Get In the Van(s).


“Man, I need Vans.”

From an Anaheim, California warehouse in 1966 Paul Van Doren churned out the first pair of Vans. They were basic canvas creations, outfitted with a diamond patterned sole and compact rows of laces, but before long those rubber sneakers would send southern California, and eventually the rest of the world into a frenzy.

Today, you can still walk into really any shoe store in the world and pick up a pair of Vans that looks almost identical to the pair that Van Doren produced back in the late sixties. While their contemporary models are now made abroad (come on guys, where’s the Made in the USA Vans collection we’ve all been waiting for) they do still retain that laid-back, easy wearing vibe that made them so damn popular nearly a half century ago. What’s best about Vans is that their irresistible simplicity has made them an ideal platform for countless obscure patterns, collaborations, and revamps. We’ve rounded out ten of our favorite Vans from the past year or so to add some rubber to your summertime shoe rotation.

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The Flight Path


The Gregory Peck


Good Connections – Vans x Opening Ceremony “Magritte” Collection


The Italian – Vans x Diemme




Desert Storm – Beauty & Youth x Vans



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The Classics


Comments on “Get In the Van(s).

    GOOG on July 10, 2014 10:39 AM:

    The 80’s high tops with a pattern on the outside and bright color on the inside, where you’d flip the high top down to show the bold color against your palm trees? Man those were the days!

    matthew langley on July 10, 2014 12:29 PM:

    the 1/2 cab deserves some kind of mention – if I’m not mistaken it is the longest running “endorsed” shoe. (I don’t really know what to call it – it’s the Steve Caballero designed shoe). Also it’s a pretty great looking shoe.

    One thing to note – you only posted 8 shoes, not 10. but it’s summer so it’s close enough…

    Jay on July 10, 2014 1:09 PM:

    I’ve been waiting nearly 20 years for the reemergence of a US-made canvas sneaker. I guess I’ll have to do it myself.

    Johnny Boy on July 11, 2014 12:17 AM:

    Big fan – I also buy a pair for my son every summer now. Can’t believe the chequerboard pattern slip-on never made your gallery. A classic!

    Jonathan on July 11, 2014 2:28 AM:

    Vans were the So Cal go-to footwear in the 70’s and 80’s. I agree, the old USA made shoes felt more solid with a thicker sole and better fit. My buddies and I rode BMX trick bikes in the 80’s and custom ordered shoes with every panel a different color. My barber worked at a local Van’s store when the factory was in Anaheim in the 80’s. He would make special order custom shoes for phony customers and get them at a discount when nobody showed up for the orders. Vans have been such a wonderful part of California culture!

    Zach on July 11, 2014 7:48 AM:

    What, no black and white checkerboard vans?!

    Mike V. on July 11, 2014 9:47 AM:

    American Apparel has a few styles of canvas shoes. Not a fan of the way they look, personally. Sort of like Van’s ugly step-brother.
    I have a few pair of Van’s. Here in Southern CA, that is office-wear.

    Shipwreck on July 11, 2014 10:43 AM:
    Terry on July 11, 2014 10:34 PM:

    Old enough to remember when Authentics were pretty much all you could get, and they were cheaper than Chuck Taylors (which all my friends had, making them automatically cool), so uncool Authentics were what mom bought for me. New navy blue Authentics every year. I think they cost $7 or something like that.

    I can’t really claim to be ahead of the style curve when I was embarrassed to wear them.

    Distinctly recall that the rectangular Vans tag on the heel was nearly impossible to tear off.

    Great roundup of old-school 70s sneaks here:

Comments are closed.