Converse vs. Vans

Written by Eleanor | 05/10/2016




When it comes to choosing your footwear, how you finish off an outfit with shoes is equally as important as everything else you wear. Shoes tie an outfit together. They complete the ensemble, and wearing the wrong pair of shoes with an outfit can throw your entire look out. Even if your clothes are completely in fashion.

Two of the most famous footwear brands are Converse and Vans. Both emulate a preppy style, which can be worn in casual situations, but also dressed up smartly for more formal events. Mainline Menswear is here to weigh up the pros and cons of both brands, and help you decide when to wear each of them.

Converse Collage


Converse began in 1908 as a rubber shoe company specialising in galoshes. By 1920, the famous ‘All Star’ shoe had been created, a unique basketball sneaker which has changed very little in almost 100 years.

The look of Converse models a white rubber sole, with a fabric upper available as either a high-top, or a low-top. The uppers come in a range of colours and designs, with the option of personalising your own shoe for a truly unique look.

Converse are the ideal shoe for every day wear, and work perfectly with skinny or rolled up jeans. The option to choose between high and low-tops, means you can create versatility within your look. The range of colours means that you can find a pair of Converse to wear with almost anything, and they are often paired with chinos if you want to complete a smart-casual look with trainers.

The only downside to Converse, is that they have quite a narrow design. So if you prefer to have more room in your shoes, they might not be the right choice for you. However, other than this tiny point, Converse are a great shoe for any guy who is keen to get out and about, without worrying too much about whether his footwear will hold him back.



Vans is celebrating its 50 year anniversary this year, after being established in 1966 in Anaheim, California. The Vans company originally marketed their shoes as skateboarding trainers – due to their easy slip on and off nature.

Today, the shoes are still very popular within the skateboarding fashion, but have also branched out to provide styles for everyone, so men who don’t skateboard can wear the designer brand too.

Much like Converse, Vans feature a rubber sole with a fabric upper, available in countless designs and styles. It is only recently that Vans have began to produce shoes with laces, as most of their shoes continue to carry the slip on style. This is one of the main advantages of the shoes, as they are so easy to use.

When deciding what to wear with a pair of Vans, your options are endless. They look great in the summer with a pair of shorts, but can also be worn with jeans or chinos due to their low-rise finish. However, because of this it is best to avoid socks, or wear ones that aren’t visible above the trainer.



When trying to decide which of the trainers is better, it really comes down to personal preference. If you want a more casual, easy to manage trainer, then Vans are probably the choice for you. Converse will provide a slightly smarter look, and globally the brand is more widely recognised.

Nonetheless, you really can’t go wrong with either of these brands. They’re both comfortable, stylish and practical. Mainline Menswear stocks a number of trainers from both brands, in a wide range of both styles and sizes. Visit our website here to find the perfect pair to suit you.

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