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Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoe Review | Are They Worth $120?

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The Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoe is a shoe designed with sustainable construction elements to deliver comfort for daily wear. This shoe is a spin-off iteration from the popular Vans UltraRange shoe line.

As a fan of the Vans UltraRange EXO for both working out and casual wear, I was super excited to buy and test the Vans UltraRange VR3. I was most curious to see how this shoe compares with its fit and all-day comfort.

For the most part, I see the utility and contexts where the Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoe can make sense. This is not going to be the Vans shoe you use for lifting, but for casual wear, it can work pretty well.

In my Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoe review, I’ll discuss all of the key topics that you should know about this shoe before investing in them.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes

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Who Should Invest In the Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoe?

The Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoe can be a great option to explore if you’re wanting a Vans model for all-day wear, standing, and walking. This shoe delivers a slightly more responsive midsole and cushion compared to models like the Vans Sk8-Hi.

On top of this, the UltraRange VR3 Shoe also has a fairly unique sole construction and shape compared to other Vans models. For context, typically Vans will have flatter and more consistent soles which most Vans fans love them for.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes Try On

The UltraRange VR3 Shoe has a little more arch and midfoot structure to it, so if you’re someone who typically resonates with shoes with last constructions with these features then I could see you really enjoying this model.

When you’re walking long distances or standing all day and you want a zero-drop shoe with more cushion, I think most will enjoy the comfort of the UltraRange VR3 and how it feels on the ground.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes Review

The knit upper is also great for those wanting a daily wear shoe that is easy to slip on and off. If you prioritize shoes that work well as pseudo-slip-on shoes, you’ll enjoy the UltraRange VR3 Shoe.

Who Shouldn’t Invest In the Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoe?

The Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoe is decent, but it definitely has areas where I think it falls short. For starters, the width of the UltraRange VR3 Shoe is pretty lackluster, especially through the toe box.

This model comes in unisex sizing which can always be hit or miss. Unisex sizing often leads to models that fit awkwardly on both men’s and women’s feet at different sizes. The toe box on the UltraRange VR3 Shoe is pretty narrow so wide feet be warned.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes Toe Box

Another area where I think the UltraRange VR3 Shoe falls short is for those that like flatter Vans shoes. If you buy Vans because they’re flat through the midfoot, then I’d suggest treading lightly with this model.

The slight arch on the medial midfoot on this shoe takes a little getting used to, especially if you’re used to the traditional Vans fit. Lastly, this will also not be the Vans shoe that you can use for training and activities that are more strenuous in nature.

Vans UltraRange VR3

$120

Vans UltraRange VR3 Product Shot
3.7
Stability
3.6
Versatility
3.8
Durability
3.7

Best For

  • Walking
  • Standing
  • Casual Use and Travel
  • Warm Weather

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Long-Term Durability

Vans UltraRange VR3 Pros

The Vans UltraRange VR3 is a different type of shoe from Vans that has steadily grown on me. Here are a few things that I enjoy with this model.

  1. VR3Cush Midsole Is Comfortable for Walking and Standing
  2. Upper Breathes and Breaks In Well
  3. Good Casual Travel-Friendly Shoe

The first thing to like about the Vans UltraRange VR3 shoe is that its VR3Cush midsole delivers a nice level of comfort. The VR3 Cush midsole is built using at least 50% of biobased EVA foam which is also nice from a sustainability point of view.

I think if you’re wanting a Vans shoe for all-day wear, then you should enjoy the UltraRange VR3. This model is comfortable for long walks and standing so I also see them as a viable option for anyone on their feet all day working.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes Midsole Construction

Compared to other Vans models like the Authentic and Sk8-Hi, the UltraRange VR3 delivers a much lighter weight feel which adds to their daily wear abilities in multiple contexts. For example, I like the Sk8-Hi for daily wear, but it can run hot. The UltraRange VR3 does a much better job for all-season use.

The second aspect to like about the Vans UltraRange VR3 is its upper construction. I’ve really enjoyed the upper on this shoe throughout my testing for two key reasons.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes Upper Construction

First, the material breathes really well which is great for sock and sockless use in different settings. In these shoes, I never have to worry about my feet running too hot and if I want a cooler ride, then wearing them sockless is also comfortable.

The upper in this shoe is a knit built with 50% organic cotton, 36% recycled PET, and 14% recycled nylon which also contributes to its ability to breathe well in different settings.

