Known for their classic silhouettes and iconic checkered print, Vans has over 50 years of history in the punk-rock and skating scene.
Vans has proven to transcend both time and culture as one of the most accessible and inclusive brands for all, spotted everywhere from in films, music videos, on the feet of celebrities, and even on the Hollywood walk of fame.
The Slip-On, Old Skool, Authentic, Era, and Sk8-Hi models are still Vans’ bestsellers since their initial creation, loved for their effortless style and catered design.
Vans have introduced many technologies over the years designed to enhance performance, support, durability and grip, in response to feedback from the skater community.
The WAFFLECUP was their first vulcanised cupsole, providing much-needed support and stability of the cupsole, and enhancing both boardfeel and grip for skaters. An advanced rubber compound called SICKSTICK improves the outsole with better grip, flexibility, and durability.
POPCUSH polyurethane-based insole cushioning was developed to protect skaters from hard landing, and is specially designed to not interfere with boardfeel.
Lastly, DURACAP rubber layers on the front outsole and shoe upper gives extra grip and reinforces the high-wear areas.
Which house are you? Four silhouettes were give a Harry Potter makeover in this collaboration, painting a Sk8-Hi, Authentic, Classic Slip-On and Era with the house colours of Hogwarts.
Gryffindor Red, Ravenclaw Blue, Hufflepuff Yellow and Slytherin Green were all incorporated into the designs.
There was also a ComfyCush Era wrapped in the print of the wizarding newspaper, The Daily Prophet.
A partnership between the Amsterdam-based Van Gogh Museum and Vans produced a special collection of several silhouettes portraying the artist’s work.
A number of paintings including Self-Portrait as a Painter, Sunflowers, and Almond Blossom were placed onto models such as the Sk8-Hi and Authentic.
An instant bestseller, Disney and Vans released the ‘Young at Heart’ collection featuring the beloved characters of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and even Winnie the Pooh over a range of Classic Slip-Ons and one Sk8-Hi model.
Covered in trippy graphics inspired by The Yellow Submarine album and film, and presented in special collector’s box, Vans had the opportunity to release a rare collaboration with The Beatles franchise.
A pack of four models, including the Sk8-Hi Reissue, Slip-On, Authentic and Era, were released.
Six shoes including a Sk8-Hi Reissue, an Era, a Classic Slip-On and three Authentics joined the Force in a collaboration with the Star Wars franchise.
Featuring artwork from the original trilogy, characters such as Yoda, Darth Vadar, and the Stormtrooper got a spot on the sneakers.
Featuring one model for each band member, the Vans x Metallica Signature Collection was a dream come true for fans of the group.
James Hetfield chose a black boot-inspired Sk8-Hi, Lars Ulrich added a print on a Half Cab from his diamond-plate patterned snare drum, Kirk Hammett brought in a black hemp collapsible Slip-On, and Robert Trujillo designed a blue Aztec print on the Escuela Lowtop.
The Simpsons movie premiered in 2007, and as part of the hype around the film, Vans released a collaboration pack of 14 different sneakers designed by 12 different artists.
The artists included Kaws, Stash, Gary Panter, Geoff McFetridge, Dave Flores, Futura, Mr. Cartoon, Sam Messner, Taka Hayashi, Tony Munoz, Todd James and Neckface.
The History Of Vans
The Van Doren Rubber Company is founded by brothers Paul and Jim Van Doren and their partners Gordon Lee and Serge Delia in California. Vans #44 Deck Shoes are born, now known as the Authentic.
The 'Era' is created with a padded collar and different colour combos after listening to feedback from skaters. Skate profressionals Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva designed the model, and it becomes a popular favourite for skateboarders.
Debuting with the iconic Vans Sidestripe, the Old Skool incorporates leather panels for increased durability.
The Classic Slip-On is also introduced, its lightweight build and grippy waffle sole turning it into a instant favourite.
Shielding skater’s ankles, where they suffered the most abuse when skating, ensured the popularity of the innovative Sk8-Hi. The model brought a whole new look to the Vans range with its high-cut silhouette.
The Vans Steve Caballero, the first signature skate shoe, is launched. Its weather-resistant design helped it catch on very quickly in the skating community.
Vans releases the Half-Cab, a mid-top version of the model sporting a padded tongue, suede upper, and double stitching for increased durability, after spotting skaters cutting the collar of their high-top Steve Caballeros for more flexibility when turning tricks on their boards.
Starting with series of co-branded Old Skools, Vans and Supreme launch a long-term partnership.
Vans further cements its heritage after assisting with the production of 'Dogtown and Z-Boys', a look at the beginnings of skateboarding.
The film takes the Audience Award and Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
The ‘Vans Custom’ platform launches, giving people the chance to customise choice silhouettes with hundreds of colours and patterns.
Anthony Van Engelen becomes the first team rider for Vans Apparel, launched by Vans for both men and women.
Introduced into the Vans LXVI footwear line, UltraCush Lite technology is a custom blend of foams designed for superlight cushioning.
The brand combines the the boardfeel and grip of the traditional Vans shoe with the support and durability of a cupsole in their new WAFFLECUP technology, in the first vulcanised cupsole.
Vans' ‘Off The Wall’ campaign breaks records in viewings across the globe in multiple languages, in celebration of their 50th anniversary.
Offering maximum versatility across different landscapes and lifestyles in a nod to Vans’ path towards new innovation, the new UltraRange silhouette is launched.
Van's canvas silhouettes have become a canvas for a huge number of collaborations and parternships around the world, showing incredible versatility in their ability to work with and be worn by all backgrounds and ages.
From designer powerhouses like Karl Lagerfeld and Gosha Rubchinskiy, to beloved franchises like Star Wars, Disney, Spongebob Squarepants, The Simpsons and Harry Potter, Vans have seen their models taken over by a number of creative interpretations, providing many exciting sneakers on top of their classic models, and with no signs of stopping any time soon.
For decades, Vans have sponsored many professional athletes in the skate, surf and BMX scene, including the likes of Tom Schaar, Lizzie Armanto, Omar Hassan and more. By staying true to their roots, the brand have come a long way from the 12 sneakers they sold on their first day.
Vans Warped Tour
Established in 1995, the Warped Tour was a Summer mobile music festival that travelled around the USA and Canada for many years. It became known as the Vans Warped Tour after Vans started sponsoring the festival in 1996. Primarily featuring punk rock, it gradually included other genres like metalcore and pop punk.
Instrumental in launching many bands and artists, the festival propelled performers like Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Sum 41, Bebe Rexha and many others into the spotlight.
The Black Eyed Peas performed in 1999 and were notable as the first time a non-punk band group played at the festival. Since then, artists and groups from many different genres have been included in the line-up, such as Eminem and Katy Perry.
Sadly, the festivities were wrapped up in 2019, with the final tour hosting more than 50 bands on multiple stages, extreme sports like motocross and skateboarding, and an art exhibit on the tour’s history.
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