Vans Classics Collection | A Showcase Of A Solid Heritage
When you think of the footwear brand Vans, what’s the first image that comes to mind? For some, it may be the black and white checkerboard slip-ons. Others might immediately think of a pair of hi-top skate shoes. Some people might just think of its support of global action sports events and festivals like Warped Tour. That’s the cool thing about Vans. In its 50 plus years of existence, it’s had such a broad impact on youth culture that it can mean totally different things to different people.
In celebration of this, the brand is showcasing the Vans Classics Collection. It features five of the brand’s most iconic styles: Era, Old Skool, Sk8-Hi, Classic Slip-On, and the Authentic. Each style represents a significant point in the brand’s history. For example, the Authentic was the original, known in 1966 as Style #44. The slip-ons, and more specifically the black and white checkerboard version, catapulted Vans into mainstream recognition after the shoes became the symbol of the classic film Fast Times At Ridgemont High in 1982. Each style has a story, and the fact that each is still as popular today as they were when they launched is a testament to Vans and its strength as a brand.
In 1966, Paul Van Doren opened the very first Vans factory and shopfront in Anaheim, California. It was here that he started out manufacturing and selling simple deck shoes with outsoles twice as thick as his competitors so that they’d wear longer. This was the first major point of difference between Vans and other shoe manufacturers at the time. Another was that Vans used pure crepe rubber, without any filler.
This is where the now iconic waffle sole of Vans shoes was born. Their original diamond pattern was modified to include nine vertical lines where the balls of the feet land, which prevented cracking in that area. This unique design and the exceptional grip it delivered is what caught the eye of local skaters at the time. From here, the brand’s relationship with the skating community flourished and lead to the creation of dedicated skate shoes and the support of small and large-scale skateboarding events.
The Authentic’s appeal is just as strong now as it was in the 60s, whether you’re a skater or not. It features a low-top silhouette and has a durable canvas upper. And of course, it still features that functional waffle sole. It’s a great everyday sneaker, the kind you can throw on and know you’ll be prepared for whatever comes your way. The Authentic is available in a huge array of colours and patterns, and can even be completely customised.
Vans is a brand that’s grown organically over its lifetime. Its entirely unpretentious and authentic approach to making sneakers, selling them at accessible prices, and allowing for individuality and creativity has lead to it becoming a valued part of a bunch of different sports and music communities worldwide. Not to mention the everyday wearers of Vans who appreciate it for the high-quality construction and simple design of the shoes. The Vans Classics Collection is a fitting way to celebrate the brand’s solid heritage.