From the 17 customers shopping their first ever sneaker release in California 1966, Vans have become one of most highly recognised sneaker brands on the planet. Founder Paul Van Doren had ambition to create a shoe with a sole twice as thick as any other previous sneaker. Creating the shoe from Duck canvas, the strongest he could find with the aim being for his unique selling point of hard wearing shoes to be the talk of the skate park. After a few years with refusal to advertise the shoe made its first showcase at its first skate contest where professional skater Stacy Peralta was payed $300 to wear a pair of Vans during the competition. This was the beginning of them becoming the signature skate shoe.
In 1976 Vans released their second sneaker ‘The Era’ which is considered to be the first iconic skateboarding sneaker. This shoe was tailored with help from top skaters of that time adding features such as extra padded insoles and padded collar giving extra comfort to enhance skating performance. Following this in 1978 Vans introduced their new style shoe labelled as ‘Style 38’ now known as the Sk8-Hi. As this new style stepped onto the skate scene it brought a whole new look and catapulted the business forward. With the Sk8-Hi’s featuring a high collar shielding ankles it became the ideal silhouette to skate in. This high rise sneaker was also the first to debut the signature side-stripe. As the Vans evolved the waffle sole was altered making the traction of the shoe longer lasting.
Stretching their versatility in the nineties Vans left their footprint on the streetwear scene when they started collaborating with the most apparent streetwear brands like Supreme, Stussy and Comme Des Garçons. Vans are continuing to experiment and develop new collections with a range of different colourways, materials and patterns allowing them to feature in varied fashion genres. Not only have they collaborated with fashion brands but also created successful collaborations with the art and media industries, such as their recent playful collaboration with Pixar and the Toy Story range.
The latest rendition of the men's Sk8-Hi’s being the Reissue Zip available in a Black or Dress Blue colourway. The Black create a bold silhouette highlighted with a white outsole tied with black laces these are a perfect pair to characterise a monochrome outfit. The Dress blue sits alongside a burnt tan shaded side stripe, collar and heel patch complementing the zip component. Featuring the classic waffle sole and sporting a premium leather upper with dot detailing to the side panels and a horseshoe shaped stitching to the toe box and tongue logo these Sk8-Hi’s put a formal spin on the classic skate shoe.
Welcoming back the pastel colours with spring approaching the women’s Sk8-Hi Slim in Zephyr Blue. The colourway name has been inspired by the Zephyr Boy’s, the best known skaters of the sixties and sponsor partners of Vans as the brand started to become the most apparent on the skate scene. This colourway is commended with clean white laces and outsole with a smooth premium leather panelling featuring horseshoe shaped stitch detailing to the toe box. The thinner outsole creates a weightless feel also complimented by a smaller waffle print on bottom sole. Thinner laces neaten the tongue aesthetic, featuring the logo in complimentary tones. This sneaker adds a luxury component with a subtle pop of colour to any outfit. These also feature in a Wind Chime/Blanc colourway and if Sk8-Hi's aren't the Vans for you there are also two pairs of Old Skool Vans also available in these colourways.
The new premium leather Old Skool move away from the classic coloured canvas and characterise a unique woven textured upper featuring a sketched black linear pattern against a crisp white backdrop creating a captivating monochrome colourway radiating an artistic vibe. Sitting upon a white outsole with white laces these are perfect for adding an element of imagination to any colour schemed outfit. A must have for any premium sneaker lover.