Anybody who knows anything about skating or surfing is well aware that no footwear compares to Vans shoes, in terms of practicality, fashion and all-round coolness. Vans are the ultimate skateboarding shoe, but are also perfectly acceptable as everyday casual footwear.
Vans shoes are essentially non-athletic trainers, meaning that they are not suitable for running or playing field sports, but are perfect for street sports such as skateboarding, which requires flexible shoes that are comfortable to walk in. Vans shoes are created specifically with the form and movement of the foot in mind, so as to ensure all-round practical footwear.
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The classics range is made up of chunky-soled lace-ups and slip-ons. There are also a couple of ankle-high, lace-up skating shoes, which provide extra support to the ankle. For anyone who thinks plain black or one-colour shoes are a bit unoriginal, the classics range also contains patterned slip-ons, with checked motifs or leaf-shaped designs.
The core skate range includes shoes with leather or suede uppers and thick rubber soles. The majority of these skating shoes are lace-ups, even though the original Vans skating shoes were slip-ons. Shoes made with all the design specifications of the first Vans skate shoes are now making a comeback and are available to buy.
The women’s skating shoes are essentially similar in design to the men’s, except that they are designed with the different form of women’s feet in mind, for maximum comfort. There is also a fun women’s range of Mary Jane-style sneakers, in red or silver, with a slightly elevated heel and little bows at the front. The women’s street clog also has some feminine touches to it, with a slightly wedged heel.
The Vans website is very thorough, with photos and descriptions of all their shoes, from classics to the most recent fashions and innovations. The shoes are clearly divided into men’s shoes, women’s shoes and children’s shoes, as well as subdivided into skating and other styles. One of the site’s coolest features is a custom shoe builder, where you can design and create your own Vans shoes, and then buy them online. For the time being, Vans only ships online orders to customers in the United States, but there is a comprehensive international shop finder to help you locate your nearest Vans stockist. You may well find that you are able to buy Vans shoes online outside the United States through another stockist, or second-hand on an online auction site.