{06.26.12} Profiles & Features

Enduring Classic

The Vans Authentic

In 1966, Paul Van Doren opened a small shop in Anahem, California, selling simple rubber and canvas shoes. Within a few years, skateboarders the world over would be sporting the sticky-soled shoes and Vans would become something of a sub-culture status symbol of SoCal cool. While there are no shortage of canvas kicks you can wear in warm weather, a pair of Vans Authentics adds a unique and relaxed retro vibe to whatever you're wearing. And they look even better after you've beaten them to death. That's the true definition of an iconic item. To celebrate their nearly half-century run, the company has released a film with Van Doren's son, Steve—a lifelong Vans employee and the designer behind Spicoli's famous checkerboard slip-ons. "It's been so wonderful, seeing what's happened over the last 46 years, from the very first pair, the first factory, to where we are today," he says. "Selling shoes in over 170 countries, and having riders all over the world, that initial dream is still alive."

$45, at Zappos

The price of a pair of Vans in 1966.











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