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The story of how Vans started out could easily mistaken for a scene lifted straight from a slacker movie: It's 16 March 1966 and four guys open the doors to their new shoe store. Their plan is to make shoes on the premises and sell them directly to their consumers. Twelve customers showed up and ordered shoes. When they returned to pick them up, the owners of the Van Doren Rubber Company didn't have any change and asked them to come back the next day to pay for their 'flying tennis shoes’. All twelve of them returned. The four entrepreneurs’ marketing plan was to make shoes so strong that people would show them off to their friends. The grip of Vans’ rubber soles, well, gripped the attention of skateboarders and cyclists ('people who prefer life on wheels’, although Vans sponsors people who prefer life on water – surfers – too), and the rest is pretty much history. For over 50 years, Vans has stuck to their classic styles, which has never gone out of fashion. Now that old-school, stripped-down design is good, other sports shoe giants are playing catch-up but Vans already has the winning recipe: basic footwear with rubber soles, prices that are easy on your wallet and, the answer to sneaker lovers' prayers, shoes that can go into the washing machine. (Only your canvas Vans, please!) Since 2006, Vans have been making clothes, too, with T-shirts, hoodies, socks, hats and backpacks. But sneakers will always be at the heart of this much loved brand. Iron Maiden, the Foo Fighters and the Ting Tings all wear Vans. Metallic rocks in their custom collab designs. Off the wall, or what? Get your next pair of Vans right here on Spree.
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