We spent 6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

12 reasons to buy

  • The Vans Black Outsole SK8-Hi Reissue is exceptionally comfortable.
  • Few mentioned that it offers moderate arch support.
  • According to some skaters, its flat bottom grants excellent board feel compared to platform sneakers which tend to throw the heel off.
  • Some reviewers stated that its lightweight built made of predominantly canvas helps in skating performance.
  • Its thinly structured tongue contributes to achieving the best board feel, noted by a couple of skateboarders.
  • Its padded high-top shape is ideal for those who needed support around the ankle area, according to some skaters.
  • A lot of reviewers were recommending this high-top to their friends who are potential buyers.
  • According to some users, this sneaker gives a bang for one’s buck since its budget-friendly rate allowed them to purchase more than one colorway.
  • The leather detailing on the upper offers a lovely contrast to its canvas body, as conveyed by quite a few users.
  • A very stylish day to day sneaker, mentioned by several users.
  • It has a well-constructed upper that allows it to last for many months, observed by some.
  • With vibrant colorways, the SK8-Hi Reissue is easy to pair with lots of outfits.

1 reasons not to buy

  • It can get a bit stiff during the first few times wearing the Vans Black Outsole SK8-Hi Reissue.

Bottom line

The Vans Black Outsole SK8-Hi Reissue is a partly tweaked edition of the 40-year-old SK8-Hi model. The bottom part of the shoe may have been splashed with a different shade other than its usual gummy tan color, but it remains as grippy as ever.

With a relatively lighter upper, it is durable and breathable. The quilted wall around its high collar serves as a sturdy buttress for the heel and ankle which is beneficial for skaters when they tackle different street landscapes using their boards.


Base model: Vans SK8-Hi
Top: High
Inspired from: Skate
Collection: Vans SK8-Hi
Price: $65
Colorways: Blue, Red
Special editions: 17 special editions
Small True to size Large
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A top 2% best sneaker
A top rated Vans sneaker
A popular pick
It has never been more popular than this March

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The Vans Black Outsole SK8-Hi Reissue is built with a canvas-made upper that allows air to circulate in and out of the shoe. The use of breathable canvas also compensates for the absence of air holes on the toe area as seen in other SK8-Hi suede-covered iterations. Reviewers find this sneaker appropriately sized in length and width. It is available in sizes that stretch from 5 to 11.5 US and 6.5 to 10 US in women’s and men’s respectively.

Apart from the slim and all-leather version of the Vans SK8-Hi, the brand puts another moderately tweaked rendition of the old school skate favorite with the release of the Vans Black Outsole SK8-Hi Reissue. As its name connotes, the base of the shoe is given a dark treatment suggesting refinement and elegance amid its canvas-made upper.

This high-top still performs remarkably like a skate shoe, minus the suede reinforcements on the forefoot, ollie regions, and heel. Its lightweight built, thinly structured tongue, and grippy waffle outsole are some of the reasons why this sneaker still finds its due place in the skate scene. This high-top works well with thick cotton or canvas pants paired with a moisture-wicking shirt when going for a ride during the summer months. For the colder season, the Vans Black Outsole SK8-Hi Reissue creates an elegant tone with an acrylic-cotton sweater matched with wool or fleece jogger or tracksuit.

The central talking point of the high-top Vans Black Outsole SK8-Hi Reissue lies on its padded ankle protection. Since the inception of the SK8-Hi, its quilted and well-buttressed high upper has been stealing the attention of skateboarders, riders, and skate style enthusiasts. This Reissue offers the same core feature as the classic silhouette which grants comfort, flexibility, carefree mobility, and great boardfeel. The darkened outsole of this reinterpreted SK8-Hi sneaker offers a refined look which oomph up any outfit.

Through the years, the SK8-Hi has become a mainstay model in Vans’ lineup and a ubiquitous sneaker seen elsewhere around the globe favored by skaters, riders, and sneaker enthusiasts. This towering model is the high-top version of Vans’ first skate-specific sneaker called the classic Old Skool.

The original SK8-Hi was an instant hit from the time it was introduced in 1978 and like other shoes by Vans which were initially named by numbers this high-top was called the “Style 38,” while its low-top Vans Old Skool teammate was coined as the Style 36. To this day, both silhouettes feature the distinct Vans Sidestripe leather branding that curves on the side panels; a design lifted from a sketchy artwork done by one of Vans’ founders, Paul Van Doren.

Before the SK8-Hi was dropped, Vans was already producing separate ankle guards intended to shield the feet from impact. This add-on was to be attached around the collar through a Velcro. Another solution offered by Vans was a mid-top version branded as the Style 37. However, the ankle cushioning properties provided by such accessory and mid-cut sneaker were insufficient.

Eventually, Vans went on crafting a high-top shoe with a quilted collar meant to protect the ankle from bumps and blows. The brand likewise retained some of the best attributes of its low-top Old Skool, which includes the much appreciated gummy waffle tread outsole that offers skaters a desirable grip, as well as the use of durable canvas-leather fitted for the aggressive skateboarding tricks.

For the past decades, the SK8-Hi’s central framework has not received significant retuning, but Vans did a couple of structural modifications which are hardly noticeable. For instance, in the late 1980s, Vans widened the gap precisely at the base of the eye row, since skateboarders wanted more flexibility and durability in such zone.

On the initial drop of the SK8-Hi, the air holes on the vamp sandwiched by two concave forming single stitches were large and tightly spaced causing such area to tear easily. Vans eventually tweaked on the perforation pattern to strengthen such so-called ollie region.

On the 50th anniversary of Vans in 2016, it came up with Vans SK8-Hi Reissue which featured the same narrow eye row as seen in the original version, minus the perforations on the toe area. This is reflected in the Vans Black Outsole SK8-Hi Reissue which eliminated the suede reinforcement on the ollie and heel sections of the shoe in place of sturdy canvas. As hinted by its name, the sole of this sneaker possesses a black shade, instead of the traditional white or gummy tan sole.

  • The entire high-top upper of the Vans Black Outsole SK8-Hi Reissue sits on a vulcanized sole, which isn’t as generously cushioned as its cupsole counterpart but gives skaters a good feel of their boards.
  • The signature waffle sole design was born from the idea of creating a sneaker that’s affordable yet offers excellent traction. This was the start of the Van Doren Rubber Company in manufacturing rubber-soled sneakers in the 1960s, which initially did not intend to create skate-centric shoes.
  • The strip of leather that snakes on each side of the SK8-Hi and Old Skool sneakers was conceptualized by one of Vans’ founders Paul Van Doren. He initially called it Jazz Stripe until it was later coined as the Vans Sidestripe.
  • Vans was conceived in 1966 in Anaheim, California as the Van Doren Rubber Company.


Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.