In the world of action sports Vans is a hard name to ignore. The first of its kind, Vans is a brand all about originality, style, and durability. With a wide range of shoes such as the Authentic, Era and Chukka Low, along with a modern collection of apparel (hoodies, tees, tanks) and accessories (cinch bags, backpacks, hats and belts) Vans has revolutionized the skateboarding industry as we know it today.
Founded in 1966 by Paul Van Doren along with his brother Jim Van Doren, investor Serge D’Elia and long time friend Gordy Lee, Vans was originally called Van Doren Rubber Company. Vans got its start as a small retail shoe company in Southern California producing shoes in store and selling them directly to the costumer. Sought after by skateboarders because of the high quality materials and durable construction Vans began to follow the demand and specialize in skate shoes. The first ever model was the Vans #44 Deck Shoe, today known as the Vans Authentic and still one of the most popular selling skate shoes on the market.
Vans took the innovation of skate shoes even further with their famous “Off The Wall” line. The name for Off The Wall was coined by the skaters riding off the walls of pools. The Off The Wall series started with the Era model and the Chukka Low, designed by Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta, this series featured more padding to protect the rider’s feet while skating pools. Shortly after the Off The Wall series Vans became internationally known when they introduced the infamous Vans Slip-Ons, made famous by Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Today Vans is still one of the most popular brand of shoes, apparel and accessories on the market, and rightfully so. With a colorful history of both struggles and success, they have become one of the leading companies in the skate industry as well as action sports, sponsoring professional athletes and events like the Vans Triple Crown and Vans Warped Tour. These guys have a style and reputation that’s hard to beat with shoes like the Authentic, Era and Chukka Low, as well as an array of stylish apparel (tees, tanks and hoodies) and always fashionable accessories (hats, backpacks, cinch bags and more). Vans has come a long way from the small corner shop in Anaheim, CA where they started and turned into the original and one of the leading skateboarding brands around.