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Vans are a classic amongst skater crowds, and have been ever since the 1970's and 80's when the companies design teams created products suitable for skating, wake-boarding, and other such sports. However, the design of these shoes (most notably the 'Era' in 1975) wasn't triggered by a good idea in the office, but by participants of said sports being seen wearing Vans all over California - In other words, it was a reactionary response to the people that led to the shoes we see and buy today. The flat sole, decent grip, and semi-comfortable interior were what attracted those original opportunist sports people to the brand, and to a certain extent that's what holds them to it today.
The UK story is slightly different, but what has been most interesting in this country is the integration of Vans' into mainstream crowds; an altogether more recent occurrence, and most probably the result of a joint boost from both marketing experts in America and fashion trend setters in London. By my estimates, at least half the student population of Nottingham (male and female) wear Vans. I'm sure this correlates with other cities in the UK, showing the wide acceptability of the brand, moving away from the 'skater boy' image - though I'm sure the somewhat dying breed of skater still flocks to the Van store queue when their soles eventually wear away... I said SOLES, not SOULS, calm down!!!
What is the big attraction with these shoes though? With requirement for the practical elements of the shoe numbing - gripping soles, flatness, etc - is this not just another stylistic item ready/willing to melt into the consumerist, stylistic world we find ourselves? If so, why the hell do I have a pair? I'm morally obliged to despise this way of living - despite my rather contradictory lapping up of it whenever I enter a shopping centre, e-commerce site, or... dooyoo.co.uk. Ahh hold on, there's a distinction there - 'Don't bite the hand that feeds you!'. But seriously, why do I have a pair of Era, Vans?
Quality - From first picking them up, I could tell these shoes were made from properly sourced, and properly put together materials. I later discovered they were manufactured in China (to a high quality) like a lot of new products. Material wise: cotton canvas for the majority of the shoe, and rubber/plastic combinations for the sole and lace fixings. The glue and thread they use to form the shoe is high quality and guaranteed to last a period of months. One hiccup here though - for some reason my Vans material canvas above the toes, near the laces, has torn slightly (in exactly the same place on both shoes). I've heard of other people's shoes doing this as well, and despite the tear not reaching through to my socks, it does rather spoil the look of them (if you're attempting to maintain a 'clean and shiny' vibe). White inner-thread can be seen poking upwards.
Comfort - A spongy base, fusing foot with sole and ground. Comfort is perhaps my biggest criterion when shoe buying. I expect comfort for 6-months or more, and the Era has responded to that expectation brilliantly. 8-months down the line and my foot has sunk no more than a centimeter or two into the fabric at the base, meaning I've retained a full-ish level of comfort. Around the lip, the hole you place your foot through, is a ring of further spongy material wrapped in fabric. This piece of crucial, as it stops any rubbing against the underside of the ankle bone (something I experience sometimes with shoes). The laces are positioned at the right level and angle so that when tide up tightly, the shoe feels firmly placed, tucked to every inch of sock/skin neatly... this is how I like my shoes!
Fit - As mentioned in the comfort section, they fit me excellently, but others may differ. The main point to mention is that these Vans can be bought in half-sizes, but not all stores stock a large range of half-sizes. Also, your size in these might differ from your size in formal shoes or even other 'trainers'.
Style - The make-up of the shoe (its form), and the colour-combinations available, mean that this product can be worn with anything - it works with all outfits. My pair are black with white rims, and they suit all the clothes I have in my wardrobe. It's not just the colour that you can customize though, the patterns you can get are extremely diverse. There are different depths of sole, different thickness and style of laces, different internal finishes. The range of Era shoes has exploded into a fountain of dazzling choice, capped by a period of dazzling decision.
Price - www.endclothing.co.uk seems like a reasonable place to buy a pair. Depending on style, the Era ranges from £25 - £60, and the shoe can often be found in sales - if you go into a high-street store and route through their reduced section.
All in all I'm happy with my Vans. I feel I've properly proven my reasons for buying a pair. It was not, as one might have prejudged, as a method of 'showing off' to friends, but more as a means of gaining reliable, long-lasting, out-fit compatible, water-resistant, insulating comfort for my feet. A thoroughly recommended pair of shoes here (4-stars because of the torn canvas), especially for the price - as these things can cost a lot these days.
