Vans were born at the height of the Swinging Sixties. The Van Doren brothers invented them in 1966 in Anaheim, California. Considering this groovy time and place, is it any wonder Vans were created for the purpose of having fun? The #44 Deck Shoes, AKA “The Authentic”, were quickly adopted as the favorite shoes for skateboarders all through the Seventies. That sticky sole was totally far out.
By 1976, The Vans #95, AKA The Era, added some color to the line. The Old Skools, Classic Slip-Ons, and Sk8-Hi soon followed. The Vans got a surge of popularity in the early Eighties due to being worn by Sean Penn but they got hit by the totally bogus recession. They came back with more merchandise after three years.
The Nineties were all that and a bag of chips. Skateboarders still liked them, but now the snowboarders wanted a piece of that cake. They got a good reputation sponsoring numerous sporting events and being worn by Daniel Franck in Nagano. Things got crunk in 2000 when Forbes recognized Vans as “America’s Best Small Companies for 2000”.
They kept doing what they been doing and by 2010 the brand became Buzzworthy with the opening of The House of Vans. The Vans Park Series by 2017 had served to make skateboarding a legitimate sport. Now, Vans sponsors art contests to fund art programs in schools.
Table of Contents
- Why Are Vans So Popular?
- What Are Vans Shoes Used For?
- Are Vans Good Running Shoes?
- Are Vans Considered Tennis Shoes?
- Are Vans Zero Drop Shoes?
- Are Vans Good Walking Shoes?
- Are Vans Good For Walking Long Distances?
- Vans Or Converse For Walking
- Features Of A Good Running Shoe
- Best Vans Models For Running
- Features Of A Good Walking Shoe
- Best Vans Models For Walking
- Are Vans Unisex?
- Are Vans Hard To Break-In?
- How To Make Your Vans More Comfortable?
- Are You Supposed To Wear Socks With Vans?
- What Is The Best Way To Clean Vans?
- How Long Do Vans Last?
Why Are Vans So Popular?
If you look at their history, it looks like they made themselves popular through promotions and celebrity endorsements. They jumped on the trends of vintage and athleisure to become popular with the younger crowd. People liked them because they were comfortable and had a retro feel to them.
They still have their ties to skating culture but they manage to strike a chord with a variety of people. They also teamed up with other licensed brands that already had a firm toehold in pop culture to create something the fans just had to have.
What Are Vans Shoes Used For?
As they are athleisure, they can be used for any event where casual attire is acceptable. Which means they can be used for doing nothing at all! Their original purpose was for skateboarding but the sticky rubber soles proved useful for snowboarding as well. They also make shoes for surfing and BMX bicycle riding. Weightlifters are fond of them as are basketball players. They’re used by anyone who’s like some traction in their step.
Are Vans Good Running Shoes?
They do make sneakers that they market as running shoes. The Vans Mesh Iso 1.5 is recommended as a running shoe because it is lightweight, has a rubber sole, and is made of breathable mesh fabric. Vans running shoes are lightweight as a rule.
They also have plenty of cushioning and are constructed for weight resistance. However, not all of the models use breathable fabrics and some of them are limited editions. It does seem that Vans is emerging slowly but surely into a new sporting event.
Are Vans Considered Tennis Shoes?
How do you define a tennis shoe? If you define it as a flexible rubber sole with a canvas upper, then yes, Vans are tennis shoes. However, if you think it crucial that tennis shoes have good arch support then Vans are not tennis shoes. Vans may even refer to some of their low top sneakers as tennis shoes, but that does not mean they are actually for tennis.
Are Vans Zero Drop Shoes?
They have no raised heel. Zero heel to toe differential means zero drop. They make a good minimalist shoe, but not the best. While they have a wide toe box and a flexible sole, they do not have much in the way of arch support.
Are Vans Good Walking Shoes?
They are decent enough for the job. They are as comfortable as they are stylish. The sturdy rubber sole has a good grip so you won’t slip easily in them. They have a decent amount of padding. The canvas is breathable but not very durable. They are fine for walking around.
Are Vans Good For Walking Long Distances?
Because the canvas Vans are made out of are not very durable, they are not recommended for walking for long distances. Leave that to the hiking boots.
Vans Or Converse For Walking
Many people prefer Vans when it comes to looks, but this is very subjective and depends on what you wear with them. Both are equal when it comes down to comfort. When it comes down to durability, Converse wins out.
Features Of A Good Running Shoe
First and foremost, the shoe should be comfortable. They should have cushioning so that your knees and other joints won’t suffer from constant impact. Arch support is important for a smooth heel-to-toe transition. It allows the forefoot and rearfoot to move independently from each other.
The upper needs to be flexible and seamless. This will allow your feet to have natural motion. The heel collar has to support the heel and Achilles tendon. This provides all-over support and prevents injury.