Second, I like how well the upper broke in over time. This model is a shoe that you can tie once and then leave tied and slip on without security issues which is great for convenience in daily wear settings.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes boot Construction

The final thing to like about the Vans UltraRange VR3 is that I see them as a good travel-friendly shoe. If you’re wanting a shoe for plane travel or long road trips, the UltraRange VR3 should be a solid option for you.

They deliver a nice level of comfort for longer treks through airports and their breathability gives them a nice comfortable feel in different social settings. Compared to something like the On Cloud 5, which is also a great travel shoe, I like the UltraRange VR3 a little better.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes for traveling

This model also has a nice casual appearance to it with its one-piece knit upper. I like how the Vans UltraRange VR3 can look good with different outfits and that the colorways tend to bias a slightly more “casual” look versus sporty.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Cons

While I like the Vans UltraRange VR3 for a variety of reasons, there are also a few cons to note and consider before investing in this shoe.

  1. Has a Bit of An Arch In Its Sole
  2. The Toe Box Could Be Wider
  3. Exposed Foam Could Have Durability Issues

The first drawback to note with the Vans UltraRange VR3 is that they’re not necessarily “traditional” with their fit and feel compared to normal Vans. I think if you buy Vans for their flat feel and construction, then you may want to tread lightly with this shoe.

This model has a little more arch to it which could be a little offputting for anyone buying this shoe thinking it’s going to feel like their traditional Vans. For example, this model has a sportier feel on the feet compared to something like a Vans Authentic.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes Sole Construction and Arch

The arch does break in so it’s not overly noticeable in this shoe as time passes, but again, it’s definitely something that took me a second to get used to because I went into this model with the idea that they’d “feel” like my normal Vans.

The second drawback with the Vans UltraRange VR3 is that I wish its toe box had a little more width to it. This shoe’s toe box tapers fairly aggressively and if you have wide feet, then you may want to avoid this model entirely.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes Toe Box Sizing

This shoe has unisex sizing which is also something that can be hit or miss because unisex-sized shoes won’t have the same specificity for men’s and women’s feet. I often consider unisex sizing as a blanket approach for sizing that doesn’t really excel for particular foot asks.

I think if Vans widened this shoe’s toe box a bit, then it would be far more comfortable and inclusive for different foot anatomies. The upper’s flexibility helps with the “width” issue, but a wider last would be awesome to see in this shoe.

The last drawback to consider with the Vans UltraRange VR3 is that the exposed foam on the midfoot of this shoe could be a pain point when it comes to long-term durability. This model’s rubber waffle tread on the forefoot and heel are great for grip, but the midfoot is sub-par.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes Durability

This shoe lacks rubber coverage on the midfoot and I think if you’re wearing these for long-distance walks on tough terrains, then you may see this foam break down faster than someone who’s wearing them much more casually.

My model has lasted a few months with good durability, but I am starting to see the foam on the forefoot start to fray a bit, so you’ll definitely want to consider this depending on your use cases.

Performance Assessment

To test the performance of the Vans UltraRange VR3, I’ll discuss how this shoe fares in a couple of different contexts. I’ll cover how the Vans UltraRange VR3 performs for walking, standing, and all-season use.

This way if you’re debating this Vans shoe or another model, you can cross-reference your wants and needs with this shoe’s overall performance.

Testing the Vans UltraRange VR3 for Walking and Standing

When it comes to walking, I’ve enjoyed the Vans UltraRange VR3’s performance for two key reasons. First, I like this shoe’s VR3Cush midsole and how much comfort it provides.

This midsole has a good level of cushion and it moves decently well with the feet based on where you’re walking. If you like plusher midsoles for shoes that you’ll be walking in, then I think you’ll enjoy how the VR3Cush midsole feels.

Testing the Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes for Walking

That being said, if you want a shoe with a bit more stability, support, and density through the midsole, then you may want to explore other options because this midsole may be a little too soft for you.

The second reason why I’ve enjoyed this shoe for walking is its upper construction. I like that you can use this shoe as a slip-on-style shoe due to its flexible knit and external heel tab.

The upper also form-fits around the foot pretty well so it should hug your feet to a nice degree without being restrictive. For standing, the UltraRange VR3 does a pretty good job as well.

Testing the Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes for standing

I think if you’re considering this shoe for work settings where you’ll be on the feet all day indoors, then this shoe can make sense. My knocks on this model for this context, though, are that the toe box can be somewhat limiting and the exposed foam could be problematic for all-day use outdoors on concrete.

