Vans is a US sports footwear manufacturer that has focused on products for trend sports such as skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing and BMX.


On March 16, 1966, Paul Van Doren and his partners James Van Doren, Gordy Lee and Serge D’Elia opened the first Vans store in Anaheim, California, USA. The Hi-Top or today Sk8-Hi was the world’s first shoe designed specifically for skateboarding in 1966. It is similar in appearance to Converse’s Chucks, but is much sturdier and stronger. Today it is made in changing color and pattern variations, but the waffle pattern on the sole is still based on the original.

On March 19, 1976, the company launched the first shoe with two colors (red and blue). The design came from the skateboarders Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva, who were rising at that time and belonged to the Z-Boys. One of the most famous Vans models is the Vans slip on, a low-top, no laces, slip on. Like the Chucks, this is available in many different colors and designs, including a black and white checkered pattern (used name: Checkerboards).

Today, Vans Off The Wall operates a distribution network that spans over 50 states in the U.S. and 190 of its own Vans stores. Off The Wall has the colloquial meaning of insane or crazy. Nowadays, Vans are one of the trendy shoes. For example, they made an appearance in the cult youth series O.C., California, worn in the series by Seth Cohen (Adam Brody). Corey Taylor (frontman of the band Slipknot) wore the shoes in the music video for the single Before I Forget. Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) also frequently wears Vans footwear in the Fast & Furious film series. But the shoes are also popular in the hip-hop scene. However, the Sk8-Hi are not sold as often as the Slip-Ons.


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