Vans TNT 5 Review


Testing info: This review was done using our “1 hour-a-day/5 day work week” data system.
Assuming that everyone has a job/life and sometimes can only find 1 hour per day to skate, we’ve compiled the tests to simulate around your work week. I skated the TNT 5, 1 hour a day for 5 days a week. This review is the result of a 20 hour/4 week test.

Vans TNT 5 details:

  • Vulcanized skate shoe.
  • Co-Molded PU3 Footbed With Impactsorb: dual-density foams tuned to support and lessen shock, Impactsorb™ eliminates heel bruising.
  • Triple-stitched toe-piece adds increased durability in high-wear areas.
  • Classic waffle grip outsole

As you expected, Vans has been doing this shit since 66′ so they got it all lock down. The Vans TNT 5 are true to size and have no small annoying air pockets of space that allow your foot to move and slide while walking or skating to the bodega. I specifically enjoyed the shoe because of this feature. The fit is nothing less than perfect and guarantees a suitable fit. I have heard some people say that the TNT 5 is uncomfortable after asking numerous skaters so take your time when trying them on and make sure they’re for you.

The style is something that you would expect from Vans and therefore making it generic, but with respect to Vans, they have created the formula for most great skate shoes we have today, making this “generic” looking shoe not such a bad thing at all. I enjoyed the “Old school” similarities, visually and skating-wise. The TNT 5 is most definitely on the simpler side but fits the mold for a great skate shoe; something subtle that performs to the highest degree without making to much of a fashion statement.

Sizing grading: True to size

Comfort, Cushion and Support
The reason, as I stated above, why this shoe is so tough to let go is because it took care of me. It’s kind of like your mom. It makes sure you’re okay, every now and then it’ll catch you tugging one in your room when you clearly had the door closed….but you still love it. The TNT 5’s comfort is high quality shit, let me explain. Remember, this shoe is basically an “Old school” so everything you have in that shoe is in the TNT 5 but with more. Additional padding is one of the main aspects of the shoe that I liked the most but it wasn’t anything overwhelming as well. Granted, the breathability of the shoe isn’t the greatest but it’s not your biggest concern either. The canvas on the side is enough to hold off your sweaty feet syndrome for all day comfort, unless you’re in 95 degree weather, just don’t skate. Go to the pool or something, dick.

Anyways, back to the padding. There’s thick 1/2 inch padding all around the collar and a thinner foam cushion insert in the tongue. This may be all of what the 5′ has to offer for padding on the outside but the value rests on the functions inside of the shoe.

I’m surprised as much as anyone that Vans hasn’t yet taken a leap into the insole game and sell their insoles separately. The TNT 5 insole has as much spring in it then any other insole on the market thus far. Quote me on that. I didn’t jump off the empire state building and I’m not 15 years old skating the local CVS loading dock but I did manage to do some gaps/drops and the insole is extremely responsive. I didn’t experience any soreness in my knees or feet from skating or from being on my feet all day at work. If my feet are the first to experience fatigue then the rest of my day is shot. I’m sure this happens to you too. The insole (photos below) has a strong/thick heel bruise protection cushion and it slowly thins out towards the front of the insole. The thickness of the insole continues throughout the arch support area and the blue portion of the shoe is made of a very sticky/grippy rubber. I believe it provides the insole from slipping anywhere around the shoe, therefore relieving your foot of any abrasion/blisters.

Obviously the shoe doesn’t feature much ankle support or side panel padding but with everything this shoe has to offer, it’s more than enough to have a consistent time skating with strong protection for your feet, knees and back. So far, it’s the best insole I’ve ever skated. I most definitely encourage everyone to take this insole with them to any other shoe you intend to skate in the future.

Shoe padding grading: 7
Insole padding grading: 10


From Week 1 to Week 4

Boardfeel and Grip
Despite all of the praise I’ve given this Vans insole, I don’t want to leave the impression that the insole is so thick that the shoe has shitty boardfeel. Again, Vans has been doing this since 66. Need I say more?

The boardfeel is everything you’d want from Vans, or from any other brand in skateboarding right now. Vans has had the reputation of making great shoes with boardfeel but have held another reputation of hurting consumers feet in the process. This curse is no more. It might still apply to some of the other Vans models but not the TNT 5. The shoe holds enough balance of giving the boardfeel and control you want, without sacrificing the boardfeel and comfort you desire. Their isn’t much to be said about the classic waffle grip outsole. It does seem stronger than ever without being redesigned. Normally from my past experiences with Vans, the outsole tends to rip open easily and quickly destroys the lifespan of the shoe significantly. The lifespan of the waffle grip showed to last much longer before showing any signs of shedding away in the main pressure points of the outsole.

