Vans Shoes

Nike SB

Vans Shoes have always been a little “Off The Wall". It’s a brand of firsts, never looking to what the competition is doing, but rather, what it can contribute to the industry. Be it shoe design, production, or marketing, Vans has always had its own approach. Much of its success can be attributed to the shoes it designed in its first 30 years. The Authentic, Era, Old Skool, Sk8-Hi, and Slip-Ons (a.k.a. Vans Classics) - its best-selling shoes, were all designed within 15 years of The Vans Doren Rubber Company opening its doors to the public March 16, 1966.

Vans’ approach to the shoe business has always been authentic: orders were taken, manufactured, and delivered to the public all from one location. One of its most popular shoes today, The Authentic, originally called the Vans #44 Deck Shoes, were designed in ‘66 and adopted as a favorite shoe by early 1970’s skateboarders. These skateboarders liked its rugged makeup and sticky sole, and started to refer to the Vans Doren Rubber Company simply as “The House of Vans.”

By the late 1970’s and 80’s, Vans had the skateboard shoe market cornered. Between Tony Alva and Stacey Peralta, two of the most popular pool skaters from the 70’s, skating the Vans Era (released in 1976 as the Vans #95), and Jeff Spicoli, Sean Penn’s loveable portrayal of a stoner/surfer in the hit movie Fast Times At Ridgemont High, rocking Vans Slip-Ons (released in 1977 as the Vans #98), Vans were seemingly everywhere.

The popularity of skateboarding and the California lifestyle opened up the door for Vans Apparel. In 1976, Vans released the now classic "Off The Wall" skate logo and tag. Soon, high-school hallways across America were filled with kids wearing Vans t-shirts, emulating the styles they saw in skate/surf mags and movies popularizing the "California lifestyle."

1987 marked a new chapter in the Vans story. Instead of revolutionary shoe designs, Vans made a series of revolutionary marketing/business firsts that fundamentally changed how skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding were viewed by society. In ‘91, Vans went public on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange at $14 a share; In ‘93, it released its first snowboard boot; In ‘95, it sponsored the Warped Tour for the first time, a music festival that it eventually bought a controlling interest, and as of 2001, The Vans Warped Tour is the longest American Concert Series running; In ‘97 it sponsored the Inaugural Triple Crown of skateboarding - by 2000 it’s the Vans Triple Crown Series, bringing together skateboarding, BMX, Wakeboarding, snowboarding, freestyle motocross, and supercross. The list is literally endless as Vans continues to blaze new trails, and contribute to skateboarding/board culture in new and positive ways daily.

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  • Vans Wafflecup Technology
    Skate shoes either have a vulcanized construction or a cupsole construction. Cupsole is a one-piece sole that is stitched to the upper material of the shoe. Vulcanized construction is glued to the upper and then wrapped with foxing tape. Many companies have taken to designing cupsole shoes with a foxing tape look like you’d find on the midsole of just about aby pair of Vans, but that’s mostly because Vans made it an iconic skateboard look. The Authentic, Sk8 Hi’s, and Half Cabs are all a good example of vulcanized shoes with a classic foxing tape look. The benefits of vulcanized construction is boardfeel. The benefits of a cupsole construction is durability and structure. The Vans Wafflecup took the benefits of both styles and fused them into the Wafflecup, skateboarding’s first vulcanized cupsole. Vans shoes with the Wafflecup such as the Gilbert Crockett Pro and the Kyle Walker are a testament to how far Vans and skateboarding have come. No longer do skateboarders have to choose between boardfeel and support - with the Wafflecup, you can have both!
    Vans Wafflecup Technology Vans Wafflecup Technology
  • Gilbert Crockett Gilbert Crockett
    Gilbert Crockett
    Gilbert Crockett’s personality shines bright when he skates. The impression you get from his style and trick selection is of intensity and control. Precision is a good word for his skating and his pro shoe for Vans, the Gilbert Crockett Pro 2. Crockett played a role in the design of his signature shoe in drawing the design, and making sure it was built with Vans’ new Wafflecup construction and used the Vans Duracap saying “It’s really functional. You skate in it, and it doesn’t just blow out.” The Wafflecup sole on the Crockett Pro adds the support and boardfeel skateboarders want while the Duracap in the toe of the shoe adds the durability skateboarding demands.
  • Vans Original Waffle Outsole
    The Vans Waffle Outsole, (a.k.a. Wafflegrip) gives Vans Shoes their grip and iconic look. Part of what makes Vans so popular is the classic California look they’ve had since 1966. Popular Vans skate shoes such as the Old Skool, Classic Slip-Ons, and Vans Authentic all have the Vans Original Waffle tread - it’s a staple in skateboarding and a tread every skate shoe brand has to compete with.
    Vans Original Waffle Outsole Vans Original Waffle Outsole
  • Kyle Walker Kyle Walker
    Kyle Walker
    Kyle Walker seemingly came out of nowhere, but we all know it was Oklahoma. 2016 was his year when his footage in “No Other Way” kind of sealed the deal for him winning SOTY 2016. His ability to make ridiculous kinked rails look skateable, his effortless style and ability to skate just about any spot in front of him have all helped to cement him as one of skateboarding’s best and brightest. 2016 was truly Walker’s year, as it was in ‘16, that Vans released the Kyle Walker Pro, the first Vans to feature the Wafflecup tech. Walker’s skating, style, and trick selection have made him a household name in the skate industry.