As style trends and technology progress and morphs along with the emergence of every new generation, few footwear models manage to continue to find new audiences while transcending intended purpose while redefining it’s own sense of unique style consistently, becoming timeless, classic staples. Formed prior to their 1st humble store beginnings in 1966 as the Van Doren Rubber Company in California, the original founders comprising of the Van Doren brothers along with 2 other childhood friends, made and sold shoes directly to customers in their self opened Anaheim store. A small but hands on, continued learning operation, their focus was to make good, durable rubber soled canvas shoes for casual sporting wear, and soon the shoes began to sell well thanks to its colourful style, keen affordability and simple wear comfort. The famous Vans logo didn’t appear until much later in the 1970’s, showing just how much brand recognisability was already evident in the styles and quality of the shoes themselves. The Vans legacy was further in the making when a new Californian 4 wheeled board craze began to take hold and soon adopted Vans as the go to shoe brand. The rest was, well, you get the drift..
Arguably one of the most beloved amongst skaters and recognised models of the skateboard era the Vans Old Skool which debuted in 1977 was then originally named “Style 36”, and showcased the now iconic Vans sidestripe aka the ‘Jazz’ stripe which was birthed as an original sketched doodle by founder Paul Van Doren. This new low-top style was set as Vans’ first true skateboard shoe that incorporated mixed leather panels, durable but cool canvas with re-inforced toecaps all ably supported by the time tested and groundbreaking, classic vulcanised midsoles, while superb boardfeel is enabled by the now iconic ‘waffle’ gum outsoles providing pure grip without un-neccessary thickness.
As skateboarding became the activity of youthful rebellion and the anti-authoritarian pastime against imposed conformity standing for freedom and encompassing the DIY attitude of punk rock, surf and skate culture, the Vans Old Skool became synonymous alongside ripped jeans and old tshirts worn amongst the uniformed teens shredding their boards and defying gravity in empty backyard swimming pools and curbside avenues. While skateboarding has endured in the decades since, uniformed styles may have changed somewhat, but the Vans Old skool and DIY skate attitudes have not, and true to its Californian roots, still stand to embrace youthful pursuance of freedom, reliable comfort, and unchanged, timeless style.
From skateparks to catwalks, the Old Skool still impresses, in all colours for all ages, on and off the board, always old school, always Vans Old Skool.
Get the latest Vans Old Skool with exclusive styles at your local JD Sports and online – RRP from £52
(All photography by EU Kicks/archive images courtesy of Vans.com)