If you haven't ever worn - or heard - of Vans, then now's a good time to state that these have always been designed as skater shoes. Now don't let this put you off as really, it makes them one of the most stylish and comfy shoes around.
The quality of the lace-up Vans are really nice, you can tell that after a lot of wearing they won't fall apart. I've owned my pair for two years and they might be a little scuffed but they are holding strong after a lot of usage!
Vans being vans, there are also a lot of different colours and styles to chose from which is really nice. It gives you more choice than just the green colour shown in the picture and then it makes chosing them to go with an outfit really easy. They include normal plain colours or ones with a printed design (mine have a printed design).
Also I've found that even though mine have a print pattern (small pink flowers) even that has stayed on and not faded as the colour is still quite a vibrant pink. The base colour of black has also stayed throughout the various times I've worn them in torrential rain! Again, this is a serious sign of quality.
Saying that, the dye has leaked onto the white laces (and socks) before but this was only because of rain and the fact I was wearing white socks. But in the end these are a very good pair of shoes and if mine ever do fall apart, I'd buy a new one in a second.
I've been wearing Vans for around 3 years now and they have recently had a surge in popularity. This is good if you want more colours and patterns to choose from, but bad if you're one of those people who doesn't wear things because other people do.
I've owned two pairs of the plain black colour with the white sole and one pair of the 'Van Doren' collection in that time and they are all as comfortable as each other. Admittedly, the first time you wear any sort of canvas shoes, they are bound to hurt like hell. I've had a pair of Converse for 3 years which I still can't wear for long because they rub so much! Once you've broken them in they are just the most comfortable pair of shoes you can own. I wear them walking to and from work (a couple of miles) and they are super super comfortable.
They are also so versatile. I usually wear them with jeans or denim shorts but I see many guys wearing them with chinos and lots of girls wearing them with leggings. I personally think they look best with jeans though!
It is true that they don't offer much protection from the rain, but if you don't run though any puddles they're probably about the same as any other shoes I've ever owned. You just have to not be an idiot! The price is also quite reasonable, at around £40 a pair they certainly aren't the most expensive trainers out there and with student discount you can get them for around £30. Office and Schuh usually do the largest range of colours, with office sometimes getting colourways exclusive to them.
One slight negative is that eventually the rubber on the sole starts to come away. I've found that superglue or Loctite works absolutely fine to repair them and they look good as new. To be honest, I wore them to college every day and walked around all day in them so I got a large amount of wear out of them.
In 2010 I went on my much desired trip to New York where I did a ton of shopping and one of the items I purchased was a pair of vans. I had always been a fan and seen quite a few different types wearing them so wanted to get a pair and after seeing them for only $20 (I can't remember which shop it was!) I thought even with the currency conversion and tax this was a good deal so I grabbed a pair!
Vans are quite similar to common plimsole type footwear but have a much thicker, bold white sole. I got a pair in black with white laces a I am normally a simple fashion person, and like items I can mix and match and wear with numerous outfits so stick to something simple.
In terms of the composition of the shoe, I give them credit to being good quality as I have had them over 2 years now, and so have gotten quite a good amount of usage out of them and they are still in decent condition compared to a lot of footwear I have owned! The soles are thick and strong, and are made from a type of rubber (I assume! Can't actually seem to find anywhere what the soles are made of unfortunately as I would like to know) and are extremely hard wearing and haven't worn down in the time I have been kicking about in them! The upper is completely fabric, and so sadly is not waterproof but I have been caught out in the rain in these a few times and not been completely drenched so they have a bit of water resistance!
As with most shoes, the upper is stitched to the sole meaning it doesn't have a watertight seal. My vans however have been quite long lasting in that the stitching hasn't come apart just yet and so I don't have any talking shoes at the front which is ideal as when it reaches that point it's time to throw them away!
I generally wear a 5 and bought these in a 5.5 in the states (7.5 for them, to be honest their sizes are weird!) and so in my experience they fit quite comfortably, and are quite true to size but personally I vary from size to size depending on shoe and the fit so I'm up and down depending on different brands!
They aren't waterproof at all, converse aren't either but because of the plastic toes they offer a little protection when walking in light rain, puddles or grass, with Vans my feet just get soaked and if I've walked through grass my toes aren't entirely soaked but do look really odd!
At the back of the shoes is the 'off the wall vans' logo on the back heel which of course let's people know you are wearing genuine vans and not some market rip off!
