Vans are a globally recognised trainer brand. Vans trainers and sneakers are the epitome of California cool. They’re designed to suit a whole host of tastes so it’s no real surprise that they resonate with such a wide audience of fashion-savvy shoppers. On trend and always in demand, this skate brand is incredibly well-loved and respected, which is why we’ve put together this care and style guide. Whether you speak the language of Old Skool, Authentic, SK8-Hi or Era, we’ve got the answers to all of your frequently asked questions here.
When and where was the brand founded, and who owns Vans?
Vans was founded in 1966 on March 16th. The business began with two brothers; Paul Van Doren and Jim Van Doren, alongside their partners Gordon Lee and Serge Delia. The Van Doren Rubber Company opened in Anaheim, California, manufacturing shoes and selling them directly to the public On opening morning, twelve customers purchased Vans deck shoes, the style that would later become known as “Authentic”.
Where are Vans made and how many countries do they operate in?
Vans is an international company operating in over 600 countries worldwide. Though their shoes were originally made in their native California, success and rapid growth has resulted in production moving to factories in China and Vietnam.
What type of shoes do Vans design?
To put it simply, Vans design and produce skate shoes. Their most-recognised silhouettes – including Old Skool, Era and Sk8-Hi – have become bastions for skate and surf style, and as such, they have maintained their popularity for decades.
What are Vans made of?
Vans are made via the vulcanized shoe-making process, whereby the rubber outsole parts are assembled onto the lasted upper before the rubber is cured. With the sole attached, the entire shoe must be heated in a vulcanizing oven. The upper parts of Vans shoes are made from heat-resistant materials like suede, leather, and cotton canvas with metal hardware.
Are Vans unisex?
Vans are most certainly unisex. When first designed they were sported by male skateboarders, but in the years since these iconic shoes have become a style staple for men and women alike.
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How to lace Vans
There are many ways in which you can spot the difference between real and fake Vans. We’ve created a handy list of indicators to look out for on genuine designs, covering packaging, trademark and quality:
1. The Vans-branded shoe box; certified barcode on the box and branded tissue paper
2. Vans branding on the inner sole
3. Vans labelling on the heel of the shoe (usually red or black)
4. The interlocking patterns found on the bottom of the sole; this is made up of rhomboids and diamonds
5. The toes should be bendable
6. The laces should be firm to touch and not soft
H2: How to clean Vans
Vans are relatively easy to keep clean if you take proper care of them from the beginning. We always suggest a shoe protector spray when buying new trainers, as they can help to repel dirt and liquids which cause stains. Whitening detergents can also be used to breathe new life into the white rubber soles of your shoes, and if you are going to clean the upper fabric, we recommend a gentle wipe with soap and water.
Can you put Vans in the washing machine?
We never want your trainers to be at risk, therefore we would not recommend placing them in a washing machine. However, you’ll come across many trainer aficionados on the internet who claim that you can machine-wash your Vans.
Whilst there are theories available that state you can wash your Vans in such a way, we want you to be certain that this is the right decision as good old soap and water will always be our first recommendation, which you can read about above.
Are Vans true to size?
It is believed by some that certain Vans do not fit true to size. Certain styles may come out smaller, such the Slip Ons, where the canvas of the shoes run a little tighter.
When buying a new style of shoe, we always suggest visiting an OFFICE store where you can try your desired style of Vans.
Are Vans comfortable?
At our Office, we believe Vans are comfortable. The shoes were originally designed as supportive skate footwear and since then have been an in-demand shoe choice. Durable, cushioned and on-trend, Vans are a favoured brand at OFFICE. They are however, very much a leisure and light-activity shoe, as they are designed to be flat, therefore there is no arch support and would not be recommended for any labour-intensive activity.
How to lace Vans
At OFFICE we are very particular in how we like to lace our Vans. We like to follow the method of cross lacing.
1. Thread both ends of the lace through opposite eyelets from the outside-in .
2. Begin to cross your laces towards you, where you cross the right lace over first.
3. Next, repeat the same method on the left-hand side of the lace
4. Repeat this process until you reach the top
This is how we like to lace our trainers, but feel free to explore other techniques such as straight lacing and zipper lacing if they suit your style better.
How to style Vans
Vans are a fashionable shoe choice. Whether you wear yours to skate in, walk the streets of fashion week or just to pop down to your local, these skate-inspired shoes are always on-trend. How do we like to wear our Vans?
-We love the versatility of Vans, where these classic trainers can be worn by both him and her. The classic androgynous look is to pair Vans with your favourite jeans, white t-shirt and a loose plaid shirt.
– For Her: if you’re wishing to make a feminine but cool statement, why not sport Sk8 His with your favourite floral dress.
– For Him: If attending a semi-formal occasion, why not pair your neatest-looking Vans with a suit for a look that really stands out?
To be inspired by more OFFICE styling advice with Vans visit our latest feature page update: (link here)
Are Vans vegan-friendly shoes?
A classic Authentic or Slip On is known to be the best Vegan choice (canvas covered though).
Where to buy Vans
Like you had to ask! OFFICE stock an extensive range of Vans online and instore, so you’re sure to find your most suited style.