In 1966, the Van Doren Rubber Company was founded by brothers Paul and Jim Van Doren, alongside their longtime friends and business partners Gordy Lee and Serge D’Elia. The factory, based in Anaheim, California, backed onto their first store, allowing Van Doren and Lee to make new shoes on the spot. This gave them the freedom to produce customisable Vans, where people would take a swatch of their own fabric into the store and have a pair of shoes made especially for them. This trend became popular with the Californian youth, and before long street cultures such as skaters began to favour Vans for their individuality. As their popularity grew, Vans began producing more colours and styles until they eventually developed the padded ankle Sk8-Hi, and the relationship between Vans and skating became a love affair.
Vans - Off the wall The Sk8-Hi was the first shoe developed specifically for skateboarders, and it found Vans the perfect niche market. Evolving the sole’s grip and even adding leather toe and heel pieces to slow down wear and tear, Vans dedication to skaters spread past California to become a global skate phenomenon. Ten years after the Sk8-Hi, skateboarding legends Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva collaborated with Vans to create the Hi-Top, releasing another exclusive shoe for skaters. Comfortable and high quality, Vans has worked to create the ideal balance between practical and attractive shoes. Over nearly 60 years, Vans has designed shoes in hundreds of styles with thousands of patterns. With new ranges such as the Disney designs mixed in with the classics, you can be sure to find a shoe that, like all Vans, are timelessly stylish.