Testing the Vans UltraRange VR3 for All-Season Use

When it comes to seasonal use with the Vans UltraRange VR3, this model definitely has a warmer weather bias to its construction. This is fairly standard with knit shoes as their breathability can typically fall short with cold weather.

Testing the Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes for all season use

Personally, I’ve been wearing this shoe year round and they haven’t really been a huge bother on colder days. For example, I’ve worn these to walk the dogs for a few miles on days when it was around 20 degrees and with a good pair of socks they worked fine.

I think if you’re wanting this shoe for 4-season use, then they can technically work and you’ll be fine if you have the right socks for your climate. However, I do limit this shoe’s use after snow when it’s wet outdoors due to its exposed foam at the midfoot.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes Outsole

If you’re investing in this shoe to make them your daily driver, then I think you’ll get more out of them if you save their use for warmer days or drier settings where you won’t have water and mud breakdown the VR3Cush midsole.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Sizing

When it comes to sizing in the Vans UltraRange VR3 shoes, I think most should be safe going true to size in this model. The length runs true and they have a narrow to neutral bias to their width.

A few other notes on sizing in the Vans UltraRange VR3 is that this model has unisex sizing which I think can be a little limiting at times due to the shoe’s last lacking specific for certain anatomical asks of men’s and women’s feet.

Testing the Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes Sizing

For example, this shoe’s width isn’t the best, especially toward the end of the toe box. If you have wider feet or blockier feet, then you’ll likely want to pass on this shoe because sizing up will still likely not give you enough width.

In addition, it’s worth noting that this model has a bit more tapering through the midfoot and a little arch compared to normal Vans. This could also be a turnoff for flatter feet individuals that typically like to avoid shoes with built-in arches.

  • Vans UltraRange VR3 Sizing Thoughts: True to size for most.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoe Sizing and Fit Assessment

If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the Vans UltraRange VR3, drop a comment below and I can try to help you out accordingly.

Price Breakdown

For the Vans UltraRange VR3, you can expect to pay $120 USD for this shoe. I’m personally a little hit or miss on this price point, especially if you’re wanting in this shoe for daily wear.

Compared to other daily wear-focused shoes like the On Cloud 5 which has a price point of around $150 USD, the UltraRange VR3 is a little more cost-efficient.

Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes Insole

However, this shoe still has its shortcomings like its long-term durability and its width. Plus, this shoe will have its limitations in certain climates due to its upper and sole construction.

I think if you can find the UltraRange VR3 on sale or if you plan to rotate them in with other shoes, then they can make more sense as you’ll get more for your investment.

Vans UltraRange VR3

$120

Vans UltraRange VR3 Product Shot
3.7
Stability
3.6
Versatility
3.8
Durability
3.7

Best For

  • Walking
  • Standing
  • Casual Use and Travel
  • Warm Weather

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Long-Term Durability

Construction Details

The construction of the Vans UltraRange VR3 is pretty cool because there are a lot of sustainable-focused construction features in this model. Below are the key construction details to note about this shoe. 

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: N/A (in my opinion, these feel a bit higher than the traditional Vans zero-drop)
  • Weight: 10.60 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: No
  • VR3Cush Midsole
  • Single-Piece Knit Upper
  • VR3Waffle Tread
  • Bootie-Style Construction
  • External Heel Tab
  • 6 Core Eyelets

If you have additional construction questions about the Vans UltraRange VR3, drop a comment below. Also, to learn more about the exact materials used in this shoe, check out Vans’ product page for this model.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Do the Vans UltraRange VR3 Shoes fit true to size?

A:
The Vans UltraRange VR3 should fit true to size for most foot anatomies. This model does lack width through the end of its toe box, though, so if you have wide feet you may want to skip this model.

Q:
Are the Vans UltraRange VR3 good for working out?

A:
If you want a Vans shoe for working out, then you'll want to skip using the Vans UltraRange VR3. This model will lack stability and long-term durability. For a Vans shoe for versatile training, look into the Vans UltraRange EXO.

Takeaway Thoughts

The Vans UltraRange VR3 is a pretty strong-performing Vans shoe for daily wear and casual use. This model is a continuation of the popular Vans UltraRange shoe line and it offers more sustainable materials than its peers.

I think if you’re wanting a Vans shoe for walking, standing, and all-day wear in warmer climates and you like shoes with “sportier” fits with them, then the Vans UltraRange VR3 can make sense.

That being said, I think there are areas where this shoe could be improved so if you’re on the fence about this shoe, you may want to pass on them for the time being and wait for an updated version.

If you have additional questions about the Vans UltraRange VR3 shoes, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

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