These shoes are really comfortable and a shoe I can easily wear out and about and when driving as they fit snugly and easily. Wearing them all day or for long periods of time when I am constantly on my feet is a different story for me, as they are quite flat and do not provide any arch support. As a person who worked previously in a sensible shoe shop for almost 4 years I have learnt how to look after my feet and they ache if I'm on them all day in a simple shoe which is designed more for fashion than to actually suit the natural shape of our feet. (Gosh I sound like an old woman!)
Overall I do like my vans and when out with friends and my little one in the daytime they go with jeans and a top, or I make them work with a simple dress, but if I am out on a mission where I know I will be on my feet a lot they are not ideal! I would recommend them, as they are fun and funky, and come in various colours and patterns so can be customised to an individual style. Just don't wear them to a gig where you're on your feet for 3 hours or you will be crying for slippers by the end!
They vary in cost from £30-£40 but for the price they are long lasting so I give them good value.
Okay, so before I went and fell in love with Vans, I had never really wore anything fashionable. I just wore what I felt comfortable in, which has always been jeans, T-shirts and some trainers. Then, when I bought some chinos, I wanted a nice new pair of shoes to go with them, and after seeing everyone else wearing these Vans, I thought I would give them a try, see if I like them. I know they're supposed to be skate shoes, and I don't skate, but I thought that they looked really nice, and so many other people were wearing them anyway that didn't really look like skaters, so I thought I would buy some myself!
So, I journeyed into the town center to buy myself a pair... And there was just so many to choose from! I was so confused by what the guy trying to help me was saying, he was just bombarding me with choices! anyway, I thought I would buy a pair of plain and simple, all blue (my favourite colour), Vans Eras. When I tried them on, I was just taken back by how comfortable they were, even though I was a little disappointed that they were going to cost me £45. However, for good looking, comfortable, fashionable shoes, I was willing to pay that much.
To be honest, I don't really know what more I can say about these shoes. They are both comfortable and stylish, and the colour blue that I got was very nice. Also, the large white part at the bottom of the shoe around the edges is very handy, because it is so easy to clean/wipe things off like mud etc. so it's hard for the shoes to get properly dirty, but they do begin to fade and lose their bright whiteness a little too quickly for my liking, but it is a helpful thing to not have to sit there scrubbing your shoes because they got muddy the day before, instead you can just use a wet cloth or something to wipe the white part clean very easily.
So anyway, off the product I have and onto Eras in general. I think that all of the Vans Eras shoes are very cool. I now own 3 pairs (setting me back over £100) that I really like. My first pair (that I've had for a few months now) are starting to get a little tatty. The laces are going grey and I just don't clean them too often, but I could soon fix them up to look almost new again in no time if I wanted, which is the great thing about Vans Eras! Anyway, Eras come in many different colours and (obviously) sizes. And, if there wasn't already too many colours to choose from, there is also multi-coloured ones too! They look very nice and, when I have the money, I'll probably buy some like that! Also, the fact that they're unisex is great too, means me and my girlfriend can wear each others (lol)!
In conclusion, would most definitely recommend these shoes. They have everything you want in a shoe (unless you're hiking or something) and I have just fallen in love with them, as will you when you try them! The only set back for these shoes is the price! Some of them are over £50 and this really is a little excessive!
I'm a dedicated Converse and Dr Martens wearer through and through but I must admit that I have recently jumped on to the Vans bandwagon after I spotted loads of people wearing them and I thought how nice they looked, especially when combined with some skinny jeans or funky leggings. I set my heart on a pair and just had to have them, only thing putting me off was the fact that you can expect to pay in the region of £40 for a bog standard pair on the highstreet; so me being me I decided to tootle off to ebay and have a rummage to see if I could get them that bit cheaper. My luck was in that day when I stumbled across a pair of bright pink vans, brand new and in my size for just £35! A few days later they were delivered to my door and I was one very happy girl I can tell you.
