Nike vs Vans Sizing

A purple and black Nike shoe on one side of a white line. On the other, someone in white socks and a brown and white Vans low-top shoe.
Credit: Alexander Rotker & Marcos Rivas

A purple and black Nike shoe on one side of a white line. On the other, someone in white socks and a brown and white Vans low-top shoe.
Credit: Alexander Rotker & Marcos Rivas

If you're a sneakerhead looking to buy your next pair of shoes online, it's important to know the differences between Nike vs Vans sizing seeing as they're two of the biggest names in the industry.

With both brands producing some of the most sought-after sneakers on the market, knowing differences in their sizing is more important than you might think. That's why we've put together this guide. From the best Vans shoes to the best Nike sneakers, treat this article as your size compass.

Keep in mind not every model fits the same, even within the same brand. That's why our guide goes beyond the basics as we delve into which shoes work best for narrow and wide feet as well.

No more second-guessing on whether those fresh kicks will fit. Let's dive in and step up your sneaker game by making sure you purchase shoes that fit correctly.

How should they fit?

It's important to know how your shoes should fit before diving into Nike and Vans size charts to make sure what you're wearing is actually the right size.

Length-wise, Clarks recommends having about one finger's width of space between your longest toe and the end of your shoes, with the natural bend of the sneakers falling around the balls of your feet.

Although this is a general rule of thumb, we feel it can be applied to a variety of different shoe types, from skate shoes to everyday sneakers, and even some of the best running shoes around from Nike, such as the Streakfly model.

Nike Streakfly product image of a white knitted trainer featuring a dark green mudguard with lighter volt green details.
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Credit: Nike

Once you have determined the appropriate length for your shoes, it is important to also consider the width. It is recommended that you ensure the widest part of your feet, specifically, the ball area and metatarsal bones, fit comfortably within the widest part of your sneakers. You should also leave enough room to prevent your shoes from compressing against your feet and causing any discomfort.

To help you figure out the right size for you, check out our guide on to measuring your shoe size right here for all the information you need to make sure you're comfortable in your sneakers.

Nike vs Vans size guides

Now that we've established how your shoes are meant to fit, it's time to explore how Nike and Vans compare in terms of sizing.

Nike shoe size chart next above Vans shoe size chart.
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Credit: Nike & Vans

Looking at the two charts above from Nike and Vans' official websites, it would seem Nike sneakers actually run half an EU size larger than Vans shoes. For instance, a US men's 9 from Nike is a size 42.5 EU, whereas a US 9 from Vans comes in at just a size 42 in EU measurements.

This is worth keeping in mind if you're looking to pick up a pair of trainers from either brand. That said, shoe size is only one piece of the puzzle. You also need to consider how Nike and Vans shoes compare in terms of width.

However, unlike determining the length of a shoe, figuring out its width is not as simple. Shoe size usually only accounts for the shoe's length, and the width may differ from one model to another.

Vans Old Skool product image of a black canvas and white sneaker on top of a triple-white Nike Air Force 1.
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Credit: Vans & Nike

For example, you may find a pair of Vans Ultrarange Exos are slightly wider fitting than a pair of Old Skools, although neither might offer quite as much room as Air Force 1s, for instance, which are typically slightly roomier, at least in our own experience.

Which shoes fit wide feet?

For those with wider feet, it's natural to wonder which Nike and Vans models would be the most suitable. In general, Nike's Air Force 1 collection tends to provide a slightly roomier fit compared to sports shoes, which are typically designed for lightweight and streamlined athletic performance.

Nevertheless, Nike offers its range of purpose-built wide-fitting shoes, such as the Revolution 7, and provides a guide on which sneaker models typically offer the most spacious fit if you're unsure.

Nike Revolution 7 product image of an all-black Nike running shoe.
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Credit: Nike

Vans also offers a collection of shoes specifically designed for wide feet, featuring various colour options for the brand's most popular models, including Old Skool, Slip-On, Sk8-Hi, Authentic, and Eras.

Therefore, it would seem both brands have you covered if you're after a pair of shoes for wider feet.

Which shoes run narrow?

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may also be wondering which Nike and Vans shoes run narrow.

As touched on in our Nike vs ASICS comparison, athletic-style sports shoes will typically run a little narrower than a regular pair of trainers for everyday wear due to the need to deliver a secure fit and a lightweight ride.

For Nike, you may find the brand's Flyknit and Free shoe ranges a touch tighter-fitting as they're designed to fit snuggly with the knitted fabric conforming to the shape of your feet for a secure lock-in.

Vans, on the other hand, are generally all made for skateboarding and, therefore, are roughly around a similar width. However, you may find a pair of Authentics fit narrower than a pair of Sk8-His, for instance, which appear to feature slightly wider toe boxes.

Vans Sk8-Hi product image of a black and navy pair of high-tops with white accents.
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Credit: Vans

So, despite differences in foot size and shape, it's likely to find a comfortable pair of shoes from both Nike and Vans, as both brands offer a diverse range of footwear and size options.

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