Vans skateboarding shoes are black and grey suede hi-tops with a black suede toe and eyestay. The shoe midsoles are black and the sole is the trademark deep tan, waffle pattern. Introduced in 1988, this was the Vans Steve Caballero model, the company's first signature skate shoe.
Paul and Jim Van Doren, along with partners Gordon Lee and Serge Delia opened the Van Doren Rubber Company in 1966, manufacturing shoes and selling them directly to the public. Vans uses a vulcanized shoe making process where the rubber outsoles are heated and stretched onto the “lasted upper” of the shoe before the rubber is completely cured. The entire shoe is then heated to over 300 degrees. This process creates a ‘sticky’ sole popular with skaters for ensuring a good contact surface with their board. Using pro skaters to design their shoes, producing pro skater models and creating the trademark “sidestripe” recognizable around the world, Vans became the shoe of choice for a generation of skaters and grew into an international enterprise in just 50 years.
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