Vans are canvas pumps sort of similar to converse but with a much flatter and chunkier sole; they are also missing the rubber toe part that is a regular feature with converse. On trying them on for the first time I instantly discovered that the sizing is indeed very roomy and as I only have tiny size 3 feet I could only go down a size if I ordered the kids version. When I began walking in them it did feel very alien to me as they feel positively like lead compared to my lightweight converse and I wasn't overjoyed at how heavy they felt on my feet. I did get used to it though but also noticed that when I walk in them they don't half make a lot of noise, a sort of a slapping sound if you catch my drift. I love the look of them but don't find them as comfy as Converse and whilst they don't rub as such they do make my feet ache; I generally wear them on warm, sunny days as they are far from waterproof and I don't especially like going round with puddles in my shoes and sore feet as a consequence.
They look great with leggings, jeans, shorts etc and I really do think it's the look of them that is their plus point, in my opinion it is a matter of style over comfort and whilst I do like them they don't particularly agree with my feet so I don't tend to wear them as much as my Converse. The soles have added grip but being white they do get dirty relatively quickly, then it's a case of giving them a wipe over with a damp cloth or popping them in to the washing machine depending on how grubby they are. I would advise trying them on beforehand if you can so you don't make the same sizing mistake that I did, I probably won't be purchasing another pair as they just don't agree with me; they're also a bit pricey for what they are and don't seem to even get that much cheaper even if you buy them second hand on ebay. Not a favourite in my shoe rack.
I have always been a converse wearer but recently I got obsessed with vans. They are another type of canvas plimsolls with a different style. A pair of purple vans really caught my eye and I sent weeks searching for a pair, in the shops, online, ebay and the vans website itself. The only place I could find them was if I designed my own on the American website. I'd read that purple often get limited shelf time every few months and as soon as I stopped looking, Schuh restocked them and my dad bought me a pair for my birthday last year.
There are really good points to Vans aswell as a few bad ones. Overall I love Vans, I love the shape and range of bright colours but also look really good in dark duller colours too.
The sole of the shoe is quite thick and very strong, they feel quite heavy because of this. I am a size 5 so that's the size I got these in however I strongly suggest you try them on before buying because I feel I need the size 4 as they are too big and make loud banging sounds from where they fall off my feet a little, especially when I walk down stairs.
They aren't waterproof at all, converse aren't either but because of the plastic toes they offer a little protection when walking in light rain, puddles or grass, with Vans my feet just get soaked and if I've walked through grass my toes aren't entirely soaked but do look really odd!
There are many ripoff versions of Vans on the high street however they never last as long or look as good as the original. The 'off the wall vans' logo on the back heel are what sets them apart (I'm not a brand obsessed person but I do like brand name shoes as shoes are a bit more of a statement to show who you are!). This unfortunately does get worn down at the back and can probably come off, mine is worn but still recognisable after about 8 months worth of wear.
They did rub a bit when first wearing, on my little toes and back of my heel but any new pair of shoes do and wearing a plaster always helps and once you've broken them in they are sooo comfortable!
Overall I'd definitely recommend these shoes as they last a very long time for the price which is about £30-£40 (cheaper with student discount or end of season sale). They look really good and never go out of fashion if you are worried about being on trend. I really want a black pair, blue pair and maybe a grey pair too because I love them so much!
I'm sure that most people will have heard of Vans due to how popular they are all over the world. For people who are totally oblivious though, Vans are basically canvas shoes which look like trainers. They've been around since the late 1970's and were specifically designed for skateboarding, although there are now a number of different versions available such as snowboarding boots and BMX trainers. Despite technically being sports shoes, Vans have been a fashion statement for a good five years now amongst children, teenagers and young adults, which is why I bought my pair. Vans are made of 100% cotton canvas and although they look like proper trainers, they feel almost as comfortable as slippers!
I've had my pair of classic Vans Era's for around three years now and they were a great investment as they look almost as good as new despite how frequently I wear them. Although I had seen them around a lot before I bought my pair, I had always assumed that Vans were for guys who did skateboarding and bmxing, but when the Hipster trend set in it seemed like everyone, including girls went crazy and bought a pair. I must admit that due to the price, I was a little hesistant about buying these because I was worried that they wouldn't last long and despite looking good might be lacking in quality, which is why I decided to try a pair on before buying them.
The great thing about Vans is that you can actually tell that they are really good quality just from looking at them, and although they are very durable shoes, they're also really fashionable and versatile - they go with almost any outfit so getting your money's worth/getting plenty of wear out of them is really easy as they are not designed for one specific occassion or setting; they can be dressed up or down effortlessly. I bought my pair from Office Shoes after trying them on as I was impressed with the design and comfort. I forked out around £55 for them, and the current retail price at Office is £52.99. Vans are widely available though so prices do vary, and they can be found on websites such as Amazon for a slightly lower price. I'm sure that there are second hand Vans available on eBay too, however I would reccomend getting a brand new pair from a reputable shop to ensure that your pair are authentic.
