In the Beginning was the Skateboard… And the Vans Skate Shoe!
Founded in 1966 in Anaheim, California, the American skate shoe company Vans has been around almost as long as skateboarding itself. The first specific skate shoe they ever produced was the Old Skool whose legendary design heavily influenced the Sk8-Hi. With its characteristic profile, classic side stripes and its waffle sole, the Sk8-Hi high top quickly became one of the best loved shoes in the skate scene. Incredibly durable, lightweight and stylish, the shoe was everything a skater needed and is well deserving of its place in the history books.
Vans - Pioneers of the Skate Scene
It wasn’t long before Vans shoes became popular with musicians and artists too. Something about the shoes resonated with the unique, individual lifestyles of the rebellious youth culture of the time. Shoes like those made by Vans, Airwalk, Vision Streetwear and of course Converse’s classic Chuck Taylors, were truly characteristic of the 80’s and early 90’s. Skaters like Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta (founder of Powell) and Christian Hosoi became prominent figureheads of the company, while Steve Caballero got his own pro model in the Cab and later the Half Cab. This, along with the Natas Kaupas Model from Etnics (later Etnies), was one of the first ever signature skate shoes. The fit and features of this mid top shoe would go on to heavily influence the design of skate shoes made by countless other manufacturers.
Old Skool but Still On Point - From Sneakers to Skate Shoes
Countless brands vanished over the years as new brands like DC, DVS, Emerica or Dekline brought more technically refined offerings to the market place. Vans, meanwhile, stuck to their classic retro designs. Outrageous experiments are fairly rare for the brand - instead, much loved models like the Old Skool, Authentic, Era, or the Chukka Low, come in a mind-blowing variety of colours, patterns and materials, following the same tried and tested signature Anaheim design. Their heritage can even be seen in their special Vans women's sneakers and boots.
Skate Shoes are a Way of Life
Vans’ strength lies in their authenticity. It’s the reason skaters, punks, surfers, rock stars and ladies of all ages love their shoes, t-shirts, hoodies and caps. Men, women and children have made some of their favourite memories in Vans’ shoes - wearing shoes like the Sk8 Hi, the Half Cabs or the Authentics they stuck their first ollies, dropped in for the first time or learnt their favourite trick. Or even just danced, partied, canoodled or drunkenly lay on the cool grass watching the night sky - stories that have been repeated for generations since 1966.
Snowboarding with Vans
Vans don’t just stick to shoes and streetwear though. Their world class snowboard team has been killing it all around the world over the last few years. As well as snowwear like snowboard jackets and snowboard pants, Vans snowboard boots will let you enjoy the comfort of their skate shoes in the mountains.
Time to create some more memories with Vans, don’t you think?
If you’re still yet to start your Vans journey, why not take the opportunity to find the right shoe for you in the Blue Tomato online shop.
Or, if shoes aren’t your thing, take a look at some of Vans’ other offerings; there’s everything from accessories, to swimwear, to backpacks.