Vans “Off The Wall”

Vans “Off The Wall”

Vans “Off The Wall”

By Theo



              Vans is an American manufacturer of shoes based in Cypress, California, owned by VF Corporation, which is a world wide shoe corporation. This company was based for specifically skaters, who needed good shoes that wouldn’t rip or tear while they were doing tricks. But now, the company also produces apparel and other products such as T-shirts, hoodies, socks, hats, and backpacks. On August 2013, the brand was marked active in the actions sports supplier and sponsors skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding, skiing, BMX, and motocross teams. I’m sure you are wondering what “off the wall’ means, so this is it. “Off the wall” was a saying that people would say back in the 70’s while skating pools, they were coming “Off the wall.” So when Vans made the first skateboarding shoe, they had inbred their new logo on it. With multiple design which you will learn about towards the second segment of this passage. Many people are actually able to make a living off of sponsorships from big companies like Vans. Vans does not only makes shoes or clothing, but Vans also has made multiple indoor and outdoor  skateparks.               

The founders of this company were Paul Van Doren and James Van Doren. Serge D’Elia and Gordon Lee, who were actual skaters, wore the first converse while skating like everyone else, but found themselves thrashing and tearing them very easily which lead them to creating vans. Many people most like havn’t heard of him, as I asked a fellow student this question. Do you know who the Doren brothers are? “I might of heard of them but I don’t think so.”The Doren brothers’ father actually worked at a rubber company, and their mother was great with stitching and lining, which helped them create the first pair of shoes. The Doren brothers started making more designs and more styles of shoes like high tops, low tops, lightweight, slip ons, and ones that had thicker soles to be more comfortable. They started with some general clothing with a normal design that said Vans with a curved line under line under it, but then they started improvising and thought of new ideas for a picture design to go on the back of t-shirts and jackets. Soon they thought of using the California state bear. Many people fell in love with the idea, and their business started taking flight. On March 16, 1966, at 704 East Broadway in Anaheim California, the shoes price ranged from about $2.49 to $4.99 US dollars. On the first day, twelve people walked into the store looking to buy shoes. They found the ones that they liked and wanted to buy them. The thing was, the brothers only had shoes on display, so they didn’t actually have any pairs of shoes for people to buy. So, they had to run to the warehouse and get twelve different pairs of shoes. When they got back, they also realized they didn’t have any change for the customers. So they gave them the shoes and asked them to come back the next day to pay all twelve customers came back and they made their first profit.

Vans most recently started becoming popular about fifteen years ago when the started making even more designs and color pattern the catch the eye a little bit better than the average black and white old schools that have slowly started dieing off.


              The first Vans skate park opened in 1998 at the Outlets of Orange. It is a 20,000-square-foot indoor street course, a Combi pool, which is twelve feet deep, an area for amateurs, mini ramps, an outdoor street course, and an arcade. The park was updated in 2009. Since the park was updated, there are no pictures of the original park, but here is a picture. Many people have supposedly heard of these skateparks as another fellow student says, “ yes I went there last year with two other friends.”

The company built its first skatepark in Huntington Beach, California, which was opened to the public in 2014. It includes a 17,500-square-foot skate bowl and a 25,000 square foot skate plaza. The park is 42,500 square feet, and Vans pays the city one US dollar per year for the 20-year lease. This park is open 7 days a week. There is also a skate park in London in The Old Vic Tunnels called House of Vans. Many of these skate parks also have pros that come to practice for competitions like X-games. Vans skate parks have become something much more than a couple ramps and a rail. To some skateboarders, it is their life going there and practicing and having a great time with their friends.

              Vans has also sponsored many big surf events like the Vans US open. Last year on July 31, 2016 the Vans US open took place. The first men’s heat was won by Toledo who then ended up winning the whole men’s competition. The winner of the girls competition was Tatiana Weston-Webb who won for the first time. The U.S. Open, originally called the West Coast Surfing Championship, was first held in 1959. In 1964, it became known as the United States Surfing Championships. In 1982, it became known as the OP Pro for its sponsor, Ocean Pacific. The event was renamed the Van’s U.S. Open of Surfing in 1994 due to the new sponsorship by Vans. The contest was traditionally held during Labor Day weekend. The event date was changed to an earlier matter that happened in 1986, when riots occurred at the OP Pro. Rioting again changed the 2013 U.S. Open. On the final day of the event the crowds left the contest area and filled Main Street. Soon after, a civil disturbance began, ending in property damage and several arrests and few injuries. Later on, the event owner, IMG, stated that in 2014 it will discontinue events such as free concerts and focus more on the sport.

              I want you all to think to yourself if you have ever owned a pair of vans shoes, because I can guarantee that most of you have. You can even ask your parents if they did or have a pair now. Most of you go shopping with your parents and they might find some of the prices for these shoes outrageously expensive, even for the old school low tops that used to be $2.49 but now can range from $50 to $100 U.S. dollars. The reason for this is TPP pact, which is a worldwide company that manufactures shoe material for big companies including Vans. So the reason for the prices of the shoes going up is because of the materials that they have to buy to make the shoes.