There are so many different colours and designs to choose from in the Era range. The classic ones are one colour with white laces, white trim and a white sole. The classic colours include navy, green, purple, black, grey and red, while the more unique patterns available range from tie-dyes to stars and skulls. There are also contrast colours available including grey and black, pink and grey and so on. Denim and distressed vans are also available, which look pretty cool! Most of the designs are very bright and bold, so they are ideal for people who like to make a fashion statement and stand out from the crowd. I love that there is the option to customise your shoes if buying directly from the Van's website and I wish that I had realised this before buying my boyfriend a navy pair last Christmas as I could of made his pair ultra unique! You are able to customise the colour of the laces, eyelets, collar lining and so on which I think is brilliant!
My pair of vans are a lovely postbox red. I chose this colour because I wanted a unique pair of shoes which would stand out from the crowd and give my outfit a bit of an edge. Although they are pretty versatile, they're not appropiate for certain events (interviews etc), and if you want a pair but you are still at school or college I'd reccomend getting a black pair with black laces unless obviously you plan to wear these purely for causal wear. My pair, as I said, are red - both the vamp and quarter areas are one solid colour while the sole, laces, foxing and collar lining are white, as is the stitching detail. The foxing stripe is black and the eyelets are silver. The Vans logo is displayed on the side of the shoe next to the stitching of the vamp area. The logo is white with red writing and this shows that my shoes are authentic Vans and not fakes. The vans logo is also displayed inside the shoe on the sole and a red 'Off the Wall' logo is on the back of the shoe.
The thing I like most about my pair of vans is the sole. At 2cm thick, it gives me that extra bit of height as well as comfort. These are so comfortable to walk in and thanks to the super soft insoles, they cushion and support my feet. The part of the shoe that supports the back of my ankle is padded and I've never had issues with it rubbing. While walking along in these, I can't feel the hardness of the pavement if that makes sense and it kind of feels like i'm walking around in super soft, padded slippers, yet these are obviously much more fashionable! The trainers are laced but even when done up they are easy to slip on and even when I first got them they weren't stiff and didn't need breaking in. The area of the shoe directly underneath my ankle is dipped, meaning that I don't usually wear socks with them as you can see the socks which I don't personally think is a good look! The shoes are lightweight and really easy to walk long distances in.
The shoes are durable and although I try my best to keep them clean, there have been times when I've worn them to take the dogs out or to the beach, and considering this I think they are in incredible condition, which is thanks to the waterproof material. I've never washed these as luckily they've never gotten too muddy, and to clean them I just use a wet sponge or a wipe. The canvas material and insoles dry reasonably quickly if they get wet with rain water and I've had no issues with the insoles retaining the smell of damp. Styling these shoes is easy. They can go with jeans, dresses, skirts, shorts.. literally anything. Marc wears his navy pair with jeans, chinos and trackies and he's even worn them with a grey suit for a christening, which worked really well and they gave the outfit a youthful, fun edge.
My vans are a size five - my usual size - and they fit perfectly. I have quite wide feet but these seemed to adjust to the shape of my foot and they're not too tight or at all uncomfortable. Sizes go all the way up to size 13 and half sizes are available. Overall, I love my pair of Vans and my boyfriend loves his pair, too. They're comfy, versatile, durable and exceptionally good quality. Although they are expensive, they're worth every penny. Highly reccommended, five out of five stars!
I've been wearing Vans for a couple of years now, and I always favour these 'Era' style Vans over the other styles, and I say this because these, whilst not being the most comfortable, are perhaps the lightest of the styles meaning they are perfect for skating.
The protection around the ankle, whilst not being over-done, is great enough to prevent serious injury, or at least in my case, when I've had a few knocks. It also adds to the comfort of the trainers, and if you were to invest in a pair of Vans - regardless of whether you're planning to skate in them - I'd suggest grabbing a pair with this ankle protection.