Best Vans Models For Running
The classic Vans Classic Slip-Ons have a waffled outsole that delivers good traction. They are more durable than most brands. The Old Skool classic is breathable, durable, and has a flexible rubber sole. The Bearcat may be the most durable of the Vans models. The Authentic has comparatively good arch support.
Features Of A Good Walking Shoe
The Mayo Clinic recommends that you look for the following seven features when selecting a quality walking shoe:
- Achilles tendon protector This locks the shoe around the heel and reduces stress on the Achilles tendon.
- Toe box The toe box should be rounded and roomy in order to prevent calluses.
- Heel collar If the shoes fit properly the heel collar will cushion the ankle.
- Outsole Because the outsole is what touches the ground it needs to have good treads for traction.
- Upper The upper on a walking shoe needs to be breathable and lightweight.
- Gel, air, or foam midsole This aids in cushioning and reducing impact whenever your foot hits the ground.
- Insole This supports and cushions your arch.
Best Vans Models For Walking
For walking, Vans has a new model they call ComfyCush that lives up to its name. It’s basically the original, classic silhouettes re-engineered to be more comfortable. They have more padding and arch support than usual.
The midsole is very soft so that the shoe is not only more flexible but more lightweight. The collar around the heel and ankle is canvas rather than leather. The overall look and traction are not at all changed.
Are Vans Unisex?
Very much so. Every pair of Vans has both the men’s size and women’s size printed on the box. Whether or not certain styles or colors or patterns are “masculine” or “feminine” is very subjective and gender is fluid. If you’re a guy who likes floral prints or a girl who likes Spider-Man, go for it.
Are Vans Hard To Break-In?
Vans recommend wearing them on and off for short but frequent periods to get them broken in. They also recommend wearing a thick pair of socks while breaking them in. If they’re the kind that has laces, don’t tie them too tightly. You just want the shoe to stretch a little.
Stay close to home the first few times you wear them and take them off as soon as you feel any discomfort. Bending them by hand helps. Vans also recommend turning a hairdryer on your shoes, while also wearing the thick socks, of course. Focus on problem areas such as the backs. If rubbing is a problem, al little petroleum jelly may be what you need.
How To Make Your Vans More Comfortable?
Podiatrists recommend that you have your shoes fully broken in before you wear them anywhere. And then, only wear them for their intended use. Slip-Ons are easy to put on, but shoes with adjustable laces are better for comfort. Inserting insoles, pads, and cushions will also help to make a shoe feel more comfortable. Long socks and Band-Aids are recommended highly for that first week or so.
Are You Supposed To Wear Socks With Vans?
If you’re still breaking them in, it’s practically a requirement. After they’re broken in, it’s a matter of personal preference. If you like the no socks look but don’t like the feel you can wear low ankle socks with high top sneakers or wear something very sheer.
Wearing socks with Vans will also lengthen their shelf life and prevent blisters. Socks, when visible, can be quite the fashion statement. With the Authentic and the Slip-Ons, you can wear just about any kind of sock.
For Old Skool and Sk8 Hi, casual or athletic socks are recommended. If you are wearing checkered or otherwise patterned Vans the socks should be solid colored. With the black and white Old Skools, consider a pop of color.
What Is The Best Way To Clean Vans?
What to do when that white, rubbery sole is starting to look a little off-white? You can use bleach or rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide or any of a number of standard household products to do the job. Cover your work surface first and work in a well-ventilated area.
You can use masking tape to cover up the canvas, though bleach stains can give them a cool distressed look. Dip a toothbrush in your desired cleaner and buff the rubber, working in circles. Rinse by wiping the rubber with a clean, damp towel. They should be as snow-white as when brand new.
If it is the canvas itself that is dirty, first brush off as much excess dirt as you can. A shoe brush or old toothbrush will help. Mi together some warm water and dish detergent. Dip in an old toothbrush and get to scrubbing.
Rinse them with warm, clean water. Stuff the shoes with newspaper, paper towels or hand towels. Lay each wet shoe on a clean towel and wrap them up. You can put them outside to air dry. White shoes can be put in the sun to be bleached. The Slip-Ons can be machine washed on a low cycle with cold water. They should be air-dried.
How Long Do Vans Last?
On average, they should last about two years with regular wear and proper maintenance. They are rather durable. However, people wear them while doing sports like skateboarding and BMX biking. Extreme sports mean extreme wear on shoes. Fortunately, the skating subculture thinks a few scuffs and tears took cool, as long as they’re the real thing.
The biggest selling point of Vans is their grippy soles. Oh, there are times when a slippery sole is useful. A peddler in an episode of The Twilight Zone called “What You Need” found slippery soled shoes useful- when they were on the feet of a man trying to kill him.
No Vans at this time! Skateboarders have considered Vans their best friend since the late Sixties and it looks like they are going to be considered groovy, far out, radical, phat, and straight fire for many years to come.