudy rainy or a cool days, and Authenthic is mostly for a summer.

  17. I recently bought two pairs of vans. Vans era and the authentic ones. Before I bought them I always loved the look of the authentic ones. When I bought them I changed my mind. The era ones are way more comfortable and look go with the era ones:)


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  19. I never tried ERA but
    Authentics are best.

  20. I prefer Era. Because they is more comfortable.

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