A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon in Berlin’s Tiergarten - the biggest park in the city. It was a very hot and sunny day, which presented the perfect opportunity to take a few snaps of my new all-black Vans Authentics for this review.
I think this is the fifth pair of Vans I’ve owned, but it’s this is my debut pair of Authentics. If you’re a regular visitor to Good Clobber, you’ll know that we’re big fans of Vans Slip-ons.
There is quite a large selection of colour ways available for this style of Vans, however I went with classic black as it’s so versatile and goes with pretty much everything. I like the red ‘off the wall’ detail on the heel - although the white print won’t last long. The ‘brother’ to this style of shoe is the Vans Era, but I think the black / black version of this shoe has a grey rubber patch, rather than red, which is somewhat less eye-catching.
This pair were a couple of days old by the time I took these pictures, so they’d had a little wear. In my experience, Vans tend not to have a very long life-span; lasting in good condition for about six months. Although they are made in a few different fabrics, I’ve always owned Vans made of canvas. This material tends to wear through long before the rubber soles degrade. However, this longevity is reflected by the price; Vans are affordable.
It’s kind of a shame that the branded label on the upper isn’t also in red, or a colour that picks it out, but there’s always something to be said for subtlety.
I picked up this pair from the Vans shop on London’s Carnaby shop. However, these shoes are widely available from many retailers, or you can pick up your own pair online here at Schuh (or if you’re in the US they sell them through their own site here). This pair were a very reasonable £40, but there are often sales in-store and I saw a pair recently for £32.
My only complaint about these shoes is a difficult one to write up: I did a lot of walking in Berlin, as any tourist would. On only day two of the trip, my feet were a mess of blisters.
Now, I can only assume this was because I hadn’t broken in this pair of Vans, because I’ve not had any real trouble with the four pairs of Slip-ons that I’ve owned and loved. Nonetheless, it’s worth nothing that after three days and a change of weather towards the cool and cloudy, I was very grateful to get back into the old, faithful Dr. Martens Sawyers.
All in all, I’m pleased with my Black / Black Authentics. They’re smart (in a casual sense), they really work with jeans, trousers or shorts and on the whole, they’re comfortable and light-weight.
I’m set to wear them all this weekend and will be giving them another good testing. I’m sure I’ll they’ll prove to me that they just needed a little breaking in.