You have probably seen the Vans name in shoe stores located all over the country. They have become very trendy with the alternative crowd which is considered to be a subculture in the United States. The shoes come in a variety of colors and styles.
Two brothers, Paul Van Doren, James Van Doren along with Gordon Lee and two other partners had decided to open up the very first Vans store in Anaheim, California in 1966. The Van Doren brothers ran a rubber company that manufactured the shoes and sold them to the public directly from their shop. The first shoes were called “Authentic.” On the first day of opening they had sold twelve pairs of shoes.
When the store had first opened the owners left the shoe boxes empty as the original twelve customers came into purchase the shoes they requested the color and style they desired. The owners had advised them to return that afternoon as the shoes would be completed. The twelve buyers had gotten their shoes that day with smiles on their face.
The Vans company began to grow during the 1970s which meant an expansion was in order for the infamous shoe company. During the era the company had branched out with two more shoe styles. They began producing wool lined canvas and rubber mukluks under contract with the United States Air Force and Department of Defense.
During the mid to late 1970s skateboarding was catching on in Southern California and so were Vans as their sticky bottom sole made for an tough grasp on skateboards. Two legends of skateboarding had designed a pair of Vans in 1975 that would become synonymous with skateboarding. Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta had created the “95” otherwise known as the “Era.”
1980s -- The 1980s showed a substantial growth for Vans as the popular film Fast Times at Ridgemont High starring Sean Penn showed Penn sporting a pair of Vans. The company had also began to branch out even more making shoes for the following sports:
The banking company McCown De Leeuw & Co. had purchased Vans from Paul Van Doren for 74.4 million dollars in 1988.
1990s -- Vans had decided to go overseas in 1994 for production as they had closed down their facility in California. Vans got into sponsoring during the 1990s as they sponsored the Triple Crown series. The series eventually took on the Vans name. In 1998 Vans had opened up a large skate park in Orange County California. It was the very first indoor-outdoor one of its kind.
2000 -- Forbes had recognized Vans as one of the best small companies in America in 2000 and 2001. In 2002 they had opened up another skate park, which was indoors, in Orlando, Florida. The park ended up closing down in 2012 as it was located inside the mall.
In 2004 the original Van shoes began to gain popularity again as the “Custom” returned. This meant that customers could visit their website and create their own style of shoe.
Today you can find the Van name in almost any outlet mall in America. They have gained such popularity that many younger people are wearing the brand name. They became a household name in the United States due to its popularity in the subculture. Here are some outlets that you can find the Vans store:
- Tanger Outlets
- JC Penny Outlets
- Vans Outlet Store
Vans come in a wide variety of styles and colors. Many people like the traditional ones, but since their start the shoe company has branched out with some pretty unique ones. You can customize a pair online or find the following styles at your favorite shoe store or outlet mall:
- Classic Suede -- The classic shoe takes on the look of the 1980s an era gone by but not forgotten for its novelties. This shoe is a high top that comes in many classic designs.
- Classic Canvas -- Classic Canvas is a low cut shoe that is designed for skateboarding or just hanging out as they have a classy look to them. This type is available for both men and women.
- Slip Ons -- The Van Slip Ons are a bit different from the others as they are more like a slipper and less like a shoe, but can be worn in public. This shoe became popular in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High as Sean Penn sported a pair of checkered board Slip Ons.
- Old School -- This style has become very popular as Vans took the classic look of the original shoe and put a twist on it. They are now more durable as they are made of suede instead of canvas. These shoes come in a variety of designs.
In recent years Vans had decided to branch out even more with clothing and accessories. Since their start the company has become a name brand that many people have grown to trust. Here are some of the clothing and accessories that are available to you:
- Sunglasses -- Their sunglasses have taken on a classic look from the 1980s. They come in a variety of designs and styles and are really popular with the beach and surf crowds.
- Shorts -- Vans now makes shorts for men. Their casual but trendy look is why they appeal to younger crowds. You can find them at most department stores and outlet malls.
- Shirts -- Vans tee-shirts are adorned by many these days as they sport the company’s logo on them. You will be able to find them at the Vans Outlet Store.
- Hats & Accessories -- You can accessorize your wardrobe with the Vans name by wearing their ball caps and other merchandise while out with friends or shredding up the skate park.
You will be able to find more information about where to purchase Vans and the different styles they come in on their website. The only problem you will experience is trying to pick only one pair that fits your lifestyle.
You can find your Vans at most local outlet malls and shoe stores located throughout the United States. The Vans name should be worn with pride.