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Vans Shoes - A Buyer's Guide

Updated on February 22, 2011

Vans do not only make a great range of footwear. Alongside Vans Shoes there is a huge range of clothing and also accessories. Vans is a name that is always linked to a youth, skating culture which has evolved and developed into the fashion markets more recently.

Vans Authentic
Vans Authentic

History of Vans

Vans originated in 1966 when Paul Van Doren opened the doors to the first Van Doren Rubber Company store. The very first style of Vans shoes sold here were the Vans Authentic, which were both produced and sold by Van Doren in his Californian store. These were the humble beginnings of a brand that is now known worldwide.

In the following decade, Vans seemed to become popular with skaters in and around Southern California. The signature waffle soles that are found in Vans shoes were especially useful to skaters as it gave them the ability to grip onto their boards and skates. Throughout the 1970s, a number of different styles of Vans shoes had been developed, following on from the Vans Authentic.

Vans have not always been subject to success. During the years, Vans have been susceptible to economic problems and has been bankrupt and sold on a number of times. Fortunately now, the company is owned by Greensboro, an American company that still has links to the Van Doren family. Additionally Vans have now been moved overseas to be manufactured, rather than being produced in California.

Justin Bieber wearing Vans Vulcanized
Justin Bieber wearing Vans Vulcanized

Skating and Youth Culture

Vans shoes today have a strong link to skaters around the world. Since the opening of the first Vans store in California, Vans shoes have seemed perfect for the use during skating activities. Due to the unique style of Vans, coming in a variety of styles, not only are Vans shoes great for skaters to wear, they also look the part when wearing them. All around the world, youth culture has also seen the massive impact of Vans. Youths are growing up ensuring that Vans are a staple part of their wardrobe, usually in a number of colours. This culture is especially apparent in both the USA and the UK.

Vans Authentic
Vans Authentic

Celebrities in Vans

Vans are so popular, that even celebrities have caught on to the Vans hype. Due to the numerous styles and colours, celebrities have been seen in all sorts of Vans. Justin Bieber has recently been spotted wearing a pair of Vans 106 Vulcanized shoes in grey. Fearne Cotton was snapped on her way to present here BBC Radio 1 show wearing a pair of Vans Slip On Checkerboard shoes in pink. Other fans of Vans are Twilight stars Robert Pattison and Kristen Stewart, seen in numberous pairs of Vans.

Fearne Cotton wearing Vans Slip On
Fearne Cotton wearing Vans Slip On

Vans Skate Shoes

Of all the ranges of Vans, Vans Skate Shoes are the most popular. This is due to the massive support that Vans has received through the skating community. The Skate Shoes from Vans are a perfect alternative to numerous other skating footwear that is already on the market, due to the Vans sense of style and individuality.

Vans have actively worked on producing Skate Shoes with skating experts such as Tetsu Nishiyama. Vans have produced skating shoes to be sympathetic to an era gone by in skating as well as incorporating modern skate technology.

Kristen Stewart wearing Vans Authentic Black
Kristen Stewart wearing Vans Authentic Black

Styles of Vans

Apart from the Vans Skate Shoes that have been mentioned above, there are numerous different styles of Vans Shoes. The most popular on the market are the Authentic, Classic Slip On and 106 Vulcanized.

The Vans Authentic is one of the original styles of Vans that were made by Van Doren. The Authentic is a low top, lace up shoe that are a wardrobe essential for all skaters and youngsters. The padded waffle sole makes them comfortable and durable. Most importantly, Vans are simple in their design and look great on. The Authentic is the basis of a number of other styles of Vans that have since been made. Vans Authentic are available in numerous colours, the most popular being black/black and black/white.

The Vans Classic Slip On is also another popular style. Similar to Vans Authentic, the Slip On does not feature laces. Instead they are extremely convenient to slip on to your feet and get walking or skating. Coming in a variety of designs, some of the most popular are based on a checkerboard design in various different colours.

The Vans 106 Vulcanized is a spin-off of the Vans Authentic. The 106 Vulcanized is a low-top, lace up shoes. Vans 106 Vulcanized also comes with the trademark Vans waffle sole. However, this time there is the introduction of soft padded uppers, which provide greater support and comfort.

Zac Efron in Vans Classic Slip On
Zac Efron in Vans Classic Slip On


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      Paul Thompson 5 years ago

      Why is he on his phone while in a petrol station?