Vans Sneakers

The most popular punk and extreme sports shoes: the Vans sneakers

Vans sneakers are some of the most popular shoes amongst teenage skateboarders and extreme sports passionate. Vans’ history starts back in 1966 in the city of Anaheim, California when it was founded by brothers Paul and Jim Van Doren as the Van Doren Rubber Company.

After experiencing great success in the 70s and early 80s, it was heading for rough times when they tried to introduce athletic shoes and take over what Nike, Puma and Adidas were doing, with horrible results. However, 2000 was the year the world went crazy over classics and retro shoes and that was the chance the company had to re-introduce its classic Vans sneakers that made its initial success.

Vans Sneakers

Vans Sneakers

It is impossible to dissociate Californian urban culture and Vans. Just as on the East coast it was Converse, the West coast had Vans as its representative footwear.

One of the things that had made Vans part of the urban culture was the fact the made it possible for every would-be designer to create his own pair of custom Vans sneakers. All you had to do was to take a sample of your drawing or fabric to the factory and in a few days you would get your very own custom made shoe. Having dropped that for over a decade, Vans executives decided to reintroduce and make this great facility available to its customers. You can do it now at Vans.com

The most distinctive and successful shoe was the slip-on. With all the customizing you could do on it, it became the most popular Vans sneaker of all time. Interestingly, the slip-on is now taking over the classic All-Star Chuck Taylor sneaker as the most popular shoe in the punk/ska community.

Vans Ad

Vans Ad

Working with the music scene, Vans has released many sneakers in collaboration with bands such as Iron Maiden, Motorhead, The Descendents, Bad Brains, and The Germs. Motorhead has one series, while Iron Maiden has three.

Having supported and promoted it’s shoes through the skateboarding community since it’s beginnings, Vans opens the first indoor skate park in 1998 at the Block in Orange County, followed by others in Acoustic Funk Train, Ontario Mills, the Moorestown Mall, Potomac Mills, the Plaza at King of Prussia and many other places.

Vans has also sponsored and founded many musical and extreme sports festivals which have made it one of the most popular brands amongst the youths. Such is the case of the Vans Warped Tour which was won in the first edition in 1995 by skateboarder Tony Hawk, who later recognized as the best skateboarder of all time.

In the old days, they couldn’t afford big marketing campaigns, so the way to promote the Vans sneakers was to give a few pairs to a skateboarder and pay him $500 to wear them all over the place. Now, they have the money but they keep it underground and besides the sponsorships, they rely mostly on word-of-mouth.

Click here to buy your pair of Vans sneakers.

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