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The History of Vans

on feet look of white/black checkered vans

Vans got their start appealing to the laid back and casual taste of California. Their products are a vital piece of skateboarding culture. For over 50 years Vans have been a staple of casual attire with their long list of iconic designs. There are only a handful of sneaker companies that consistently hold their place within the fashion world, and Vans is on that short list.

A Brief History Of Vans

Brothers Paul Van Doren and Jim Van Doren, along with partners Gordon Lee and Serge Delia, opened a small shoe company for business in Anaheim, California on March 16, 1966. The Van Doren Rubber Company was unique in that it manufactured shoes on the premises and then sold them directly to the public. In the early 70s the name House of Vans was born. Skateboarders were drawn to Vans because of their rugged make-up and sticky soles. Vans continued to make an impact in popular culture with the Warped Tour. The Warped Tour is currently the longest running music tour in America. Vans is easily one of the most influential brand names in the world.

Brothers Paul Van Doren and James Van Doren, along with partners Gordon Lee and Serge Delia
female model in white vans
male model in black vans
male model in blue vans
female model in blue vans

The Classic Icons of Vans

Vans is the original action sports brand. It has always been tied to youth culture, authenticity, and creative expression. Vans enables creativity through action sports, art, music, and street culture. Thinking different and encouraging self expression has always been Vans mission.


Learn more about some of the iconic Vans styles you can find at Shoe Palace retail stores and


The Sk8-Hi was first introduced in 1978 as Style 38. It features the iconic Vans Sidestripe on an innovative high top. It was only the second model to feature what was once called the “jazz stripe.” Sk8-Hi is made with sturdy suede and has canvas uppers. It is available in a variety of colors – both classic and bold. The lace up includes re-enforced toe caps, supportive padded collars and has signature rubber waffle outsoles.


The Old Skool was originally known as the Vans #36. The style debuted in 1977. The Old Skool came with a doodle by founder, Paul Van Doren. That doodle was originally known as the “jazz stripe.” The Vans Sidestripe has become unmistakably a piece of the Vans iconography. It is a hallmark of the brand. The Old Skool is available in a variety of fresh colors. It has re-enforced toe caps, padded collars, and rubber waffle outsoles.


The Authentic was born in Anaheim, California in 1966. It is the original Vans heritage style. First known as the Vans #44 deck shoes. The Authentic became a cult icon and captured Vans “Off The Wall” attitude. The simple low top is a lace up model. The Authentic features sturdy canvas uppers, metal eyelets and signature rubber waffle outsoles.


The Slip On was introduced by Vans in 1977. It was first known as #98. The shoe quickly became an icon in Southern California. Today, the Classic Slip On is famous worldwide. It is a comfortable silhouette that is easy to wear. The checkerboard print Slip On is especially iconic in the sneaker world. The Slip On has low profile canvas uppers, padded collars, elastic side accents, and signature rubber waffle outsoles.

Shoe Palace & Vans

Shoe Palace, like Vans, has its roots in California. That connection makes Shoe Palace’s relationship with Vans organic. The origins and sensibilities of both companies perfectly align. The Shoe Palace collaborations with Vans have always been popular and easy to conceive.


- Adam C. Better