The thick rubber sole is great, and is durable - well apart from the back, which I'll discuss later - which is undoubtedly expected in a trainer. I say it's great because it allows me to "pop" moves with ease, because of the great deal of grip it gives me. Furthermore, the honey-comb mould on the sole is great, and gives a unrivaled level of grip, which when coupled with worn-down grip tape ensures you get a high enough level of grip to perform a multitude of tricks.
Finally, these trainers seem to be "in" at the moment, and every indie and alt kid seems to own a pair, which is a further testament to the great design. If you're fashion-forward grab a pair! I won't moan that you're not a skater and wearing a pair ;).
Whilst these trainers are fantastic there are a couple of draw backs, the first being the fact that the rubber sole, towards to the heel, seems to be worn down very easily, and after a few solid months of use they seem to be so worn down that it's at a permanent slant. However, this does not detract from the wear of these trainers, and I've got away with wearing a pair somewhat regularly for a good year and a quarter. The second is the little rubber strip, above the sole, which connects the sole and the canvas material, does seem to crack and allow the canvas to rip near the sole. This can be fixed with a bit of shoe glue though, and isn't a great problem.
Where do i start...
I have always wore canvass style shoes, converse, plimpsols. Then a couple of years back i went to america, and even thought i thought vans were typical (stereotypical im sorry i know) skater shoes. I wasnt to impressed but i wanted new shoes and loved the colours.
That was the start of my love for vans!
I now have a whole collection of all types of colours and styles!
Vans are hard wearing. They can be wore out in parks, for casual nights out. They never seem to get battered! And always look smart!! Practically always look brand new (unless your the type of person who wants to run in mud everyday then they always look brand new)
To wash them i tend to put them in a pillow case on a low heat wash, take the laces out and soak them in a bleach and it does the trick!!
Authentic Lo Pro
Authentic Core Classic
Classic Slip ons
Core Classic slip on
Old skool core classics
Like i said lots of different styles!! And colours such as white,black,potent purple, blue, red, yellow, purple, and then to more fancy colours and jelly bean type, different colour stripes etc.
I think this is the best rage of shoes and for the price (Authentic white pair £35) they are not bad at all!!
I've worn vans for about the past 5 years on and off and the 'era' style are by far the most comfortable and hard wearing pair i've had the pleasure to own. I've had these for a few months now and even though i am quite hard wearing on my shoes, they are hardly showing any signs of wear and are still looking almost brand new. I would recommend these to anyone as they are great value for money and go with almost anything!
In highschool, the trends change month by month, from uggs to toms to converse, most shoes go out of style pretty fast. Most shoes that is, besides vans. My first pair of vans was a pair of red Vans Era, a great comfortable, cloth shoe. These shoes lasted me about a year! And not to mention they only took a few days to break in. Another great thing about these shoes is that there 100% vegan, so if your looking to buy vegan clothes like I am, this is a great shoe for you.
These shoes are great for running around, or going out to grab a bite with friends. That may be the best thing about this shoe, it's great for SO many things, but yet so darn cute. They usually cost around $40, but it's totally worth it. If your looking for long lasting, cute, comfortable shoes, then buy yourself a pair of vans!
After seeing these shoes becoming more and more popular I found myself wondering why so many people fell in love with them. I have been wearing canvas shoes for years as I find them to look better than traditional sports trainers and you can wear them all year round. Pre Vans, I bought plimsol-like shoes from highstreet shops but these shoes lasted me barely 3 weeks before holes began appearing on the sole. What seemed so attractive about Vans to me was the fact that they have such a thick sole, which wouldn't wear down as quickly as my other shoes. For people who do a lot of walking and tend to wear down their soles, Vans are the shoe for you!
The shoes come in a wide range of colours and you don't have to have white soles as shown in the picture (my Vans have black soles). They are also very comfortable which surprised me as I was expecting to have blisters after wearing them for the first time due to the rigid canvas. They took very little time at all to wear in which is wonderful if you want to wear them right away. You can tell that they are high quality shoes as soon as you put them on. As they have such a thick sole, the foot is well supported and still comfortable after wearing the shoes all day.
They retail for around £40 but you could probably find them cheaper than that. I would pay that much money for a shoe of this quality as I know that they will last me for a long time and I wear them nearly every day. Because they don't look like sports trainers, you can wear them with pretty much any outfit as they can look casual or smart if you pair them with the right clothing.
