Vans Sneakers

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Vans Sneaker - the No.1 in Skateboarding

The Vans brand not only stands for the Californian lifestyle, but is also regarded as the skater brand par excellence. Among the skateboard shoes, Vans Sneaker is the absolute number 1. The cult brand looks back on a long history, because since 1966 these shoes with their typical vulcanized sole and upper are made of canvas.

From the beaches of Orange County to the whole world

The company was founded by Paul Van Doren. The story of this man reads like the American dream "from dishwasher to millionaire". In fact, Van Doren began his career as a simple cleaning assistant at the shoe factory "The Randolph Rubber Company" after dropping out of school in 8th grade. Within 20 years, Van Doren worked his way up to Vice President. In 1965, under his leadership, the company launched the Randy 720, which in retrospect is now considered the world's first skateboard sneaker.

In 1966 Van Doren, his brother Jim and their mutual friend Gordon Lee decided to found their own shoe company: the Van Doren Rubber Company in Anaheim, California. From then on, the sneakers were simply called "vans".

The shoes were initially made to order on site. On the opening day there were only three exhibits, the customers could choose colours and styles of the shoes individually. Vans is therefore the first brand in the world to offer customizable sneakers.

The natural rubber sole with the typical waffle pattern came in handy for the skateboard scene, it is even said that Vans shoes have contributed significantly to the development of skateboarding. The Canvas shoes with the non-slip sole were simply ideal for skating.

It should take only ten weeks until ten more Vans stores were opened on the west coast of the USA. Just one and a half years after the company was founded, there were a total of 50 Vans Stores in the USA. The model #44 Deck, which we know today under the name Vans Authentic, was responsible for this success. This shoe is still regarded as the Vans classic par excellence.

Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta for Vans

In the 1970s, Paul's son Steve Van Doren took over the management of the company. During this time Vans had already successfully established itself as a brand in the skater scene.

Around the middle of the 70's the collaboration between Vans and the icons of skateboarding, Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta, who belonged to the legendary Zephyr Skate Team, began. The two skaters were involved in the development of various Vans models, which henceforth appeared under the name "Off The Wall Vans Shoes". The name originated because Alva and Peralta with their boards hung vertically on the walls of the pools (the boys used to ride in empty pools, halfpipes of course didn't exist yet). Furthermore, "Off The Wall" colloquially means "crazy" or "extraordinary" in a positive sense. The most successful models from this series are the Vans Era from 1975, the Vans Skate-Hi from 1976 and the Vans Old Skool from 1977.

In the 80's the sales figures of Vans sneakers reached their peak for the time being. They owed this among other things to their appearance in the cult film "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", in which the main actor Sean Pen wore the checkerboard version of the van Slip Ons. The sneakers also performed in the cult youth series "O.C. California".

The collaboration with Steve Caballero

At the end of the 80's the collaboration with the skater Steve Caballero took place. The Caballero High Top came onto the market.

At the beginning of the 90s, street skaters began to cut the shoe in half in order to achieve better freedom of movement on the board. This idea was taken up by Van in 1992, the Vans Half Cab was created and appeared as Caballero Signature Sneaker. The Half Cab is still one of the most popular shoe models in the van range today.

Vans Sneaker today

The Vans brand is still one of the most popular sports shoe brands in the world today. They are still regarded as No.1 in skateboarding, but of course they are also worn as fashion sneakers by men and women in everyday life. In addition to canvas shoes, there are now also leather models and a constantly changing collection of clothing and accessories.

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