Loved for their minimalist versatility and rebellious attitude, Vans are one of the most recognised brands in the world. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and Vans have been continuously copied but never beaten on their comfort, durability and style.
Since their origins in the ’60s, the design has remained relatively unchanged, proving their timelessness and iconic status within skate communities and beyond. So whether you’re a first-time buyer or on 5 pairs and counting, here’s our buyer’s guide with all you need to know about Vans styles, fit and history.
#1 When was Vans founded?
Vans was founded in 1966 by brothers Paul and Jim Van Doren in Anaheim, California. Originally called The Van Doren Rubber Company, the original Authentic shoes were the first of the Vans styles, made that same year and remaining practically unchanged since. The name quickly got shortened into the far catchier Vans as skaters came to love the shoes for their sticky soles and durability, becoming a must-have for the California skate community by the mid-’70s.
By the end of the ’70s, the brand had released their Authentic, Old Skool, slip-ons and Sk8-Hi styles complete with the signature ‘jazz stripe’, taken from one of Paul Van Doren’s doodles.
#2 How are Vans made?
All Vans styles are made using a 5 step production process that starts with the sole. Between 70 and 85 million pairs of Vans are made each year, so this process is down to a fine craft, being refined and perfected since the ’60s.
Vans are made with a vulcanised rubber sole. This means that the sole is essentially baked one time to cure the rubber and compress into its signature waffle pattern, then once again after production. The second baking happens when the full shoe is steamed after assembly, this keeps the sole durable but also makes them springy and easy to break in.
The rest of the shoe is cut and assembled with Van’s signature stitching and detailing, finished off with the rubber logo placed on the heel.
#3 Are Vans styles unisex?
Yes, Vans styles are all unisex so anyone can wear whichever ones they like. For the core styles, all the sizing is unisex, however, some styles such as the platform shoes may specify a gender as the sizing may fit smaller or not run certain sizes. But if the shoe fits, wear it!
#4 How do Vans fit?
Unlike a lot of other brands, Vans fit true to size, meaning whatever size you wear in other shoes you’ll likely wear in Vans; easy!
To ensure they stay on your feet, slip-on styles come up a little smaller but quickly loosen and stretch to fit nicely. General advice would be that if you’re torn between two sizes, opt for the bigger and try an insole to pack the shoe out.
For the best idea of size, measure your feet by standing on a piece of paper with your heels up against a wall, and mark the end of your toes. Manually measure this length for a clear answer on what size you are, then consult our handy charts…
|CM (FOOT LENGTH)||21,5||22||22,5||23||23,5||24||24,5||25||25,5||26||26,5|
|CM (FOOT LENGTH)||27||27,5||28||28,5||29||29,5||30||31||32||33||34|
|CM (FOOT LENGTH)||16,5||16,5||17||17,5||18||18,5||18,5||19||19,5||20|
|CM (FOOT LENGTH)||20,5||21||22||22,5||23||23,5||24||24,5||25|
|CM (FOOT LENGTH)||9||9,5||10||10,5||10,5||11||11,5||12||12|
|CM (FOOT LENGTH)||12,5||13||13,5||14||14,5||15||15,5||16|
|AGE||1.5 months||1.5-3 months||3-6 months||6-9 months|
|CM (FOOT LENGTH)||8,5||9||10||10,5|
#5 What’s the difference between regular and Comfycush Vans?
Comfycush Vans look exactly the same, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Comfycush Vans include an added cushion layer made out of a special type of foam that is soft enough to cushion but durable enough to withstand skating or long days on your feet. The Comfycush Vans include twice the amount of cushioning, so are the perfect option if you’re looking for ultimate comfort on long days.