The day Paul Van Doren, James Van Doren, Gordon Lee, and Serge D'Elia opened their doors as the Van Doren Rubber Company in 1966, they served just 12 customers, manufacturing their shoes in-house that very day. Now, Vans is an international powerhouse in the world of action sports and holds an iconic place in skate culture. How did they manage that kind of growth? Simply by listening to the needs of their customers.
Vans shoe designs began simply with the #44, now known as the Vans Authentic. It combines a simple canvas upper with lightweight cushioning and a vulcanized gum rubber outsole for extra grip and durability. The shoe's simple, classic design lends itself well to different colors and patterns, adding a bold twist to match anyone's personal style.
Skateboarders in the Anaheim, California area took notice of Vans' sticky rubber outsole and began wearing them both on and off the board. Vans paid attention and created the #95, now the Vans Era, with new details specifically meant to meet skateboarders' needs. Designed for skateboarders, by skateboarders Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta the Era features a padded collar and double stitching for added protection and durability. It keeps Vans' iconic vulcanized rubber sole for grip on the board or the boardwalk.
In 1982, with the help of Hollywood, Vans made the transition from the skate world into mainstream casual fashion. Sean Penn appeared in Fast Times At Ridgemont High wearing the Vans Slip On, a simple, low-profile canvas shoe featuring the brand's traditional gum rubber outsole. Vans had officially arrived.
Using the movie's recognition to their advantage, Vans began carving out a place for itself in skate culture, not just by continuing to provide boarding and casual shoes that everyone wanted to wear, but also by helping build a world where originality and adrenaline reigned supreme. Vans became the sponsor of the Vans Triple Crown series, featuring skateboarding, wakeboarding, snowboarding, surfing, BMX, motocross, and super cross competitions. The brand also built their own skate park in Orange County and sponsored the Vans Warped Tour, a celebration of sport and punk music that has grown to become one of the country's most popular and longest-running music festivals.
Today, boarders and casual wearers alike enjoy the array of shoes Vans has to offer. Their simple silhouettes and ability to be combined with many fabrics and patterns make Vans shoes uniquely able to match any style and personality. Eastbay carries a wide selection of Vans' most classic casual styles, including the Authentic, Era, and Slip On, so you can add some West Coast comfort to your everyday look, no matter where you're from.