Vans are a staple of Southern California. On every street corner, in every area of CA’s finest cities, you’ll find these iconic footwear pieces adopted by ordinary pedestrians and skateboarders, alike. Aside from their inherent popularity within mainstream style due to their affordability, simplicity, and timeless look, the brand has a long-running lineage within surf and skate communities throughout the world.
Vans Skate Shoes
While Vans shoes are lauded for their immaculate aesthetic, the brand is known, almost exclusively, for its presence within the skate community. It began as a deck shoe crafted by the Van Doren brothers (and their partners, Gordon Lee and Serge Delia) in the late 1960s, focusing primarily on a small, lightweight silhouette outfitted with sticky soles for sporting. Naturally, skateboarders found that this sticky sole was preferable for adhesion to the surface of their boards, and in the early 1970s, it was rare to enter a skate circle where Vans weren’t utilized as a ‘tool of the trade.’
In 1976, Vans made the jump and officially entered the genre with the Era, a shoe designed, worn, and promoted by professional skateboarders Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta. Over the next four decades, the brand would sweep through the world of skate (and pop) culture like a storm, carving out a space within lifestyle and extreme sport circles, alike.
Vans might be known for its footwear, but with great power, comes great responsibility. As the brand became primed for an explosion in popularity, it expanded its ventures far beyond soft-soled skate shoes. As such, the outfit adopted its very own Southern California aesthetic, focusing on artwork and designs from prominent artists within SoCal skate/surf communities.
Shoes weren’t the only pieces of apparel that would adopt these creations; today, the Vans apparel line consists of every clothing item under the sun, including t-shirts, tank tops, crewneck sweaters, pull-over hoodies, shorts, pants, sunglasses, hats, and more.
First Pair Of Vans Shoes?
Vans’ unique presence may be widespread, but there are more than a few styles within their ranks. This can make things confusing for beginners –and even harder for those who don’t know how Vans shoes fit compared to other brands and models.
Luckily, we’ve got our very own Vans Size Charts for those of you who need some help procuring your first set of shoes! Better yet, we’ve got a brief Q&A at the bottom of our Size Chart page that goes over some commonly-asked questions regarding the brand’s fitment.