Vans has reached its 50 year anniversary in 2016, and the iconic skate brand that has been ubiquitous ever since its birth in 1966 is commemorating the occasion with a series of special releases. This time around, we see some of Vans’ most timeless models, the Era Pro, Checkerboard Slip-On Pro, and Authentic Pro, and the highly underrated Mid Skool Pro. An array of classic colourways have been placed on the shoes in the collection, with a nod to Vans’ incredible heritage, and its progressive view on the style of skate shoes that has helped it remain such a huge cultural influence over these last 50 years.
All of the colourways that you see in the pack have a story behind them. The Checkerboard Slip-On Pro is arguably the most iconic, with that black-and-white colourway being a Vans staple that never goes out of fashion. It came to fruition after kids in the 80’s used to colour in the rubber foxing on their Vans shoes to create a checkerboard upper. Steve Van Doren, son of Paul Van Doren who co-founded Vans, noticed this and experimented with the design, creating one of Vans’ most revered colourways in the process. The Mid-Skool Pro in this pack comes in a baby blue with white details, including the famed white stripes that sit on both the lateral and medial sides of the shoe. This is a lesser released model from Vans, but this baby-blue colourway is perfect for summer and really provides that Californian sun-vibe. The Vans Era Pro in the pack pays homage to the original aspirations of Tony Alva and Stacey Peralta, who added a padded collar and two-tone uppers to the original Authentic model, with a distinctive navy and red colour-up. The two Vans Authentic colourways are where the nostalgia really kicks in. The navy colourway, with that iconic white midsole and navy stripe running between the midsole and the upper, is recognition of the original shoe that the Zephyr skate team was wearing when they exploded onto the skate scene in 1974. The red colourway with floral details represents the freedom of customisation that Vans introduced to the skate shoe scene. Famed surfer Duke Kahanamoku was once wearing a floral shirt, and simply took it off his back and got Vans to create a custom Authentic for him. Vans has been an ever-present in the skate industry, but when you get to know the history of the numerous incredible models and colourways they have produced over the years, you really get to understand why it has stood the test of time with such ease.
That’s the heritage behind the shoes, now for the modernized features. All of the shoes feature “Pro” at the end of their title, and this is with good reason. Every shoe in the pack has been updated and revitalized with Vans’ most up-to-date technology, in order to make them much more suitable for their intended purpose – skating. Pro Skate Performance technology has been added, which includes supportive Ultracush HD sockliners for advanced comfort and resilience against the pressures placed on the feet when skating, and Duracap reinforced underlays in key abrasion areas on the shoe for increased durability. All of this means that no matter what shoes in the pack you fancy for skating, they will stand to you for a long while.
A key factor that has allowed for Vans’ success over the years is the simplicity of its silhouettes, mixed with a true skateboarding feel. Almost any Vans model can be worn casually by the average consumer that doesn’t skate, because of their clean and stripped back aesthetic. Then you reinvigorate models with premium features that optimise them for skating but also offer premium comfort for the average consumer, and you create a set of shoes that appeal to everyone that Vans wants to appeal to. Whilst appealing to the mass population, it has never lost touch with its
skateboarding roots, and these new features make the models in this pack some of the most favoured skate shoes in the world. This 50th anniversary pro collection is the tangible product of everything Vans has gotten so right over the last 50 years, and is a clear indication that Vans is going to remain at the forefront of the shoe world for years to come.
The collection is currently available online at Attitudeinc.co.uk, and will be available in-store from Thursday 17th March. If you’re looking to pick up a skate shoe that will last you a good while, or a shoe that offers premium comfort and style for a fantastic price, you need look no further, this pack is the answer.
Final thought – pairing the Slip-on Pro from this pack with skinny, distressed jeans can be a very strong look, and has been heavily favoured by the likes of Justin Bieber and Jerry Lorenzo recently.