We have a major soft spot for Vans footwear at The Chimp Store. Its always been a staff favourite and with the latest additions of the Fall range we thought we’d delve into the archives and give you a little history on this storied brand.
Going back to day dot Vans was founded by brothers Paul Van Doren and Jim Van Doren along business partners Gordon Lee and Serge Delia. The company they formed was aptly named the 'Van Doren Rubber Company' and was registered on March 16th 1966 in Anaheim, California. Soon after that monumental day the Vans #44 Deck Shoe was born, which you will of course now know as the Vans Authentic.
After a few years in business the Van Doren Rubber Company began to attract a new and exciting crowd to its simple footwear offering, skateboarders. As skateboarding began to blow up in and around 1974 skaters were spotted allover southern California sporting the rugged Vans Style #44. It began to take on a cult like following and quickly became the shoe of choice amongst those in the know.
After the success of the Vans Style #44 Van Doren and company were looking for the next hit. Cue the The Vans #95 which we now fondly know as the Vans Era. The Era was different to the Authentic in a few notable ways. First it was designed with skateboarding in mind. It had a padded collar for extra comfort and of course it came in different colour combinations which were design by Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta who themselves catapulted skateboarding into a global activity. From 1976 with the co-sign of Alva and Peralta the Vans Era became the shoe of a generation among skateboarders the world over.
In 1977 something that changed the design of Vans forever was introduced, the 'Vans Sidestripe'. The stripe was originally doodled by Van Doren and first referenced as the 'Jazz Stripe'. It has since become the hallmark of the Vans brand and is unmistakable. The first show to showcase the Vans Sidestripe was the brand new Vans Old Skool. The Old Skool was Vans’ first piece of footwear that incorporated new found needs for skaters. They needed something that extended durability and as such the Vans Old Skool was built with leather panels to really give the skaters using these shoes the advantage.
Over the span of the 70s other shoes were introduced that are now legendary such as the Vans Sk8-Hi which was further innovation into the world of Vans Skateboarding. The Vans Sk8-Hi didn’t just protect the shoe against the skateboard it also protected the wearer and gave the much needed support over the ankle and its bones. This was change the industry needed and Vans once again were at the forefront of the movement.
After success of Vans first decade a half it was time to shake things up once more. Vans were looking at new options to continue keeping their shoes relevant amongst it fans. This is when the Vans Slip-On was first seen. Taking their waffle sole technology and the look of the Vans Era they created a hybrid that could be worn both casually and a as a functional skate shoe which kept to their original plan. In the birth of the Slip-On we also saw the birth of Vans Checkerboard pattern which is now available throughout the Vans range some 50 years since the Van Doren Rubber Company was first born.
Vans have continued to innovate and dominate the skateboarding scene. From the late 80s they introduced their signature shoe programme which saw skateboarders designing their own shoes. The first of this line was Steve Caballero, who created the Vans Half Cab which has gone on to become one of the most iconic skate shoes ever and and continue to be a culturally significant moment in the lineage of skate history.
Not just a shoe company Vans have been dedicated to giving back to the scene that it helped nurture. They launched the travelling Punk festival the Warped Tour to stages worldwide, they assisted in the production of the documentary Dog Town & The Z Boys which featured skaters who were there from the early days of Vans. Most recently Vans have opened a number of venues named ‘The House Of Vans’ which showcase local skaters, musicians and film makers and give them a platform to showcase their skills to an audience . House of Vans is also a venue of live music seeing bands as huge as Metaliica grace their small stages.
Vans is a company rooted in skateboarding and its a company that is more than just a brand. To some its a way of life and its with a great pleasure that we are able to offer our range of Classic Vans Footwear.
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Shop The Vans Fall 2017 Collection