Highsnobiety

When you think Vans skate shoe, you may think classic lace-up Era or mid-top Sk8-Hi. You probably don't think about dainty Mary Jane boarding some grip tape for a sesh.

Vans aims to change that.

Amidst a recent cornucopia of reformed thrash sneakers, Vans has retooled its inimitable Mary Jane one-strap shoes, also known as the Vans Style 93.

Yes, these are not new shoes. But amidst an upstart wave of low-profile sneakers, old Vans are new again.

Except they actually are new shoes. See, Vans already reissued its Style 93 AKA Mary Jane sneakers within the past year or two, offering up the classic sleek sneak in all its simple single-strap glory.

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But Vans Premium, the higher-end line of Vans shoes dedicated to modestly upgrading classic kicks with subtly sumptuous materials, took the Mary Jane to the next level. Or perhaps the previous level.

While the conventional $65 Style 93 is a delicately chunky utilitarian skate shoe, Vans Premium's Mary Jane is a more luxe and, dare I say, extra elegant take on the sneaker.

Unlike its slightly more affordable forebear — Vans Premium's Mary Jane retails for $90, only $25 more, on Vans OTW's website — this genderless metal-buckled masterpiece goes even flatter, eschewing rippable canvas and a grippy treaded outsole in favor of a slick leather or suede uppers and ridged sole that recalls the punkish creeper shoe.

It's also extra stealth, wearing nothing more extreme than Vans' checkerboard pattern and, more commonly, tonal all-black.

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What results is an impressively cool pair of crossover Mary Jane skate shoes that really can do it all. And they aren't even that much more expensive than what came before.

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Vans' skate sneakers are getting to be more like skate peak-ers. No one does thrashable shoes better than Vans and it knows, what with all the great kicks it's dropping these days (and in the future).

There's just something in the air. That's why board-friendly stalwarts are stepping up their style game and even more conventional sportswear purveyors are taking cues from skate culture.

It's a good time to be Vans, money quibbles aside. But it's definitely an even better time to wear them.

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