Boardfeel grading: 10
Grip grading: 10

Week 1 to week 4

Week 1 to week 4

The breathability of the TNT 5 has much to do with the durability. The shoe sacrifices one for another. There are 2 reasons the breathability is so poor in the TNT 5:

  1. There are no perforated holes in the toe cap of the shoe.
  2. In order to have great durability, Vans put a double layer of suede in the area that receives the most abuse, the toe cap.

I personally don’t mind giving up some breathability in the front of the shoe for some long lasting performance. That’s way more important to me, plus the canvas provided on the side of the shoe was more than enough breathability for me. The success of the TNT 5 is the result of some classic formulas. The triple stitched toe cap is one of them; this feature has been around for as long as I can remember and should be implemented a bit more in skateboarding. The small lines of stitching give such a classic look and appeal to any skate shoe and adds incredibly to the performance of any shoe. Another classic feature is a small triangular bit of suede that does the bigger part of saving the shoe from dying out quicker. This small piece of suede is pin pointed behind the double suede toe cap and takes the bulk of abrasion from ollies. Although it is a single piece of suede, the suede’s double stitched side can handle the abuse without being tempted to blow out the side and is considered to be the “bumper” of the shoe. (photos below)

Photos from Week 4, After 20 hours of skating

Photos from Week 4, After 20 hours of skating

The soles performance was just as pleasing as the suede. The rubber of the sole felt firm/smooth, yet it was soft enough to dig your nail into. I’ve found that a combination like that happens to be the perfect medium for a quality sole. The sole sheds slowly, and because of it’s firm attributes, didn’t carve or gouge the sole within the first week. It was a bigger relief to see the sole during week 4. From this data, I could tell that skaters that would be willing to skate a shoe til the bitter end could use and abuse this shoe for approximately 2-3 more weeks. Meaning, you could skate this shoe for another 10-15 hours more than I did in this review. Sure the shoe will look like shit, but you don’t get into skateboarding because you want to look neat and clean, did you?

Suede grading: 10
Sole grading: 10
Outsole durability grading: 8

The Vans TNT 5 is a great shoe. That’s it, no gimmicks, no bullshit and no “sentimental one line” closers from me. I’ll probably skate it exclusively on my off time from reviews. I honestly don’t have much of a summary to write. If you read through this review you’ll know that the shoe’s performance speaks for itself and it looks amazing for over 20 hours of skating.


  1. Anonymous

    July 21, 2011 1:52pm

    can you please tie your shoes

  2. Anonymous

    July 21, 2011 8:16pm

    ^??? i think they are tied but put inside the shoe for pictures so you can see the entire shoe without having the laces in the way thats my guess at least

    what difference would it make anyhow

  3. Roberto Heckers

    January 17, 2012 6:11pm

    vans crime going on… some body is killing his shoes 🙁

  4. Anonymous

    January 26, 2012 4:36am

    these are the best shoes i have ever skated…and im a picky motherfucker…emericas, es, etnies, other types of vans, dvs, have all been worn through the years but these babies have the best board feel period…and thats what its all about board feel! PEACE

  5. Anonymous

    May 3, 2012 3:15pm

    don’t fucking understand if it’s the way I skate or what. Got the classic whole in the sole only after 3 light sessions, when the upper part was still almost intact.

  6. Niels

    May 25, 2012 10:41am

    just orderred these and then read your review after! pretty excited to get em now!! nice thorough review as well my friend!

  7. Mistah Freeze

    June 4, 2012 6:16pm

    They’re great! I love them!

  8. Josh

    November 8, 2013 12:31am

    this comment is way late, but figured I’d contribute anyways. I bought a pair of these at cal skate in Portland, OR, immediately after rendering my old classics unskateable at Burnside. Immediately, I went back and started skating them, and I’ve never been so comfortable with a shoe that was straight out of the box. the feel reminded me of my old VOX titans, which I cant find anymore… oh well. will be buying as many of these as I can in the future!

  9. Will Cummings

    May 18, 2016 11:08am

    Just got a fresh pair of these. I skate just about every terrian. From handrail to miniramps. I skate at least around 3 hours a day. So hopefully they will hold up with some Shoe Goo


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