Well, just like the brand Toms, Vans came from nowhere in the shoe market to the point of establishing themselves as some of the most well known, frequently worn and best referred to pieces of footwear. Just like the Toms brand I was also apprehensive about the product before I purchased my first pair. Apprehensive in the sense that the actual style of shoe was bold, the colours bold and combination of clothing that would be required to suit them, was perhaps not something i'd been used to.
The shoes themselves, are pump like trainers with a thick 2cm soul that provides great protection to the bottom of the foot as well as a sense of comfort. The top of the shoe is infact a canvas material with block stitching in certain patterns around the top of the shoe as seen in the picture above. The material is flexible and so comfortable, but also protective against water and snow as well as providing breathing space in a more hot climate.
Originally Vans only retailed in certain stores amongst the market, however as the ever-growing celebrity community took notice, the younger generation and in particular the teenage and young adult generation took notice, the brand spread like an infection. From being available in only specific stores at a reasonably high price, to almost impossible to miss in the space of a year. Certain types of Vans have been associated with Skating/Gothic kind of looks. However generally speaking most people I know where there Vans on nights out round the city now.
When my Grey vans arrived I was pleasantly surprised as I placed my foot inside the shoe to find that the rigid looking nature of the shoe was actually much easier on the foot than expected. Almost 8 months later, I now have 6 pairs, including, black, white, red, purple and orange. My daughter has 3 pairs and my soon to be wife has 2. I'd most certainly recognise these as one of the most comfortable and flexible shoes on the market.
Vans can be found at virtually every big shopping centre in the country these days and as soon as you google 'Vans' millions and millions of links will come up. I'd recommend Schuh actually as one of the best providers of Vans, not only at a cheap price but in many different sizes, colours and pattern schemes. However, you will find the shoes on the 'vans' site, as well as in different household names such as topman and occasionally Next.
Advantages of the shoes
- They are very, very comfortable
- Are acceptable to doss around the house in and go out on a big night in
- They are a shoe of high reputation
- They are very well protected against Rain, Wind, Snow or Shine
- They retail at a respectable price of £30-£40
- They are occasionally worn quite easily
- I washed a pair once it completely diminshed them as a shoe
- Certain pairs aren't as attractive as others.
I'm not really a fan of sports shoes and would rather opt for girly ballet pumps or plimsolls but having bought and fell in love with a pair of Toms about a year ago I decided to give Vans a go after seeing them on a girl in town and being envious of how comfortable and stylish they looked.
Vans are mostly associated with the goth/indie look but recently celebs such as Rihanna have sported Vans and now they have become increasingly popular. They also have pull-on shoes and classic vans available from various websites and instore.
My vans are primarily canvas which is quite think and hard wearing. The canvas is red with white piping, the red colour is very deep and daring but I still find that they are very versatile and look particularly cool with boyfriend style jeans or leggings. The sole on vans is about 2cm high so it is pretty thick which makes them extra comfortable and indestructible (almost!).
The look of the shoe is just like a typical sports trainer with eyelets and laces at the front, a small tag is attached to the side of the lace which has the simple vans logo on and on the back of the shoe on the back of the sole is also the vans logo so if you are into showing off your branded garments others will have no problem spotting that your wearing vans!
I purchased my vans in my usual size 4 and found that they were the perfect fit; it was quite unusual at first being an inch or so higher without having to totter around in heels! To walk in, these shoes are like clouds beneath your feet they are probably the most comfortable shoes that I own. I tend to loosen the laces and tuck them in which means I don't have to lace my vans up each time I want to wear them and they still fit perfectly.
My vans have been through the elements- the sun (paired with a pair of shorts), the rain (without an umbrella and water didn't leak in!) and even the snow last winter (they have fab grips on the bottom!).
As for washing the vans, I haven't actually ever needed to wash these in the washing machine as it is usually only the white sole that gets dirty which usually comes clean using a baby wipe or just warm soapy water.
There are many colours that these shoes come in including wacky colours and designs so if you are interested in vans do take a look around to find the perfect vans for you. There are also many prices for the vans but after having a quick look online they are retailing for around £40. I paid £34 for my red vans from Schuh but this was nearly a year ago, so shop around to find the best deal!
Pretty pastels adorn the Era for a summery kids look / The classic Vans plimsoll features a blue and pink canvas upper with stitch detail and branding / A rubber vulcanised sole with waffle tread finishes.